Living for the weekend is the mantra of the American worker, at least those fortunate enough to have a job in the Great Depression part two. I am no exception and all week have been dreaming of more exploration along the mystery road near Goldroad.
Then a few days ago I learned a number of motorcycle groups were planning on converging on Kingman. As Oatman and Route 66 through the Black Mountains is almost a Mecca for motorcyclists the vision of a quiet hike in the Black Mountains near Goldroad melted like ice cream on a sidewalk in Yuma on the 4Th of July when I heard the news.So, I closed up shop today at noon with no plan at all, just thoughts of the many projects that required my attention and an incredible urge to savor the delightful afternoon under desert skies. Again, my dearest friend saved the day by having lunch ready when I got home and a suggestion for an adventure in the Cerbat Mountains .
We hadn’t pulled from the driveway when our simple “walk about” had morphed into an afternoon adventure seeking another lost highway, the Hardyville toll road that linked the river port of Hardyville on the Colorado River with the territorial capital of Prescott during the 1860s. As added incentive we decided to also seek a CCC camp in the same area near the summit of Union Pass.

We rolled out of Kingman over Coyote Pass and into Golden Valley. When I first moved into this valley in the 1960s you could count the lights at night on one hand. Now, sprawl, like a tide of suburbia is sweeping from the flanks of the Cerbat Mountains, across the Sacramento Valley, towards the Black Mountains on the western horizon erasing all vestiges of the areas historic heritage.
Highway 68 through Golden Valley, the community, and across the Sacramento Valley has morphed into a four lane super slab in recent years but in the foothills of the Black Mountains, if you know where to look, you can still find vestiges of the earlier highway. This old highway seems as a buffer separating the world of the modern era and all that entails from the desert wilderness that is unchanged since the expedition of Farther Garces through these mountains in 1776.

It would have been nice to find the Hardy road, or the CCC camp, but the primary goal was to unwind among some of God’s finest handiwork. With the stunning desert landscapes that make my back yard such a wonderful place, near perfect temperatures, breathtakingly blue skies, and the company of my dearest friend it was an unequivocal success.
We started our back country adventure on the broken pavement of the old highway. Then we headed deeper into the mountains on an old rocky trace that wound through the foothills, around the boulders, across dry arroyos, and over brush choked ridges that offered awe inspiring views of quintessential western landscapes.
After an hour or so of trailing a dusty wake behind the Jeep we pulled into a clearing and savored the desert silence that refreshes like a cool shower after a long day of setting fence posts on a hot summer day. Then we began our “walkabout”.
I want to experience Alaska and on occasion we give serious thought to trying Juneau for a year or two. To be honest I don’t really know if that would be possible as the desert and the stunning landscapes of the southwest has a grip on our hearts.
Only the generic sprawl of suburbia and the death of the western spirit leads us, from frustration and despair, to lament and give free reign to thoughts of leaving our first love.

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