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Dripping Springs Road Weekend, AZ
mini location map2012-09-02
7 by photographer avatarchulavista
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Dripping Springs Road Weekend, AZ 
Dripping Springs Road Weekend, AZ
4x4 Trip avatar Sep 02 2012
4x4 Trip
4x4 Trip
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Well, they say the best laid plans do not always come to fruition. This turned out to be very true for our weekend. The original plan was to go out early Saturday morning to Dripping Springs, camp along the dry wash then use the buggy to do some exploring. We would climb the south side of the Pinal Mountains up to the top and hang out in the pine trees where it was cooler during the day. We also planned to hike at least one of the trails that head from Pioneer Pass campground, do some more buggy exploring and then go home on Monday around mid-day. Yeah, right.

We left the house around 6 a.m. on Saturday morning in the motor home, with the buggy on the trailer. Yeah, you read right - a motor home. The motor home belongs to my husband's parents. He does all the maintenance work on it, and we store it at our house since they live in Kearny. There's no place to park it but on the street, and city management frowns on that. We figured since we do all the work on it as well as store it, we might just as well get to use it once in a while.

The road we were headed for is Dripping Springs Road, about 11 miles or so north of Winkelman on highway 77, just before you start the climb to El Capitan pass. Dripping Springs Road is a well maintained dirt road, and we went in probably another 11 or 12 miles or so (not sure how far). We set up camp just off the road about 1/2 mile from the Slash S ranch. From here, many roads will take you up the south facing side of the Pinal Mountains. This also puts us on the north side of the Dripping Springs mountain range.

After we set up camp, we waited for the rest of the gang that went with us to show up. They had all decided 6 a.m. was too danged early for them to leave, so they would all come later. We didn't see it as a problem, because we still needed to set up camp anyway.

After the rest of our party got there, we headed out. We continued farther down the road, past the Slash S and on to Government Springs ranch. Here we headed up the south side of the Pinals, headed to the top. Everyone wanted to go faster than normal because by then it had gotten pretty hot (no pics). Our plan for the first trip of the day was to go all the way up near the top, find the old road that would take us to the old ghost town of Doak, continue to the Pioneer Pass road, then take that road back down to Dripping Springs road, and ultimately back to camp. It is a pretty nice loop, which would keep us up near the top in the heat of the day.

Well, we never found the old road to Doak. :? We kept running up and down the many ridges that have roads on them, and couldn't find the road we were looking for. After one of the trips down, we all decided to head back up again. Hubby and I were in the lead, up until this last time. Everyone else took off, we were taking up the rear, and we heard a loud *BANG!* come from the rear end of the buggy. Oh great!! Long story short, we ended up crippling the buggy back to camp, our friends finally came back to find out what had happened, and that was pretty well the end of our buggy riding for the weekend. We got the buggy back to camp, loaded it onto the trailer, and decided - what the heck, we are here, we are going to at least stay the night. The rest of the gang went home, and hubby and I enjoyed a nice evening looking at the moon, took a camp shower, and turned in. It was pretty hot though, we didn't sleep well. :sweat:

The next morning, it had finally cooled off some, so we decided before we went home to take a short hike from camp. We headed toward the Dripping Springs range side, made a nice loop and found a huge Indian ruin. It had been excavated many years before, but you could still see remains of rock walls and lots of pottery shards.(I just discovered I didn't get any pics of that ruin!) We found a potential future campsite, and a rattlesnake that was in hunting mode. The snake never really acknowledged us at all, other than just a brief look. We didn't bother him other than to follow him and take a couple of pics. Then we went back to camp, packed up and went home. It was so blasted hot by the time we got home, we unloaded just the cold stuff - food, ice, etc then got in the pool!

Buggy diagnosis - messed up although thankfully not totally trashed rear end. :( It's all good though - we have an extra, so it will probably only be down a week a week or so.

I didn't get the pics I wanted to, mainly because no one wanted to stop much to humor me (or more accurately, I didn't ask because it was hot and I knew they wouldn't want to stop.) We did stop at the top at one point, and jumped a white tailed doe from her bed. I got a pic of her. The rest of the pics are from our hike on Sunday morning.
Named place
Named place
Slash S Ranch
You will never succeed if you don't try.

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