2001 Trip Report -Trout Creek
Betty Wallin’s Oft-postponed Trout Creek Trip
Reported by John Page
What a great trip! A fine group, perfect weather, a scenic 4wd route, and interesting people to meet and talk with. What more could one ask for?
Some of the “hardy’s” from the April trip: Homer Meek, Don Sweinhart, Tim and Alice Cannon, and John Page, along with first-timer Robert Floth and his passenger joined up with Betty Wallin in the outskirts of beautiful Yucca, Arizona early the morning of Saturday, June 9.
We were soon at the Antler Mine [home of the mineral "Antlerite"] which we took the time to explore and admire; the buildings were nicely built and the piles of core samples in deteriorating cardboard filing racks told of a professional, fairly modern mining operation. Betty had tried to get information about the mine on the internet before the trip, but was unsuccessful. Where is Dan Messersmith when you need him? Probably screwing around somewhere on the Arizona Strip.
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A little further up the canyon we found the much larger Boriana Mine which we also explored and discussed at much length. Betty had been equally unsuccessful in getting information on that operation. Where is Dan Messersmith when you need him?
From there the road got a little tougher and we climbed into, and traversed the Hualapai Mountains on a rough road (named the Ridge Route) with incredible views, culminating at an altitude of about 7200 feet, just below Hualapai Peak. We had lunch in a cool, shady grove near Cow Camp, then dropped out of the mountains, past the Democrat Mine on Antelope Wash, to the valley below, near the Laughlin Ranch. We stopped at the ranch, hoping to look in the windows, but Betty found a new, serious, gate in place, supporting rumors that the property was under new ownership. So we skipped the looky-loo into the Laughlin mansion.
We drove up Blake Road to the truck stop in I-40 where we topped off and grabbed some ice cream at the Baskin Robbins before we headed for Betty’s ranch; taking off of Highway 93 at Hackberry Road, which we followed into the Aquarius Mountains on Knight Creek road, and from there on a private road to Betty’s ranch on the side of Snow Mountain. We took turns climbing the short, rough road to the trailer and the small turnaround on her property before regrouping for the short drive to front yard of Max and Mary Brown, Betty’s friendly, hospitable neighbors, where we hunkered down for the night. There was plenty of room for everyone and it wasn’t long before John had some quesadillas to share while Betty unwrapped the tasty roast-and-veggies that she had been cooking in aluminum foil on her engine all day. Those foods and the other contributions of main dishes, salads, and desserts made for another memorable Desert Explorer Pot Luck Dinner.
We elected to forego a campfire and went to bed for a beautiful, quiet, cool night in the mountains of Arizona.
Next morning we were off before 8:00 am and visited a small spring before taking a rough road down the eastern side of Farrell Mountain, crossed over to the other side, and continued south to Trout Creek where we were happy to find Vern Parsons at home. Vern has property adjoining Trout Creek and his own airstrip. He is single, looks like a young Clint Eastwood, and is a very nice person. We had lunch in the shade of his front porch, while he told us a little about the area and showed us how he manages his water and power needs in the back country. Most interesting! He explained that there have never been any trout in Trout Creek, only some chub that look like trout. Some went wading in the cool creek water.
We came north by way of the western side of Farrell Mountain, back through the Brown’s and the private road to the county road and a turn which took us to I-40 alongside Big Sandy Wash, using the Silver Creek Road.
At I-40 we said our farewells and took our separate ways, some stopping for air and Arizona gasoline at the truck stop, others heading for Kingman and/or Laughlin.
It was a good, well-planned and well-executed trip. My compliments to our fearless leader, Betty; we were always entertained but never harried or hurried. Trips don’t get any better than this one.