Wednesday, March 8, 2017


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

My location:  Saddle Mountain BLM near Tonopah, Arizona

This morning, we woke up to partly cloudy skies and a promise of a very warm day.  Took my time going through the morning routines and as the morning grew warmer, I decided we would travel by Jeep in air conditioning, instead of hiking mountain canyons in the 80 plus degree heat.

The other day when we went to the Walmart store, I saw some abandoned houses along Salome Road South of Tonopah.  Today, we decided to investigate.

Pulled out onto Courthouse Road and looked to the West and I see nothing for miles.


We drove about five miles to the abandoned homes and I saw three of shrines along side the road.  They do this quite a bit here in the Southwest.  I’m sure there is a reason, but I don’t know why.  Do any of my readers know?


Soon reached the abandoned houses and buildings.  Parked near a water tower and silos.  On one side of the road, there were the silos, a water tower and a cattle containment area.





On the other side were what appeared to be homes and some work buildings.






Looking through the bay window sans glass at the silos and water tower across the road.


We had to run out of this house because the place was a beehive and the bees were attacking both Yuma and me.  Very aggressive!


As we were walking back across the road, these two German Shepherds went into one of the houses to cool off.  Yuma wanted to play, but I was very nervous.   They weren’t aggressive in any way.  They went from one house to the next looking through them.


I can only hope they are just wandering around a place familiar to them and not abandoned too.  No collars, but that means nothing out here in ranch country.  Last I saw of them, they were heading to the hills behind the buildings.

Pulled back out on Salome Road to head home and was attacked by the Hells Angels.  Not really.  Just a bunch of motorcyclist enjoying the day.


Don’t need to go to Tonopah today, so we kept going straight West towards Saddle Mountain and home.


This is what Saddle Mountain looks like coming in from the East.  That hump you see on the far right is what I see from camp at the far East end of the mountains.  Close to where I hiked yesterday.  This is a large mountainous area.


Of course, I see a dirt road heading toward the mountains and off we go.  Not far along the road, we run into an abandoned mine.  I heeded the sign and made no attempt at dropping down and taking a peek inside.


As we drove along the dirt road, I was hoping it would take us around the mountains and into the BLM land we are staying.


Unfortunately, the road ended at the base of this mountain.  I assume people hike to the top of it, but we won’t be doing that today.


Yesterday, Roland, the man that told me where the petroglyphs were, sent me an email.  In the email, he mentioned he used an app on his phone named Topo Maps. 

There is a free version out on the App Store.  I downloaded it and tried it today.  Not comfortable with it yet, but it uses GPS to track me.  It displays the topography of where I am, so I can see what the terrain looks like around me.  It keeps a trail of where I am going.    Also displays trails and roads.  Maybe I won;t get lost in the future if I remember to use it.  Thanks again, Roland.

Tonight is the first showing of Survivor, my very favorite TV series.  Dolly has been kind enough to allow me to switch local channels from Bloomington to Phoenix for the evening so I can watch it on CBS.

The sun glowing on our site as the Sun sets.



See you later.


  1. Was the abandon area you visited an old ranch? I'll bet those two doggies knew their way around. That was a beautiful area in the mountains. It looks almost like a spire. Terrific photo of your camp bathed in sunlight. Beautiful sunse! Enjoy Survivor! 😀

    1. Thanks Dolly. Not sure why those houses were there. Wasn't set up like a ranch. I sure hope the dogs are okay. Glad I had Yuma on a leash.

  2. The roadside shrines are usually put up where a death occurred in a highway accident. Usually there are flowers, candles, etc.

    Thanks for the blog and photos!

    1. That's what I thought too, but this is just a straight country road. Not much traffic. Hard to kill yourself on that road.

  3. Great pictures, as always, especially the last two.

  4. Those abandoned houses and silos are so sad. I love silos and think they are beautiful b/c they remind me of where i grew up. wish i could restore them out there where you are! Those 2 German Shepards were cute and I hope they found their way back home. What a pink glow at sunset!

    1. Makes me wonder how it was when people lived here. May have to take some water and go back and check on those dogs this morning.

  5. You are brave when it comes to exploring these abandoned buildings. I'm a little spooked by stuff like that although still curious. Thanks for doing it for me! I wondered if the markers were accidental markings too but with no road there, strange. Enjoyed the tour today, thank you!

    1. Thank you, Patsy. With the bees and then the dogs, it was a little harrowing for us too. Glad I had Yuma on a leash.

  6. Yes, the little shrines mark the spot where a loved one died. Road may not look dangerous on a sunny day - but in bad weather or at night or drunk driving ? Their families comeback and tend to the decorations sometimes bringing photos or little trinkets with special meaning. Those abandoned houses - especially with a bee's nest - would keep me out of there. I'm always worried you will stumble upon an illegal drug operation or something - be careful out there and listen to Yuma.

    1. Thanks Moonfly. I'm always vigilant and of course Yuma would alert me if there was anyone near by. I agree with you on the shrines. I see new additions added to the old trinkets at the shrines, so they are important to someone.

  7. We always find old buildings interesting as well and yes I would sooner be in a nice air conditioned vehicle as well as opposed to hiking around in hot desert weather. It's one of the reason Kelly and I like to get out early in the cooler morning air. Neither one of us are fond of hot temperatures anymore. Keep the photos coming Doug, looking good.

    1. Thanks Al. Yesterday was hot and I think that is why I wore down so easily. Supposed to get to 90 later this week, so it is going to be a hot week. Going to stick with the Jeep for during this hot spell.

  8. Topo Maps is a great app and worth the paid version so you can download the topos of the area before you enter a data poor zone. I also use a dedicated Garmin GPS because I've been on hikes in the past where the clouds rolled in and it was impossible to tell up from down.

    Great blog btw Doug. I'm saddened by so many RVers who, just because they stopped working, they stopped searching and, consequently, stopped growing. I'm inspired by your explorations and will continue to tune into your next adventures. Keep them coming and -- Keep it Lit!