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Oatman Massacre / Fourr Cemetery
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mini location map2015-02-24
28 by photographer avatarkingsnake
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Gila River Valley Meander, AZ 
Gila River Valley Meander, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 24 2015
kingsnake
Hiking4.70 Miles 350 AEG
Hiking4.70 Miles
350 ft AEG
 
1st trip
I've been planning this trip for about two years. The basic plan was to: 1) Drive Painted Rock Rd. to the petroglyph site. 2) Drive Rocky Point Rd. / Oatman Rd. to the Fourr Cemetery and Oatman Massacre sites. 3) Back up Oatman Rd., when continue northwest on Rocky Point Rd., then southwest on Hyder Rd. 4) Head south on Ave. 76E / Old Agua Caliente Rd. to the ghost town / pioneer cemetery. 5) Return up Ave. 76E, then continue west on Hyder Rd. checking out the ghost towns of Hyder and Horn. 6) Head south on Ave. 64E to Dateland Army Airfield. 7) Finish the day with a date shake, before heading back to Phoenix at a rush hour avoiding time. :scared:

Painted Rock Petroglyphs: There are two small hills. The western, larger, hill has very few samples. The eastern, smaller, hill has tons of glyphs. Some so dense you cannot distinguish the symbols. Some more modern, ranging in my view from 1879 to 1954. The indian petroglyphs were mostly on the south side; I wonder if there is some social significance to that, similar to the Navajo having their hogan doors facing east? :-k But you can see pretty much everything there is to see in 30 minutes, an hour at most if you read the entirety of the many info signs. Video: youtu.be/ozE_w8PXhx4 .

West of Painted Rock, the road becomes gravel, but is a decent, car-drivable, surface. After crossing the bone dry Gila River, where the road Ts, we turned left on Oatman Rd.

Fourr Cemetery: The Fourr family were pioneers who settled on Oatman Flat in the 1870s, where the father was a rancher and Butterfield Stage agent. Four of their six children born on Oatman Flat are buried in the cemetery. It's very tiny, but well maintained and quite peaceful. Amazingly, there is 4-bar Verizon reception here, perhaps due to the antenna farm on Oatman Mountain. This is as far as you should go without at least AWD. :stop:

Oatman Memorial: We followed a farm road that had very deep, very fine, dusty surface. I had fun trying to keep my SUV pointing straight ahead as the rear waved back-and-forth. :D After a mile, we got out and walked the rest of the way to what I thought was the massacre site, but which turned out to be the memorial. I hate leaving things incomplete, so I will be back to visit the massacre site, which is on the south bluff of the Gila River, about a quarter mile from the memorial.

... Fourr / Oatman Video: youtu.be/gEImSFTLfCo

We returned up the dusty farm road, and Oatman Rd., then I looked for a short cut to Rocky Point Rd. to avoid driving back around the farm. There is no short cut, but I did find a "car farm", with at least four vehicles from the 1930s. Rocky Point Rd., from the farm up to the pass, has a fair amount of gravel, some of it larger, but should still be car drivable: Just go slow to avoid kicking anything up into your oil pan. (Help is a long way away.) From the top of the pass down to Hyder Rd. is smooth sailing, as is the first several miles west on Hyder Rd., which is also dirt.

Agua Caliente: The Pioneer Cemetery ( youtu.be/AuX-rY1eM4E ) is still being occasionally used. The most recent burial I saw was 2012, oldest birth of a resident was a husband (b. 1835) and wife (b. 1836). Lots of Conde, Perez and Amabisca family members there. Most of the older graves are unmarked. One was obviously empty! :o After lunch and a quick Nooner -- get your filthy mind out of the gutter, it's a beer! :D -- I checked out the remains of Agua Caliente ( youtu.be/lVBayp8Xh1g ). There are several intact walls, and many very decayed. I wanted to scope out the spa, but it was plastered with "No Tresspassing" signs, and had a huge satellite dish, so someone was keeping an eye on it. Onward!

We returned to Hyder Rd. I wanted to stop at what looked like an old motel on Ave. 76E, and also check out the many abandoned buildings in Hyder, but they all had "No Trespassing" signs, and the old motel looked like someone lived on the ground in trailer. :gun: I've no need for bullet holes, so skipped them. I found two abandoned sites just west of Hyder. The first looked like an old motor court, complete with an obvious pool for weary travellers. The second, included a one-pump gas station, and several other foundations. No memorials on Hyder Rd., as there is so little traffic you will probably not see another moving vehicle unless you stop to do some exploring.

Horn: Quite a few foundations in Horn, and an incredible amount of old bottles, especially green. Many of the bottles were intact, so a I snagged a few. There were also several of what looked like covered mine shafts. There's no mine shafts on the topo, so maybe they were wells, or something else? :-k

Dateland Army Airfield: I did not realize Camp Horn was so close, or we would have stopped there as well. (Future trip ...) Instead, we turned south for Dateland Army Airfield. It's much larger than I an anticipated, and I had no idea where any remaining buildings would be, so we pretty much walked out to the end of Runway 1/19 (the longest) took a quick look, then headed back to the SUV. A local had seen us, and stopped to chat. He clued us in to one building, which is where they zeroed machineguns. It look like a back stop: Open on one side, with a mound of sand against the opposite wall. Lots of graffiti inside.

Our tour complete, it was time for date shakes. :y:
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