Monday, January 8, 2018

Cemeteries and Mines

Monday, January 8, 2018 – Location:  Ajo, Arizona

It’s going to be an overcast day, but what a sunrise that creates!


Got breakfast out of the way and by the time all my chores were done, it was 11 A.M. and time for Yuma and I to take a nice easy Jeep ride around the area.  As I sit here, I can hear military jets flying by.  Probably, a little training around the area.

Here are some photos of yesterday afternoon’s walk.  Always Black Mountain close by.




We jumped in the Jeep and headed west on an old dirt road off of Scenic Drive.  First place we ran into was the old Darby Well Cemetery.  Very secluded with beautiful scenery.  Nice place to rest for all eternity.  I was impressed at how well it has been manicured since last year.  Looked very clean and spruced up.



Yuma is always waiting on his Dad.



See the whitish color on the mountain off to the right of center?  That’s where this road leads us almost.  Those are the Growler Mountains.


IMG_7837-001About two miles from the old mine, we were stopped again by a gate saying only official vehicles beyond this point, so we had to hoof it from here.

This is the first time I have hiked four miles since being on my southwestern trip last year, so needless to say I felt it.

That white spot is where we’re walking to.


IMG_7840-001When we see the San Antonio Mine sign we’re almost there.  Only half mile to go, I think.

The first thing we see as we walk up the last hill and turn the corner is an old dilapidated house.  Can’t believe someone lived way out here in the middle of nowhere.


I’ll just walk around for a short bit and look at stuff – old stuff.

IMG_7842  IMG_7845-001

There’s the old mine just hundreds of feet west of the house.


IMG_7848-001There is the entrance to the old Mica mine. I can see glittering white rock everywhere.  There is nothing in there.  The entrance has been concreted over, plus it looks too dangerous just to walk under those old timbers.  Even Yuma wouldn’t walk in there.

Looking back east toward Ajo Peak.


Looks like this old bull dozer has seen it’s day.  I bet it could tell a few stories.


Just a quick peek inside the old house.


IMG_7856-001The long two mile walk back.  Didn’t bring any water with me, so both of us were glad to get to the water and cool air conditioning of the Jeep.

Heading east back to the familiar Ajo Mountains and out of the Growler Mountains.  Sometimes I think, what would happen if the Jeep just quit running.  What a long walk we would have.


My feet hurt and we’re both hungry by the time we reach camp.  Time for lunch and a well deserved rest. 

Artist alley:


This mural is being created.  See the etchings on the left in the white column and the chair and bucket waiting for him to come back.  Even mural painters take Sunday off.


See you later.


  1. Amazing to see all the odds and ends around that old house and mine. Really interesting. What a beautiful sunrise! Love the murals i didnt realize it was ongoing. It's a good thing you have Yuma to keep you safe! Night!❤

    1. Thanks, Dolly. There was a bunch of junk around the area and in the house. Been there a long time. Glad you liked the sunshine. It was as red as I have ever seen it.

  2. Doesn't look like that Mica Mine property has changed one little bit since we were there a few years ago. Interior of the house looks exactly as I remember it and yes it sure did feel like a long walk into and out of that place from the gate. I too thought that old cemetery was well maintained.

    1. You're right Al. As I was walking, I was thinking to myself, why not just go back and put last year's photos up and just say I went. Just couldn't do it.
      That cemetery does look especially nice this year. They painted everything and cleaned up along the ravine on the south side.

  3. Awesome pictures of the sunrise! Looks like you and Yuma are keeping busy adventuring. The murals are very cool! Take care Dad.Enjoy the warmth. How long are you planning on staying in Ajo? Love you.

    1. Thanks Steve. We're keeping busy with something new each day. Probably leave here this weekend. Love you.

  4. Thanks for the tour Doug, we hope to see it for ourselves soon.

    1. Thanks Gord. Been watching your blog waiting for the first entry. I'll be following you two. Got to be cold enough to make you want to go south.

  5. Beautiful sunrise! Thanks for the tour, perhaps next time we'll take a walk there to check things out. Looks like Yuma was having a great time. I've learned to carry a small pack that crosses one shoulder, and to toss a couple of bottles of water in there, just in case. It's not heavy and it gets lighter as you drink the water. I even toss in a couple of granola bars, just in case.

    Love the murals, to have such vision and talent must be wonderful. I'm happy if I can colour inside the lines.

    1. Thank you, Deb. I have a belt with two water bottles attached, but I'm always forgetting to bring it. I have a gallon in the Jeep just in case of a breakdown.

      The drive thru the valley between the Ajo and Growler Mountains is pretty with the thousands of Saguaros.

      A native in town told me that artists from all over come here to paint.

  6. What an incredible sunrise! Your pictures are gorgeous once again! That was quite a walk you and Yuma took today. The cemetery sure looks well taken care of, much better than some in big cities! Obviously people care in that area.

    1. Thank you. I had forgotten how far that walk was from last year. It is about as much as I can handle this early in the season. Yuma really enjoys them though.

  7. Living in Death Valley - I learned you never walk/hike without water. Carry a canteen, water bottle in a mesh shoulder strap, or longer hikes wear a Camelback water bladder on your back. Carry a collapsible water dish for Yuma. The low humidity and often times wind are dehydrating you even when not walking. In the desert you must be prepared for anything ! Even in all her beauty she can be unforgiving - carry water, Doug - same as you carry a camera. πŸŒ΅πŸ•πŸŒž

    1. You are absolutely right, Moonfly. I seem to have to learn that again each year. One turned ankle and two miles turns into twenty. I've learned my lesson.

    2. PS - once again you are really getting beautiful photos and nice to see Yuma sprinkled around in some of them too. Your winter adventures are only just beginning. Yea !

  8. Thanks Moonfly. Trying to remember my guard dog and friend in my pictures.

    I'm slowly starting to relax and enjoy what is around me.