When my wife suggested a drive to some of our old stomping grounds to kick off the New Year it seemed a perfect idea. The original game plan was to spend New Years Day taking care of loose ends such as repairing a shelf at my mothers house and then set aside Sunday afternoon for the adventure.
I was really glad to discover a storm was scheduled to move in to the area over the weekend. That meant I would not have to wait for the weekend to enjoy three of my favorite things; the stunning solitude of the desert and a pleasant drive through some of the most beautiful country on earth with my dearest friend.
So, I spent the morning repairing a shelf, stocking up moms kitchen for the week, and topping of the fluids, including the gas tank, in old Barney. This left the gorgeous sunny afternoon for us.
I have always enjoyed the drive north from Kingman along old Stockton Hill Road. The landscapes are quintessentially western – sweeping desert plains studded with dark stone outcroppings bordered by towering snow covered peaks, colorful rock bluffs, and a dry lake bed on the far horizon.
The name sake for the road was the mining town of Stockton Hill, now long vanished, that nestled on the steep flank of the Cerbat Mountains. This is not the only historic gem hidden among these rocky hills and there is even an authenticated story of a stage hold up at the station near the C.O.D. mine and missing loot. http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/az/stockton.html
When my wife and I were dating some 27 years ago Stockton Hill Road from a point just north of Northern Avenue to the Dolan Springs/Meadview road was a graded gravel track that turned to pudding when it rained. With Kingman spreading across the wide Hualapai Valley and up the lower slopes of the Cerbat and Hualapai Mountains the county recently paved the road in its entirety.