Today we rode with Joseph Milton in the Bradshaw Mountains outside of Phoenix. With views of large, Lake Pleasant juxtaposed with the dry, high Sonoran desert, sprinkled with saguaro, cats claw, prickly pear, palo verde, jojoba, mesquite, hedgehog cactus, jumping cholla, ocotillo and vegetation and rolling mountains, this is a beautiful ride.
Donna and Bill, two local riders from the town of Cave Creek, rode with us. I was on a white, mixed breed, 15-year-old horse named Indian. Joseph rode Dee. We rode on old mining roads. During the 1800's, this area, which is still littered with mines, was a hot spot of mining activity. The roads where riders can still travel on horseback, were once traveled by wagons and people traveling into these mountains in search of gold.
We saw many wild burros along our ride and a couple of cows grazing on what little nourishment they could attain in this desert environment. The burros were used to go into the mines during the mining days and many were set free.
After riding in the Bradshaws, we headed in a jeep further into the mountains to meet a gold prospector at a historic mine and ghost town. It's very strange to me to think about people still looking for gold. There are people out there who are still searching though. We searched for gold ourselves and did find a few small specks- no nuggets. Gold is so pretty. What an interesting ride!