Sunday, January 31, 2016

January 21, 2016 - Green Valley AZ

We had a fun filled couple of days in Green Valley with Jack and Alice.  The are summer-time Shelter Bay residents and Steve has worked on a couple of their boats over the years.  We were also dock "neighbors' for many years on "A" dock in Shelter Bay.  This was a very fun stop since we got to enjoy their company and hospitality as well as go out off road "Jeeping" in the desert.  We arrived mid-afternoon so the kids got in some home school.  We had dinner with Jack and Alice and chatted well into the evening.    Our initial plan was to leave first thing the following morning but an offer to go into the desert with two extremely capable friends in their Jeeps persuaded us to spend another day in Green Valley.  Ralph and Russ know the area like the back of their hands.  It was not only to be off road fun but also very informative as these two guys spend a lot of time exploring the desert and spend even more time investigating the history.

This is a fake tank.  It is used by the military for training exercises for the fighter
pilots.  Unfortunately for us the planes were not flying today.  We have heard that they
will come down and do very close fly-by's to entertain visitors to these "targets"
riding along.   Deer in sight
We visited an old abandoned ranch that was once occupied  by a few now famous
artists.  This art is over the doorway in the kitchen.  It depicts a cowboy dreaming
about the food he's going to enjoy from the cook.

Another piece of artwork on the walls of the old ranch.

This swimming pool was built around 1920, way out in the desert at
a small development.  The minors probably needed a good bath after
working hard in the mines all day (or more).
We stopped at an old "stamp press" where they would take the ore they mined,
and pulverize it with big metal plates.  Pretty amazing considering that this
was built in the early 1900's.
Lunch break at Ruby Lake
Hanging out at Ruby Lake.
The grave sites for the Buffalo Soldiers that served in the military.
Russ and Ralph found this Arastra.  It was used to determine how much precious metal
existed in a mine.  If you had enough silver or gold coming out of this you could perhaps start
a mining company, gather investors, and maybe even make some money.
Up a steep hill.  Steve says difficult on a dirt bike!  The jeeps made it easily.
Close-up of the Arastra.  They would take raw ore, and then grind it up in here with
a big grinding stone (not here anymore), powered by a mule/donkey/people and crush it
into powder.  Then the precious metal was extracted and weighed.  The more gold or silver
 per ton of ore,the better.
Somebody has staked a new mining claim
The US and Mexico border.  Not so difficult to get over
Russ and Ralph know where there is a "cache" of food and water for Mexican's trying
to sneak across the border.  They took us there.  There is a religious group that supplies this for Mexican
people who cross so that they do not starve.  
Gallons of fresh water, and a bucket full of non-perishable food for people trying
to get across our border.
  Cindy, Steve, Kevin, Russ, and Ralph.  And their Jeeps.
Jack and Alice's dog, Cruiser, really wants to hang out with Zappa, our cat.
Jack, Alice, Cruiser, Kathy, and Steve in Green Valley in front of Jack and Alice's
wonderful home.  They are very wonderful hosts!

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