I’ve been in this area a lot and I’m still figuring out where all the jeep trails go to. For instance: Mineral Mountain road from Highway 60 heads south. Cottonwood Canyon road heads east from highway 79. They meet out there in the desert, actually a couple times but we are concerned about the easternmost junction here. That’s where the road to Ajax mine heads east pretty much following a creek bed and the road to Box Canyon heads south. Simple, but hold on a second, there is another road that heads southeast up a steep hill. Guess what? It goes to Box Canyon too. And it is a better road than the other one because you get to skip going down that deep ravine and dropping off a four foot cliff, (three foot last time I was there because some wise soul piled some rocks in all the right places). And it is more scenic too because a bunch of it is right on top of a ridge. Super views. Then it drops down past a fenced off mine tunnel and through a wash and soon it merges with the other road just before the stage coach station before continuing through Box Canyon. Sometime I may buy a map of the area but for now I’m having too much fun just poking around that country. You aint lost if you don’t know or care where you’re going.
This trip started out with no intention of going through box Canyon. We took the Reymert Road first and visited the smelt ruins again at DeNoon. Then we continued up the Reymert road towards Reymert except it really isn’t a road anymore. It’s the creek bed and it is narrow and rocky and rough. And it keeps getting narrower and rougher until your jeep gets a nice pinstriping on both sides and if you have any sense you look for a wide enough spot to turn around. So I found a spot that was a foot wider than the Green Monster and turned around. Short Wheelbases rule! I think the Reymert mine was just ahead and above on the hill in front at the time. So I’m saying I saw the mine. As for the ghost town of Reymert, I understand it was all bulldozed so nothing to see there anyway. I’m sticking to that story because I’m not driving up that ravine again ever, probably.
So the next item on my agenda for the day was to find Ajax Mine. Last year I took that road east up the wash I mentioned earlier. I went as far as a stock tank and a windmill and turned around. Figured I had the wrong road. Figured wrong. This time I took that road heading southeast that goes up that steep hill. Then I stopped at the top. This didn’t look promising. Then another jeep came up behind me. We talked. He was lost but he had a crude map. Holy cow! The map said this was the high road to Box Canyon. Then we talked some more. He was driving a very cool 1985 CJ which was before they started making jeep wranglers. It was lifted, it had air lockers, It had a huge non-jeep engine, it had a very cool paint job that matched the cooler hanging on his back spare tire carrier, and the whole outfit was running on these humungous 38×15.5 tires. My green monster looked like a wimp next to this monster. The guy let us look his rig over and admire it. He wasn’t interested in looking at the green monster. Rude, right? Anyway I followed him all the way to Box Canyon to make sure he didn’t get lost. I even pointed out the turnoff to the Coke Ovens. I’m a nice guy. I left him then because it was his lunch time. I hope he had a flat before he made it out to Florence. Stupid 38” tires.
Will was here once again on 2/23/15