October 22 - October 25, 2010
By Dan W. Messersmith
Camping Participants were: Larry & Edna Brown; Charles & Mary Hughes; Jim & Jeanne Jacobs; Dan & Jan Messersmith, w/Buddy; Haul & Mary Reddick; Mignon Slentz and Dick & Connie Taylor, w/Sassy. Additional day trip participants on Sunday were: Jim Byrne and Gary & Cathy Myers, all from Kingman.
Friday, October 22
Jan & I, left Kingman at 8am after my weekly Rotary meeting. Just prior to our arrival at about 9:30am, we got a phone call from Dick Taylor. He and Connie had come out the day before to scout us out some sites in the campground. They had just finished breakfast and as I told them we were near they would meet us at the campground.
As Jan and I were working to set up the trailer (with Dick’s assistance) Larry Brown came in with his Airstream. He let us know Edna would be joining him later after she got off work. After all was set up Dick & Connie and Jan & I decided to take a drive up to Hoover Dam to see the newly completed bridge over the canyon. Larry said he would stay in camp.
The trip over the bridge was mostly a non-event as there is little to tell the people in the car where the highway ends and the bridge begins. If we could not have seen the heads of the people walking on the bridge’s northern walkway, it may have not been possible to tell where the bridge started.
We stopped for a comfort break at the Hacienda Casino and then topped off our gas tanks and returned to camp.
Others arriving after we returned were Jim & Jeanne Jacobs, Charles & Mary Hughes, Haul & Mary Reddick, Mignon Slentz and Edna Brown. I had put my awning down and we all gathered there for conversation and eventually cocktails and snacks.
We broke for dinner and gathered at Dick & Connie’s site for a campfire. The campfire was done by 9pm and we retreated to our respective camp sites.
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Saturday, October 23
Most folks were up and moving around by 6-6:30am. At 8am, most of us (8) went down to have breakfast at the marina restaurant. The rest of our group would meet us for coffee later or when we were ready to leave on the day trip.
Breakfast started out as a nice gathering of people ready to start the day. It turned into a mess. The cook, if he can really be addressed with that title, was just plain incompetent. The restaurant opened at 8am. The cook did not even start the grill until 8am. There were two other groups that beat us in the door and they numbered about 18 people. We were a third group of eight. The cook processed the orders one meal at a time stacking them under what appeared to be a non-functioning heat lamp. The meals were not served when ready but instead were held until an entire table of orders was completed. We got our food 90 minutes after we ordered and the food was not only cold but was over and under cooked depending on on what you got. I was livid and unforgiving. Others were more tolerant of his efforts.
It was a bad start, but vows were taken to not let it spoil our whole day. Thus, we got off an hour late about 10:00am. Dick took the lead and I took the sweep. We headed out PSR134 past the airport and a few miles down the road we would stop at “Zeke’s Well Drilling Rig,” as Dick named it. We spent some time looking this 1930’s model water well drilling rig over and marveled as to why it was there.
Continuing on we passed the route to Salt Spring and noodled around to find a helicopter landing pad that was set up in the middle of no where to provide a refueling spot for the many tourist helicopters that plied their trade around the west end of the Grand Canyon.
Dick and Jim had found the site on an earlier trip and did not know what it was until helicopters started to fly in around them.
We waited for some time and nothing happened other than a truck drove into the site. We had gotten in our vehicles and had began to leave when here they came. Three in all in the first wave. We got back out of our vehicles and watched the landing and some of the refueling with one chopper taking off just as we were leaving.
Later, we would see other choppers flying into the location as we made our way down the road. We got back on NPS134 for a short distance until it “T” intersected with NPS135 (Gregg’s Hideout Road) which we took a short distance to the right and then turned left onto Hualapai Wash Road. At NPS142 we headed for the Golden Gate Mine.
Reaching the mine, we stopped for lunch. During this stop a small group of quads came down the road and stopped to visit. They recommended we not try to go up the trail as it was in very bad condition and thought we would find it impassible in our larger vehicles. We took them at their word and after lunch returned to Gregg’s Hideout Road to get back to Pierce Ferry Road and back
to camp via Dolan Springs and US93. Part of the decision was based on it being potluck night and we needed extra cooking time for our Dutch Ovens.
The potluck was another great success with lots of great dishes shared. We followed the potluck with another great campfire and then retired around 9pm again.
Sunday, October 24
The day trip would start at 9am at the marina’s restaurant again. Only two couples attempted breakfast at the restaurant today with the rest of us deciding to eat at our own camp sites. Just before 8:45am, we gathered in the parking lot and found that Jim Byrne and Gary & Cathy Myers from Kingman had come to join us for the day run.
Larry & Edna along with Mignon, had to leave today and bid us farewell before we took off.
We were on the road by 9am with Jan & I in the lead and Dick & Connie in the sweep position. We took the highway back to the turn-off to Bonelli Bay Road and turned right. We followed the dirt road almost to the end where we intersected with Cohenour Mine Loop road. Following this wonderful little trail in and out and along the wash was a treat in itself. After some distance we came to the first petroglyphs in Petroglyph Canyon. We stopped for a number of sites and enjoyed the art sites. Continuing up the canyon, we entered the road that would take us to the Pope Mine campground and overlook. Making our way up the wash and hill to the narrow saddle that is the Pope Mine location we parked our vehicles were space allowed.
We were treated to grand views over Lake Mead to the north. We could see the brown-clouded Las Vegas area, the solar panels of the solar energy farm along US95 southwest of Boulder City and numerous tourist helicopters as they buzzed our position. As it was windy and cool, we called it a good view and retreated down the hill and wash to find a place for lunch.
I picked a wide-spot in a narrow part of the canyon we were following and we circled the wagons for a lunch break.
After lunch we continued to the Gilbert Canyon Road and took it to the left to show the folks the fantastic rocky formations that make up this canyon. After a short time at the end of the canyon to allow folks to take it all in, we returned up the canyon rejoining the Cohenour Mine Road.
At the Cohenour Mine, we stopped to look over the small prospect holes and found some Copper Sulfate color in the rocks indicating this may have been a Copper mine prospect. Jan actually found a small dark blue stone that I believe was an Azurite gemstone.
Back on the trail we came out on the Bonelli Bay Road and headed for the restroom facilities in the parking area. There we bid farewell with those returning home from that point. Dick & Connie, Haul & Mary, Jim & Jeanne and Jan & I remained to see if we could find a way back via the now dry wash the runs into Bonelli Bay.
Our search turned up no connecting routes to the wash and in some places posted no vehicles signs. We then returned to our campsite with Haul & Mary bidding us farewell at the highway to return to Kingman.
At camp, we set up for a grilled Burger fest courtesy of Jim & Jeanne. Other items were brought out and a feast was held for one last night. The wind came up and with it and the chill in the air, no campfire was held and we retired to our respective campers by 8pm.
Monday, October 25
Today was just for packing up and going home. Jan & I were first to leave and the Jacobs and Taylors took off later. It had been a great little weekend excursion and we will follow it up with another one in November when we do the same type of camping at Burro Creek Campground along US93.