2022 Trip Report - Goffs to Needles Rondy Inbound
Goffs to Needles Rondy Inbound
During World War II, Goffs hosted the 7th Infantry Division, the 58th Quartermaster Regiment and the 51st Evacuation Hospital for Patton’s desert training. They were at Goffs less than five years but they left distinct and poignant reminders of their presence. On a nearby railroad siding, tanks and supplies were offloaded. From old photos our group was able to determine the location of the associated service buildings, many of which had WWII inscriptions preserved in the concrete foundations. We also located two stars made with white rocks. Each star was approximately six feet in diameter. Less than a mile outside Goffs, along Old Route 66, we found a multitude of rock outlines left from the Evacuation Hospital located below Goffs Butte. Rebecca Friedman was able to determine exactly where old photos of the hospital were taken by aligning them with the mountains in the background.
Leaving the World War II artifacts, we followed an old two track into the north end of the Sacramento Mountains to see an even earlier reminder of the past. We were trying to intersect the old Klinefelter-Homer Road. This very early road was the only route shown on a 1913 auto map, so it predates both Old National Trails and Route 66. The road is still there and mostly undisturbed, though time has weathered it and water runoff from desert storms has created gullies that make it almost impassable. In the 1910 era of its use I have been told it was maintained by Seymour Alf, the Daggett blacksmith.
Close to our junction with the Klinefelter-Homer Road we found a faint two track that led us to the Minnie Gold Mine. In the concrete foundations there, Nelson found some initials and dates. The dates were all 1966 so the mine is evidently from that era. At the mine itself we found a deep open shaft and an old car laying on its side. With a little research we established that the car was a 1953 Nash Rambler. The interesting thing was that one of the Nash’s rear wheels had a huge mining rod driventhrough it to keep that wheel from spinning so that the other drive wheel could be used as a hoist motor. Interesting stuff.
We talked about continuing on to Camp Ibis but wisely opted to head to the Colorado River and start Happy Hour Early. Our group included Leonard and Rebecca Friedman, Jim Watson, Ingo and Mary Werk, Nelson Miller, Ron Lipari and Joeso. ~Joeso