Today, I decided to let the 5er take the day off and relax in the desert while I went exploring some more of the country.That involved going back through Oatman and running the ‘burro gauntlet’!
Of course, the traffic (err, pedestrians) was gridlocked until the downtown shootout was over. I guess it was high noon!
I don’t think they were involved in the shootout, but a ‘gang’ of close to 30 motorcycle police on Harleys made their way through town shortly after. I guess they were on a training run from somewhere?
And I got a better shot of the sign at the edge of town that explains how the burros got there.
A very large house appeared to be under construction in the center, and high point of town.
I headed on out of town to the north east, and found lots of active, and inactive mining activity. Do you think inactive activity is an oxymoron? Probably not as much as the sign I saw in a campground on the California coast. The sign was on a water tap and said ‘Drinking Water Unsafe’. Hmm, I guess it is not drinking water then?
Anyway, there was lots of visible (and invisible!) mine shafts evident as I climbed toward 3550’ Sitgreaves Pass.
I guess times were better in the 50’s, when this was the now historic Route 66.
So I had a look into it.
It was not very deep yet, but obviously all hand dug. There were pads on the side at the bottom that cushioned the miner(s) as material was removed and brought to the surface in 5 gallon pails.Not sure if powered jackhammers were used for the actual excavation?
Going back through Oatman, the burros were hard at work laying on the street, surrounded by uneaten carrots that tourists had bought for $1 apiece.
And I was back to my little home on wheels in the desert, and hiked up on a nearby hill to watch the sunset on another great day in Arizona!