the wandering chick
...The Bradshaw Mountains
a day of off-roading
Once called the Silver Mountain Range, this vast area is located south of Prescott and northeast of Wickenburg. It's roughly 40 miles long (north to south) and close to 25 miles wide. More than 40 ghost towns dot the mountains, including Crown King and Bumble Bee, where gold, copper and silver were once mined.
The mountain range has since been named after brothers Isaac and William Bradshaw. Isaac's grave can be found, according to online resources, at a spot called Bradshaw Springs. Signage at his tomb reveals the dates 1819 to 1885.
Today, numerous high-clearance vehicle trails meander through the range which provides a popular destination for off-road adventurers.
Another interesting feature in the Bradshaws is the China Dam, built around 1890 to aid in mining operations, storing water from Humbug Creek.
There is a surprising number of homesteads in the Bradshaws. I was fortunate enough to be invited to a particularly outstanding home. I spent a lot of time outside walking their grounds taking in their endless supply of farming tools and equipment and the gorgeous sweeping views of the surrounding mountains.
A view of the Bradshaws from their home
Not being an experienced off-roader, I can't be certain, but I suspect that when all is said and done, and all are tired and covered in dirt, this is how the day ends for off-roading groups. The women stand separately discussing the beauty of the day, waiting patiently for the men who are talking of their driving accomplishments and how well their vehicles did. A sincere thank you to my friends who included me on this beautiful and fun-filled adventure.
Who would think we might find Charlie Brown and Snoopy in the Bradshaw Mounains?!
An especially scenic spot along the route is Buckhorn Creek seen here and in the next couple of photos.
Between the bounces inside a covered jeep, I managed to get a few shots of our convoy of off-road vehicles ahead.
The grave of Isaac Bradshaw sits encased in a white picket fence deep in the Bradshaw Mountains in an area called Bradshaw Springs. He died in 1885 at the age of 66.
...and others know how to wear really cool gloves!
Some serious off-roaders know how to protect themselves from dirt and other such elements. ..
China Dam, on Humbug Creek, is located only a couple miles north of Lake Pleasant. It was used to store water for mining operations.
A Cristate, or crested Saguaro. It's not been scientifically decided what causes the mutation of such saguaros, but frost damage has been suggested. This one was seen just off the road near the China Dam.
The opening was created in the dam to prevent silt buildup.
My little saguaro friend!
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What an added treat to see our favorite four-legged friends at the end of our trek.