Friday, March 10, 2017

Jeep around Saddle Mountain

Friday, March 10, 2017

My location:  Saddle Mountain BLM near Tonopah, Arizona

Another beautiful morning and promising to be a warm one.  High of 86 today.  When I took Yuma for a walk this morning, I looked to the West between the hills towards Harquahala Valley, and I saw what looked to be a red and white stripped tower just peeking over the hilltop.  Slowly it rose above the desert floor and I could tell it was a hot air balloon.   Made for a nice morning photo op.

After all my morning duties, Yuma and I decided to take a Jeep drive around Saddle Mountain.  I was curious what the area looked like, especially on the other side (South).  Looked it up on my Microsoft Streets and Trips map and it was doable.  Around 11 a.m. we headed out and went around the mountain range in a counter-clockwise direction.  So my first photos will be of the West side.

You can definitely tell why it is named Saddle Mountain from the West side.


I’m now driving South on Harquahala Valley Road and this is farm land.  As I go around the mountain range, I go further away from them.  No roads on the West or South sides that don’t dead-end into the mountains. 


Moving further South now.


Along the Harquahala Valley Road there was a nice horse ranch. 



The blacktop dead ends into a dirt road and I turned to the East.  Off in the distance, I could see a cluster of Palm Trees and as I approached, I could see a concrete foundation and an old pool.


Someone’s dream home died.


Looking from the South now.  The mountain does not look as pretty from this side.  I have left Harquahala Valley Road which was a blacktop and now I’m on a wide, dusty dirt road, but it is fairly smooth.


There is nothing on the South side of Saddle Mountain.  Just the Sonoran Desert and this dusty wide road going straight East.

As I was driving along, a large drainage ditch appeared on my right side.  And I could see a sea of solar panels on the other side.  Curious as to whether there was water in the ditch, I walked up and looked.


It was dry.  I guess it is there to protect the solar field in case of rain.  So I walked across and took photos of the solar panels.  There were thousands of them.


We are now on the Southeast side and can see the saddle again.  I’m now back on a blacktop.


Just down the road from the solar panes is the Star West Arlington Valley Power Plant.  Don’t know if the two are connected or not.


Then, I turned North and see another power plant.  This one is the Palo Verde Nuclear Generation Station.  I guess there is more than just desert on the South and East side of Saddle Mountain.


I was a little nervous stopping out front to take photos.  Was afraid they would think I was an international spy and come get me.  And I was packing.




The Palo Verde Hills block most of the view of Saddle Mountain from the East side.



Now I’m heading West on Salome Road towards camp.  Looks like a whole family got wiped out.


How would like to climb this driveway every day.


But what a wonderful view!  And such a beautiful home with lots of windows.


Not sure if these are mules, burros or donkeys.  I just know they are not horses.



Last photo of Saddle Mountain as I come around Courthouse Road on the Northeast side heading for home.  Not much walking today.  Just a fifty mile Jeep tour.  Thanks for coming along.


I think I like the view from the North side of Saddle Mountain I’m living on the best.


Got to get ready for the last episode of Gold Rush for this season tonight.  Looks like a golden sunset tonight to get me ready.


See you later.


  1. The there side of the mountain was interesting, too. Wonder what happened to the house that should have been with the pool? Loved those sweet lie burros! Bring a couple home! 😎 The balloon was awesome!

  2. Thanks Dolly. Not bringing any burros home. Lots of lost dreams in the Southwest.

  3. That photo of the hot air balloon belongs on a calendar ! You saw so many different things today - from horses and donkeys to a nuclear power plant - and Oh, how I love that beautiful home up on the mountain side.

    1. Thanks, Moonfly. Good thing it doesn't snow here. They wouldn't be able to get home. Surprised how much I saw just going around the mountains. Fun to be able to share what I do and see.

  4. When Tom and I saw that house, up the hill last year, we not only wondered about the drive but how they got water up there. Great picture of the Golden Sunset.

    1. Thanks Deb. That is a climb. Need a four-wheel drive just to get in the garage.

  5. Outstanding first photo with the balloon!

  6. Nice to explore a bit more seeing lots and walking a bit less is easier on your feet.

    1. You're right George. I'm still limping a little. Must have pulled a muscle the other day.

  7. Pretty scenery and interesting old deserted homestead. I wonder what stories it could tell...

    1. You're right, Cheryl Ann. Lots of stories out here.

  8. Looks like a great day! Our wifi is very slow so your pictures take a long time to come in. I'll have to come back and look at them when it is not so busy.