2012 Trip Report - DE Rendezvous - Lost Arch Inn
Lost Arch Inn and Petroglyphs
Saturday, April 14
Leaders: Dave Given & Bob Rodemeyer
We formed up on the road (old Route 66) outside the Desert View RV Resort and headed out of Needles going south on old Highway 95 under a very over-cast, cold, and wet sky. We were shadowed by the Turtle Mountains group lead by Steve (Quiet Man) and Debbie (Roadrunner) Marschke which made for quite a parade through Needles and out of town (several people waved at us, probably the most excitement Needles has seen in quite some time). As we traveled south past the not famous Needles "International and Puddle Jumper" Airport, through Lubeck pass and past Snaggletooth Summit, on the north end of the Sawtooth Range, we were treated to a wonderful view of the Chemeheuvi Mountains to our right and the Turtle Mountains off in the distance. The Lubeck pass in the Chemehuevi Mountains is named for Bill Lubeck who settled on the Colorado River before the railroads came and was an adopted member, by marriage, of the Chemehuevi Indians.
As we approached the Lake Havasu Landing turn off the two groups parted ways and we proceeded to West's Well and the petroglyph site located nearby on the Chemeheuvi Indian Reservation. The 28,233 acre reservation that was established in 1865 is located on the west side of the Colorado River at Lake Havasu. Unfortunately we learned that not all petroglyphs like wet weather, and this became apparent when we noted that only the rock art on dry sections of the rock were visible. After leaving West's Well we were treated to a special photo opportunity when patches of Ocotillo shrub were sighted in bloom. The flowers only bloom when it rains and are a bright red in color, what a beautiful sight they were to see. The Native Americans ate both the flowers and the small seedpods and made a sweet drink by soaking the flowers in water (no one was willing to try a snack). Several other wild flowers and bushes were in bloom and enjoying the wet weather which allowed for several more photo opportunities along the way, we had lots of color along the trail.
After departing West's Well we traveled on to the famous "Lost Arch Inn" which was two miner's cabins in Turtle Basin. One was for Charley Brown and the other for his partner Jesse Craik. They lived here from 1922 until 1948 and spent their time looking for the Lost Arch Mine. As we arrived at the Inn, we met the Turtle Mountain group just leaving the Inn, loaded down with gem stones from their rock hound hike. The rain let up long enough for us to have a lunch break, do some exploring around the Inn, and to take turns looking through binoculars at the famous "Lost Arch" rock formation on the nearby ridge. The clouds lifted enough for some spectacular up close views of the Turtle Mountain range, the basin, and the nearby Old Woman Mountains in the distance.
From the Lost Arch Inn we returned to Highway 95 and after a very short distance on pavement, turned off onto the Parker Dam power line road for a work around route at the Step Ladder Wilderness area that has closed the Homer Wash to vehicle travel. The power line, we followed, was installed between 1934 and 1938 to support the dam construction and later to carry the electrical current generated by the dam to an electrical sub-station located in Ward Valley and into the Southern California electrical grid. The adjacent wilderness area was named for the nearby Stepladder Mountain range so named because the shape of the tops of the mountains resemble the steps on a ladder.
After following the Parker Dam power line road into Ward Valley we entered the Sacramento Mountains on the 4th segment of the Heritage Trail.
The Sacramento Mountains were named by miner's from the Sacramento River area who came to mine the area in 1863. More photo opportunities were found when several types of cactus observed in bloom, especially the Teddy Bear Cactus which had a very bright yellow bloom, and the prickly pear cactus with its pink flowers. As we entered the range Dave (Big Bird) Given offered an unplanned but excellent training class on how to change a tire on the trail after he slashed a side wall. Fortunately Big Bird brought along his pit crew which had his Jeep back in operation in less than 15 minutes, and he stated he knows a guy in Riverside that can get him a good deal on a new spare tire.
The drive through "Eagle Pass" proceeded with greatly improved weather which gave us a wonderful up close view of Eagle Mountain peak. The smoke trees along the route, which have been showing signs of stress from the drought, were starting to show their beautiful gray-green color as they soaked up the rain water. The rain helped to bring out the various fault layering on the ancient flash flood mud flows on both sides of the route and once again provided excellent photo opportunities for all present.
We started the trip with 12 vehicles as we left the Desert View RV Resort, but only returned with 4 as most of the group quickly departed upon arrival back in Needles and went over the river to Arizona for "cheap" gasoline. I don't know if a loss ratio of two thirds is very good, but we did bring back at least one third safely to the resort. Participants on this wet but fun adventure included: Bob (Sir Bob) Rodemeyer, Leader; Dave (Big Bird) & Debbie Given, Sweep; Terry & Eileen Ogden; Allan (Chairperson Emeritus) & Ding Wicker; Bob & Shirley (Distributors Emeritus) Bolin; Alan & Claudia Heller; Dana (Dave's Pit Crew) Manjarrez; Nelson & Ellen Miller; Homer Meek; Mal (Trip Coordinator) Roode; Ron & Jeff Lipari, Mike Vollmert, and Bob (Lost Again) Peltzman.
Check out the photos that were contributed by Allan Wicker, Alan Heller, and Homer Meek