Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Home Draw Tank Trail

Sarah came up with a Jeep tour from our Off Road book. The trail was called the Home Draw Tank Trail. It was rated fairly difficult at times and had good scenery. It starts on a dirt road east of I-17. The roads work their way up and down narrow pathways over a lot of mud, rocks and creek crossings.
This one looked deeper than it was, but you never know what is on the river bottom until you drive into it.

Here I am waiting for our official photographer to catch up to us...

Almost as soon as we got to an open area, Judy spotted a herd of elk about 100 yds away making their way back into the treeline. I took a quick shot and blew it up so you can see a few elk in the bottom left.

No wonder they head for the trees as it seems that if they are out in the open, they become lunch or dinner for another critter. The open area was strewn with bleached bones.

Notice the skull on the right in this photo

Much of the rest of the trail was in open areas with lots of jagged rocks in the way. The county roads were not well marked, in fact not at all, so somewhere along the line we missed a turn. We ended up among a few shacks and corrals with a solitary bull standing in our way.

We went around him and found the road by going into and out of one of the corrals. Or so we thought. That road eventually evaporated so we back tracked and found another that also evaporated. At this point, I was getting a little nervous about gas. I had plenty, but not if we kept going in circles and if we hit too many gas guzzling mud climbs. (of course, I kept my mouth shut for a while about the gas. No point worrying anyone else).

Just before we stopped for lunch I spotted another elk antler next to the road.

Tony, Sarah and Antler on the Home Draw Tank Trail

What are the chances? We found one 2 years ago and then another one, even bigger, the other day. Now both Judy and Sarah have a souvenir they don't know what to do with.

Finally, by using our garmin and Bill's iphone gps, we got back on the right track. We had missed a turn near the old shacks and bull. If we had only checked the book, it told us to pay attention. Oh well.

The rocky path became a dirt road with beautiful views toward the south on our way back to Camp Verde.

We gassed up, bought a couple of ice cream sandwichs and headed home. I had "made" a pulled pork so we stopped at Basha's supermarket to buy the rest of the fixins'. We finished things off by dining on the Sullivan's porch and enjoying a fire before calling an end to a great day.

Oh, if you are wondering what ever happened to that elk skull from the previous photo. Can you guess?

Check this out!

Soon to be on display on Judy's Artifact shelf in our kitchen. Good Grief.

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