Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ajax and Beyond

Yesterday we headed out with a group of 4-Wheelers from the Casa Grande Club. Bruce & Judy, Bill & Maureen, Sue, Russ, Tom, Larry & Jean, Ralph & I, and of course, Growlph.
Although some of the Jeepers had been to the area outside of Superior, running through to Florence Junction, Ralph & I hadn't been there before so it was a new experience for us. Bruce headed the run since he was familiar with the trail but he wasn't expecting the changes that had occurred during the heavy rains we've had this winter. The trail was bumpy to say the least. Off camber and tippy in quite a few places, we found some of the dry washes with running water but none of the water presented a problem during the crossings. Our destination was the old Ajax Mine, a silver mine active on and off from 1915 to 1948. A minimal amount of gold and copper were also mined there. The mines are still there, along with the large concrete ore loader, an impressive structure. We could only imagine what it must have been like there when miners hauled truckloads of ore over the narrow, dangerous roads.
Since this is one of the first weekends we've had without rain, lots of people were on the trails, ATV's, dirt bikes and all kinds of four wheel drive vehicles shared the trails with us, making it interesting when we met someone going in the opposite direction on a narrow, high, one lane trail. Lots of careful maneuvering was required but the skilled Jeepers made it through with no carnage to report.
Bruce also took us to see the ancient petroglyphs carved in rock by the Hohokam Indians some as old as 2000 years ago. Archaeologists are still working to interpret their meanings.
To read more about the ancient Hohokam Indians, check this out:
History - Hohokam
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It was a good run, a beautiful day spent with fellow Jeepers, good people and good friends, nice!

The mountains outside of Superior

more views of the mountains

all six Jeeps taking a break

Stretching our legs and taking a break from the bumps

the impressive ore loader at Ajax Mine

a dangerous open vertical mine shaft at Ajax Mine

Growlph cooling his paws in the creek
The Ralph & The Growlph

Taking a break for lunch

Ancient Hohokam petroglyphs

...more petroglyphs