Claras wIndow

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Paloma Paul, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. Paloma Paul

    Paloma Paul Paloma At Its Best

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    385
    Location:
    Paloma Arizona
    It was so nice out today I decided to take a trip out to Clara's Window. Basically a whole in a rock outcrop named for my beautiful wife. To begin with I named it when we discovered it. We had never seen it before and after asking around our small community of Gila Bend nobody else had ever seen it before either. I start my adventure with a picture of my 2001 TTR225.
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    It is basically stock except for a larger main jet and the baffle drill out somewhat.

    I motored just south of town to a dirt road. The turn off has recently been bloked due to so much theft of copper wire from the irragation pumps. Fortunately enough room was left for a quad or 2 wheeler to get through

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    The area around Gila Bend has had a drastic change in the economy over the past few years. Fields were once dedicated to cotton are now being used for other purposes. 4 cotton gins use to be in operation to handle all the cotton, but now 1 gin is all that is required. The following two pictures show one of the abandoned gins and the one still in operation.
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    Where once the white of cotton fields went to the horizon as a winter wonderland, now the green of hay, alphalfa, and sorgum/sileage dominate the landscapes.

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    The felds are needed to grow crops for the 6 dairies which have moved to the area. With 4-5000 cows each producing anywhere from 20,000 to 40,000 combined gallons of milk per day, it is easy to understand the change of fields. And what brought the dairies and the field? The liquid of life..............Water.

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    And the only way to cross the canal is...........make sure in fact double sure you look both ways

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    A very narrow trail across the canal only wide enough for a 2 wheeler or 4 wheeler.

    The other shift in the economy has been through the renewable energy package enacted a few years ago (AKA Solar Energy) Several very large arrays of solar panels have risen almost overnight in this land of intense heat and 300+ days of sunshine. Below is the Abengoa solar plant that is currently being constructed just off I-8 and Painted Rock Road.

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    And ALL these solar fields are using what was once farm land!!!! And way you might ask! Apparently farm land does not need to be OK or limited by archeological concerns. If virgin desert was used and a pot/habitation was uncovered work would be halted until it was investigated and cleared to continue.
    #1
  2. Paloma Paul

    Paloma Paul Paloma At Its Best

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    385
    Location:
    Paloma Arizona
    North on Painted Rock road past Abengoa Solar is the window. This is the butte in the distance[​IMG]


    Closer
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    Closer
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    and Closer

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    Plenty of arrowhead chips and other signs in the area. One has to believe the anchient one knew of the window. Below is what might have been a dwelling of some sort. It sure looked like it anyway.

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    Looking back from wince I came

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    On toward where I am headed The Painted Rock valley via a little known/used dirt road

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    Past an old smelter and abandoned settlement

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    Once again looking back, the butte on the right is the backside of Clara's Window

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    #2
  3. Paloma Paul

    Paloma Paul Paloma At Its Best

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    385
    Location:
    Paloma Arizona
    In a little known area near the smelter is a small area of rock art. I read 3 dates on the rock. Can you?[​IMG]


    1907, 1911, 1917, and W.T.
    It has been speculated that the dates are from a young man growing up at the settlement and right before he went to WW1. No real way of finding out but the legend makes for interesting conversation/reading. Also in the vicinity are lots of rock art.

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    Once has to realize its always easier going down a rocky slope/road than up.

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    An old rock cistern on the way down to Painted Rock State Park

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    and finally on my way home a sight that has become all to familiar. What was once a road leading to more early mines etc has now become near impossible to reach.

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    #3
  4. Paloma Paul

    Paloma Paul Paloma At Its Best

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    385
    Location:
    Paloma Arizona
  5. HardWorkingDog

    HardWorkingDog Harvey Mushman

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,134
    Location:
    Walnut Crick, Cal.
    Good stuff. I love the desert, I guess this is the time to make the most of it...
    #5
  6. Wolfgang55

    Wolfgang55 Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,816
    Location:
    Next to Rio Bravo
    Neat RR & your pix are spot on.
    #6
  7. bump

    bump COLOR ME GONE

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    713
    +1. Well done.

    #7
  8. KamperBob

    KamperBob Recreation Engineer

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Oddometer:
    254
    Location:
    Somewhere USA
    Nice ride report, Paul. The tour guide format works great. I like to learn about the areas I explore. A knowledgeable narrator takes the level of content up from entertaining to nutritious. Love it! :D
    #8
  9. PersonaNonGrata

    PersonaNonGrata Needless Dickerer

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    480
    Location:
    North of the Pecos
    Good stuff Paul, love the pic's of desert country, rock art, "Clara's Window", etc. It would be really interesting to know some of the history of these areas. Thanks a lot & happy trails.
    #9
  10. benwiggin2

    benwiggin2 Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,316
    Location:
    Brea, CA
    Loved this day trip and write up! Thanks!
    #10
  11. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,704
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Thanks for sharing Paloma Paul. I enjoyed following along. I guess I need to find an un-named feature to name after my wife now.:D
    #11