Back on the Trails

Cave CreekAl and I are finally feeling like ourselves again.  That nasty crud that went around seemed to linger with a cough and lack of energy.  That being said, it felt wonderful to get back out on the trails…..hike more than thirty minutes that is. 

Cave Creek Regional Park has some great trails assessable from the campground or picnic area.  It’s Saturday morning and Al and I head out on the Clay Mine Trail.  We walk past the fenced off abandoned mine and continue up the steady incline toward the Overton Trail.  It’s a gorgeous, sunny Arizona morning.  Last night’s extreme winds have moved on leaving behind a light breeze………a very welcome breeze. Cave Creek

Shortly after passing the Clay Mine we pass a Park Ranger walking in the opposite direction.  I comment, “Beautiful morning”.  He responds with arms spread upward, “You like my office?  Sometimes I can’t believe I get paid to do this”.  Sounds like the dude really likes his job!   He continues, “Hey, I’ll be opening the mine and giving tours, if you’re interested”.  “Most definitely.  We’ll catch you on our return”, I respond. 

Al and I continue on our journey taking in the desert beauty.  Each Saguaro Cactus is original and unique.  Some of the Barrel Cactus sport the most amazing red thorns.  Hmmm….perhaps a separate post on cacti is in order 😉   As I continue to click away, hubby chuckles and says, “Are you sure you have enough photos of cactus?  You might want to take a few more”.  Yes, I detect his sarcasm, but each Saguaro Cactus seems to have its own personality. 

We complete the Overton Trail and pick up the Clay Mine Trail which will return us to the campground.  The fenced entranced to the mine is open.  A large storage container sits at the entrance.  Al and I reach inside and grab a hard hat before proceeding into the mine.  With hard hats on, we bend over walking through a narrow tunnel.  It isn’t long before we’re able to stand up in a carved out room and greeted by the Park Ranger. Cave Creek

The Ranger reiterates the story posted on a sign at the entrance of the mine.  He has a binder filled with copies of newspaper ads from the 1800’s.  Various elixirs and ointments were made from the chalky like substance extracted from the mine.  Most products were a mere “snake oil”.  However, one product was marketed primarily as a medicine to help with dysentery, similar to today’s Kaopectate.


Although this mine was closed many years ago, the mineral Kaolinite is still mined and used in many products currently available on the market such as soaps and cosmetic products.Kaolinite Mine

This was a fun little tidbit to end the mornings hike.  It’s back to camp for lunch and a shower.Cave Creek


28 thoughts on “Back on the Trails

  1. Pingback: Packrat | Live Laugh RV

    • It took all of 5 minutes but was rather interesting. I’m always intriqued with businesses of any kind. Hope you’re enjoying Usery. I agree, the Apache Trail is fun… the right kind of vehicle!!!

    • You won’t be at a loss for places to explore and things to see. I didn’t do half the things I wanted. Oh well, that’ll give me reason to return next winter 😉

  2. Seems I got hit with that same crud. It didn’t turn out too bad except for the lack of energy. I pretty much slept away several days… missing some killer sunsets by the looks of it here at home. We had a plan to spend our winters in Overton for awhile, but I didn’t get to explore much of the Valley of Fire due to hubby’s deteriorating health at that time. I really should go back, it’s such an intriguing place.

    • It’s been years since I’ve been back to the Vegas area myself. We drove through rather quickly last year….traffic was horrid. I enjoyed taking the kids to Valley of Fire when they were young. Always a fun time. Hope you’re feeling better and regaining energy…that was the worst for us 🙂

  3. What a fun hike! I love impromptu programs like your mine tour.

    I had to read your comment out loud to my husband and daughter (who is visiting) about the cactus pictures. I get the same comment in that SAME voice. I also have thing about rocks. Since we have left AZ, I am having a saguaro withdrawal. So…keep those pictures coming!!!

    Crested saguaro??? Please show us!!!

    • Yes a crested saguaro in the town of Carefree. No driving the backroads in search, not that that’s not fun mind you. When we lived in Las Vegas I would take the kids hiking at Red Rock Canyon (west on Charleston Blvd) wild Burros roam. Valley of Fire was also a fav…..enjoy 🙂 FYI…Jubilee at Bally’s is a ‘true’ Vegas style show that we would take family to when they visited.

  4. For years that mine was open and I remember taking our daughters in for a look around. Glad you are having fun at Cave Creek, we are scheduled to arrive on Friday in Space 13.

    • Bummer….we’re leaving tomorrow for Tucson. We’ll take about two weeks to get back to Colorado. Responsibilities beckon. Hope the weekend has some awesome weather….you guys are definitely due!

  5. pretty cool – we should all love what we do as much as the ranger! what a neat day and great weather enjoy what the day and the trail brings you – make it count!

    • I was fortunate to have worked in an industry for fifteen years that I absolutely loved and would have continued. Unfortunately, the economy had other plans. Thus a new chapter and passion 🙂

  6. Al and Steve come from the same pod when it comes to cactus photography! I have a gigafull of cactus pictures and I kind of missed it now in our hikes here in TX.
    Glad that you catch the mine tour we were just peering at the top of the mine when we were there.

  7. If you ever get the chance, so to Seminole Canyon State Historical Park North of Del Rio TX around Comstock….The give guided tours of the Indian paintings in the caves…and you are not far from Langtry TX, where Judge Roy Bean presided over many a hanging…As you can see, I LOVE history…Also interesting is Cabreza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge around Ajo..I would have loved that mine tour!!!

    • Hey thanks Donna for the heads up…always appreciate recommendations. Unfortunately our journey is coming to an end in the next couple of weeks 😦 We hope to take care of some responsiblities and be back on the road in short order. We may actually be in IL this summer for a short visit…..hide….

  8. What a wonderful hike… and that mine sounds so interesting… I liked the bit that the family is still enjoying her riches… wonderful that you are back on the trail… and yes I know that sarcasm.. I get it from Linda all the time.. “but the next photo might just be the best one” I always say…

    • Some of my best photos are the ones I don’t give thought to and just snap away. So you never know which might be the best. The mine was definitely interesting. I’m always fasinated by business opportunites; past, present and future……best of luck with yours 🙂

    • Al and I are already talking about next winter. Isn’t it fun to have so many choices? Cave Creek, McDowell, and Usery all have their own personality and offer a different vibe. We’ve enjoyed the hiking here very much!

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