We found ourselves in northern Arizona the first week of September. It was too hot to continue on to Yuma (Yuma was having temperatures of 110+ then), so we decided to park at Golden Valley for the next 3 weeks, and just relax a little before arriving in Yuma.
When in Golden Valley, we stay at the Adobe RV Park. It’s a small privately run park just across the Cerbat mountain range from Kingman, yet away from the noise of the urban area. The owners and residents are friendly and eager to welcome you into their midst.
While there, Ron joined the morning pool game each week day. I spent quite a bit of time starting my Christmas crafts, and working on trip pictures and the blog, and we both cleaned the trailer (spring cleaning in the fall).
Hiking in the Black Mountains
One morning, we packed a lunch and went for a hike in the Black Mountains, directly west of the park. Golden Valley is an unincorporated community spread over quite a large area. Most of the “city” streets are dirt, and can be quite rough. The Black Mountains lie just to the edge of the community. As soon as you leave the road, you feel as isolated from civilization as if you were 100 miles away. We had a peaceful walk, seeing no one but the lizards and range cattle.
Square and Round Dancing with Friends
Friends, Ron and Linda live in Kingman, and like us, are square dancers. The club, Kingman Kut-ups, held one dance during our stay, and we enjoyed sharing the evening with them. The theme of the night was Black and White.
Valley of Fire
The following week, the four of us decided to take a day trip to the Valley of Fire State Park. To reach the park, we drove over the Hoover Dam and through the Mead Lake National Recreation Area. The new bridge over the gorge is completed, and by the time you read this, open to traffic. All traffic will be diverted over the bridge in the future, and the dam will only be used for visitor foot traffic.
During our stay in Golden Valley, we took a day trip to see the old mining town of Chloride, AZ, and the abandoned mine sites in the Mineral Park area near Golden Valley.
There’s not much left in Chloride now. The town developed around the silver chloride mines in the early 1860’s, and grew to a population of over 2000. Other minerals mined were gold, silver, lead, zinc, copper, molybdenum, and vanadium but silver remained the predominate ore. In the 1940’s, the price of mining escalated, and manpower became scarce due to the war. The town began to die; all that is left is 250 residents, several old buildings, and a general store doing dual duty as the visitor center.
Mineral Park was a town from 1871 until its post office closed in 1912, effectively bringing an end to what was once a prosperous community. An interesting story is the tale of how nearby Kingman grew from a small settlement started to service the railroad into a thriving town, vying for the prestige of being the county seat. Read the account of the rivalry:
“What Mineral Springs didn’t count on was the small settlement of Kingman, built to service the railroad, would begin to grow so fast. In spite of the Mohave County Miner's best efforts to downplay the possibility of Kingman ever amounting to much, over the next five years, Kingman continued to prosper as a supply center for the area mines, as well as a commercial center for travelers through the area. Soon, Mineral Park was to experience more civic embarrassment when a county-wide vote made Kingman the new county seat in 1887. Kingman got 271 votes to Mineral Park's 93. Even Hackberry, located some 30 miles northeast of Kingman got more votes than Mineral Park at 132. Many speculated that Mineral Park merchants, who already had some economic connections with Kingman,were interested in reducing their costs by being closer to the railroad.
Despite the conclusiveness of the polls, Mineral Park officials refused to give up the county records. Outraged, Kingman citizens subsequently raided the town hall and made off with the county documents, literally "taking” the county seat.” from Legends of America.
I think we managed to see quite a bit during our 3 weeks in Golden Valley in addition to daily pool games (for Ron), visiting with friends, finding several yard sales, and having quite a few quiet afternoons and evenings to just relax with a book or craft.