Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Desert Rescue

Odometer 43585
 Trip Meter 0

December 22, 2014

Ajo, AZ

Mark and I took his "new" Suzuki Samurai out Pipeline road to the east of town to do some sightseeing, and get in a short hike.  The road name comes from the fact that there is indeed a pipeline running alongside- mostly buried, sometimes not.  It is a natural gas pipeline that used to serve the town and the New Cornellia Mine.  Now serves just the town.

The desert around here is amazingly beautiful and I was thoroughly enjoying the scenery.  
About 10 to 12 miles from town, we reached Burro Gap where the road goes from the Valley of the Ajo, through a narrow slot between the Batamote and the Pozo Redondo mountains.

Just as we entered the gap, we came to an area where the Border Patrol has installed a beacon and a radio summons for help.  I wrote about these beacons last year when we photographed the one at Charley Bell Pass, and Alamo Canyon.  Any traveler can summons assistance at these locations- and there are a lot of them dotting the desert between Yuma and Tucson.  The Samaritans usually put a cache of drinking water near these installations too.

A few hundred feet further up the road from the beacon, the road dipped into a dry arroyo, or stream bed, and we noticed a Polaris Ranger that looked like it was parked a couple hundred feet down the wash.  As we proceeded further up Pipeline road we came abreast of a man and his son walking east, the way we were headed.   After a brief chat, we learned that they were the owners of the Ranger, which had a punctured oil pan, and were walking the 3 miles back to camp.

We decided that I would get out and Mark would give them a lift to their camp, where they had their pickup truck and a trailer for the Polaris.

I used the time to explore the area around Burro Gap.  One of the finds, was this old beekeeepers shed filled with old hives.  We reported a find like this last year south of Ajo near an area called Saint John the Baptist- it looked very similar to this.

A little to the east of the beekeepers shed was a corral and the remains of a windpump.
The corral didn't look to be in that bad a shape, but it was obvious it hasn't been used in many years.

While I was hiking around and taking photos, I got a call from Mark telling me he had delivered the hikers to their camp, and now had a new problem.  Mark had shifted the transfer case on the Samurai and it got stuck in the neutral position.  Nothing he could do would make it shift.  Could I please call Joan and have her bring out the Honda CRV to tow him home.

Joan made good time getting out to me at Burro gap and we both drove east to where Mark was at Coffeepot Mountain.  By the time we got there, Mark's Sami was loaded on the Ranger owner's trailer and was being trailered in.  The rescuer had become the rescued!

It was alnost 5 PM by the time we got back to town.  Mark and the Sami trailered in, and Joan and I in our car.  Mark off-loaded the Sami at his RV space and then went back out to Burro gap in the darkness to  load the Ranger.  Joan and I had towed the Ranger up the wash to the road and onto a small rise beside the road where it could be easily rolled onto the trailer.

Your Traveling Friends

Joan and Jeff

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