Saturday, March 30, 2019

Life In The Desert On A Ranch

As I've said before and I'll say it again ..... geocaching can find you some very interesting places.  There was one way out in the desert, not far from my little house, that intrigued me.  Mostly because you had to walk about a quarter mile to get to it and I needed the exercise.

I'm sad to say I still haven't found any snakes to photograph, but I put my cowboy boots on anyway.  I parked way in the back of a bar, behind some fencing and bushes to remain hidden.  I completely missed the sign that said State Trust Property, Permit Required.

As I climbed through the barbed wire fence I was surprised to find these corrals and buildings.  I can tell you from experience, this was a pretty big cattle setup.  No one makes corrals like this any more.
As I got closer, I could hear the buzz.  I peeked in the first door to find a large swarm of bees meandering around the entrance.  Nope ... not going in there!!
I'm not sure what this building was used for.  It appeared there might have been living quarters in one end ... very tiny quarters ... with the rest used for maybe feed and supplies.  As the buzzing got louder, I tippy toed on down to the other end.
This is what's left of the cattle loading ramp, meaning it must have been in operation in the 30's and 40's when cattle were moved by trucks, not just on horseback.  It was VERY well built, so money was not a problem around here.
That's when I discovered this ... it's a cattle scale for weighing in order to determine the price for whoever was buying or selling.  This only comes with very large ranches.  It must have been some operation in it's day.

On a side note, when we were forced to move because of the dam being built, my dad found two properties.  One with a set of scales and an old house, and one with a nice house and a real bathroom.  The scales won out and the old house pantry became a bathroom.
I tried to find some indication of the ownership, but this was all I could find.  At the bottom of the tie rail for horses, someone put their name in concrete.  I wish I had cleaned it off better so the letters would stand out more.  It's now a mystery I would like to solve ..... who lived here?  Jose Somebody.
Since I couldn't seem to find the geocache, I walked on up to the main ranch house.  It had a nice front walkway, but the entire inside was destroyed.  Everything was ripped from the walls in the kitchen/living room area and I didn't dare go into the one bedroom.  The roof looked like it would collapse any second.
At long last, I found the geocache and started my walk back out.  That's when I spotted this.  What a weird setup.  There apparently was what we call a one-lunger here that turned the screw that ran the grey machine.
But what in the world is the grey machine?  This is the back side where the arm is attached that makes a crazy looking blade turn.
Here's the blade with spikes on the end.  They must have pushed something into these blades to grind it up.  But what??  The only thing I could see was cactus plugging up the wheel.  Did they grind up cactus?
Here's the view from the opposite end.  Now what would you lay in this trough and push into the shredder?  Maybe saguaros for cattle feed?  I've absolutely no idea.  If anyone has a clue, please let me know.
As I contemplated all that, I wandered back towards the car through the outside corral fence.  That's when I discovered all the outside fences were set in poured concrete.  This truly was a big dollar ranch.  NO ONE does that .. especially in the old days ... unless they are VERY rich. 

Luckily none of this can really be seen from the road, so there are not lots of people wandering around.  Maybe that permit sign has something to do with it.  I was happy that my car was still there when I returned and I didn't get arrested.  

I think this geocaching spot requires a little more investigation.


  1. Wow what and interesting operation from the past, when I see things like that always makes me wonder what happened.
    Good thing you did not get arrested.

    1. Me too. I'd like to find out who lived there. Not getting arrested is a good thing!

  2. Glad you didn't get arrested.
    The drive motor is missing on your Grinder/Shredder but you are right about it being a Profitable Operation. The Question remains what happen that closed it down. Foreclosure?
    Be Safe and Enjoy the adventures.

    It's about time.

    1. No idea, other than the cattle market crashed in the 60's. That could be what happened.

  3. Wow, what an interesting find. I do not know anything about ranching but it sounds like, from your description, this was quite the operation in its day. Makes a person wonder, what happened?

    1. I'm guessing when you have to sell cattle of less than you paid for them, that they indeed went bankrupt, or at least sold out.

  4. In the description of the cache there should be a notation the an Arizona Lands Permit is required. As an Arizonan now you should consider that $20 permit. Allows you access to lots of interesting places and caches.

    1. I actually try to stay away from those caches that require permits, but many have interesting histories, so I guess I better get one.

  5. In answer to your question
    Well I don’t know if you like sweet bread
    The Portuguese make a sweet roll about 10 Percent larger than a hamburger roll
    As well as a round loaf of bread 10 inches in diameter 8 inches high
    They’re both a sweet bread
    Being a Lithuanian we have a sweet bread almost the same thing
    Our only difference is holidays and get-togethers they put fruit in it similar to a fruitcake
    Now if you go to Walmart not in the deli but in the bread sectionyou should be able to find Hawaiian sweet rolls they come in about 12 to a package
    A trick you can do with the Sweet rolls have put in some cold cuts and cheese slice them in half put them in the microwave for 15 seconds and serve them as finger food guarantee they won’t last long,,
    they also make hamburger Rolls that are about 10% larger than a hamburger roll I believe they make hot dog rolls to
    They also make a Hawaiian sweet bread about 10 inches wide and 8 inches tall
    Let me give you a word of caution don’t Try to put it in your toaster instead do it in a toaster oven with soft real butter and a glass of cold milk and don’t try to eat the whole thing at one sitting You’ll pay for it in the other end
    There are hundreds of different kinds of bread so it’s hard to pin down what you might like
    Second suggestion is probably Miss Terry she is a from scratch type person
    I think if I was her neighbor I’ve probably gained 20 pounds just on the aroma

    1. I certainly do love those Hawaiian sweet rolls!! But are they gluten free??

  6. If you look at the very top of that piece of machinery that looks like it would be a funnel for a grain of corn grinder as it produces corn product is swept into the trough and picked up for use at another location if you go around to the other side you’ll notice there’s a driveshaft they probably had And automobile engine to turn the grinder
    I can find similar machinery of that style but not having a casting date or number I’m pretty much at the end
    Now if the land is in The Arizona land trust or Arizona land and water trust you can look up online and find out history behind that piece of property You were probably need the name of the roads bounding it
    Because you said Arizona land trust I would start here first
    If you enter in Arizona land trust and also the town that that farm was in it should show up on your Google map
    Also if you enter in Arizona land and water trust in the town that it was in should show up as well
    Usually the land is given or sold to one of the two trusts and everything is left to deteriorate an revert back to as it was
    It’s similar to BLM land but only the state government controls it
    If you can’t figure it out email me the two cross streets /Roads and I’ll see what I can do
    I can go into the County assessors office online they’ll have a record

    1. Thats very possible it ground up something and pushed it out to the trough for cattle to eat. It's something I've never seen before. I didn't know you could check Trust land online .. I'll check it out. Sure would be interesting to know the history.

  7. What is interesting about one photograph shows masonry blocks and not sod mud bricks that building is not really that old I would guess after the Second World War
    What’s really interesting is the construction of how the blocks are put together the blocks were put together as if it was an adobe style but they failed to provide concrete rebar in the center of the blocks to add stiffness And insulation to the wall
    That’s a practice that would never be allowed In today’s construction
    If It was constructed with today’s practice that wall would still be standing

    1. You are right .. and one whole side of the building has collapsed. The main house is part adobe, part brick. Weird, right?