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Bradshaw Mountains Apple Run, AZ
mini location map2015-11-02
38 by photographer avatarAZWanderingBear
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Bradshaw Mountains Apple Run, AZ 
Bradshaw Mountains Apple Run, AZ
4x4 Trip avatar Nov 02 2015
4x4 Trip49.00 Miles
4x4 Trip49.00 Miles
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1st trip
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On a previous 4x4 trip with Stoic ([ photoset ]) we found an apple tree at what was once a small settlement in the southern Bradshaw Mountains. Since there are no apples at Reavis Ranch this year, a run back to the apple trees seemed in order.

MJ and I met Stoic in Crown King. Stoic's a bit more dedicated than we are. He had been there since sunrise getting in a short hike and enjoying a morning on the mountain. Last time I'd brought my Jeep, but I figured the roads today were in pretty decent shape, so the winch on the Jeep would likely be unnecessary. MJ's XTerra Offroad model would match up nicely with Stoic's Pro4 model X. We aired down in the way up to CK, so the ride was quite nice all day.

Stoic had done some serious planning for some interesting stops along the way. He led out down Senator Highway. We drove straight through to the apple trees. Lots of apples hung from the first tree we found. They were about halfway between golf ball and baseball sized. Unfortunately they were a little past prime and sort of dry. The flavor was close to a Granny Smith though. But a nearby tree had some really juicy ones with a nicely tart flavor. We munched a few and took a bunch with us for later. Success! Hiking back to the trucks, I noticed something shiny in a clump of trash in the mud of a wash. Wound up pulling out the wringer portion of an antique Montgomery Ward washing machine.

Stoic led us farther southwest with stops at old structures, corrals, windmills, cemeteries, lakes, and ancient ruins. We hit a seldom seen portion of the Hassayampa River near an unused line shack for one of the many ranches in the area. Beautiful place.

A map hint on some graves led us to two well marked graves and likely another that was just outlined by rocks. Some research back at home reveals this is all that is left of the Wagoner Cemetery. There are many unmarked and lost graves on this bluff. The view from the burial sites is impressive. The flat area southwest was once the bottom of the reservoir behind the Walnut Grove Dam, which burst in 1890 claiming nearly 100 lives along the Hassayampa as far away as Wickenburg.

Stoic had made contact with the owner of the Gold Bar Ranch Bed and Breakfast located along Wagoner Road. He agreed to let us visit the lake on his property which is used as a camp. The old Walnut Grove Cemetery is also on his property. He also gave us a map to a little visited Hohokam ruin in the area. Stoic handled all the negotiations when we visited the property. I admired the collection of ranch related hardware and equipment on display around the place. He also had a nice collection of chickens and a very tidy garden. Nice guy and a nice place.

The lake was a true oasis with huge cottonwoods, cattails, some small row boats and even a rope swing in case you want to take dip. The cemetery had graves well over a hundred years old and some very recent ones as well. One of the Granite Mountain Hot Shots killed in the Yarnell Fire is interred here. The map to the ruins was accurate enough to remind me that I'd visited the site several many years ago. Stoic and MJ enjoyed the views as well as the ruins.

After checking out the Walnut Grove one-room school house and the chapel nearby, we stopped to check out the historic bridge over the Hassayampa since this was Stoic's first trip this far west on Wagoner Road.

49 miles after departing Crown King we emerged onto Highway 89. Was getting late and the day had been long, so we headed into Congress for dinner. Nichols West is a improbable little gem of a restaurant tucked away in the dusty hamlet of Congress. Even more improbable is that the seafood here is as good as you will find anywhere in AZ. They have it brought in fresh twice a week. I'd been craving their fried oysters all day -- just enough breading to provide a little crunch and huge plump juicy oysters. Ate them so fast that I forgot to take the obligatory food **** photo for posting. My lobster and shrimp pasta dish was first rate. MJ had a great chicken dish while Stoic enjoyed his salmon quesadilla after some initial misgivings about that particular combo.

After 180 miles and nearly 12 hours, we pulled back into our garage. Was a great day trip and we really appreciate all the effort Stoic put into this successful outing.
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