Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)
Scorpion Near Hell's Gate, Arizona
Arizona is one of my favorite places to take the FJ because there are so many difficult-to-get-to places. I started out running and gunning in Sedona but soon found myself in search of the road less traveled and drifted to the Payson area and from there to the Hell's Gate Wilderness area S/E of Payson in the Tonto National Forrest.
A water crossing photo - yes I know that they all look more or less alike. However, note the absence of snow.
Gratuitous photo of the SCORPION.
I explored Native American ruins I was told date reliably back 1200 years that aren't on any map, worked my way to within a few miles of the actual "Hell's Gate" rock formation treading lightly, but not on any trail one would recognize. One appears on the small scale Forest Service map, but it's essentially a game trail that an FJ can negotiate. I didn't get photos for you because I was busy driving and there was a storm sweeping in.
I spent the night with friends at the Ellinwood Ranch, one of the very few pieces of patent land that rubs up against Hell's Gate. You can't drive through the wilderness area, but there are some trails that skirt it. They're unimproved and are not maintained.
A Javalina wanders by in the morning.
It started to snow HEAVILY and since I was precisely "in the back of beyond" without another 4x4 to back me up, I headed out. It was very rough going to get out. Again no photos, but the weather turned it from a "barely good enough for one rig" to "it would be nice to have had a couple of FJC's with me for comfort's sake. This place is remote enough that if there's a problem, it's a long hike out -- One I wouldn't want to make in the snow.
When there's heavy snow it difficult to see the road and you can't see any "lines" to take over rocks and ruts. It's slow going with slick, steep, slopes.
This is the area where Zane Grey (Western Author) lived and wrote about, it is also the site of the Pleasant Valley War in Arizona
circa 1880. And minor skirmishes between the US Army (Cavalry) and the Apache Nation.
During the bad weather, I went to a used book store in Payson and found an old book first published in 1886 that touched on the subject. Books on the history of this area are also available at the Forest Service Office in Young, AZ.
On the road from Young, AZ to Payson, AZ.