Sunday

Bloody Basin Road Arizona

What an exciting day...Arizona desert, cougar, sheep bridge and a big rock!

We have a Toyoto FJ Cruiser and we love it! Yesterday afternoon and for the first time in serveral weeks we decided to go for a spin on the back roads of Arizona. Now these aren't really roads, unless you have an off-road capable vehicle. 
Bloody Basin (exit 259 off the I-17) was named such because of a notable indian fight in March 1873. The fight was between the army and the Apache Indians. It is an absolutely beautiful area and yesterday it was filled with spring flowers. All of the hills are green (for Arizona) because of all of the rain we have had over the last few months.

While traveling to the Sheep Bridge, coming up the trail was a group of people on sports utility vehicles pulling a flat bed trailer. Since everyone has to move to the side in order to pass on these narrow trails conversation began and we found out that just earlier at the Sheep Bridge their grandson had been clawed by a cougar. If it hadn't been for a quick thinking grandpa and a handy gun there would have been tragedy. The little boy is fine, but the mountain lion was killed. It was so sad to see the mountain lion lying there. She was young, hungry and trying to survive. 

We traveled along being jolted by deep ruts in the road, crossing streams, and manerving over a few obstacles while heading for the Sheep Bridge. The Sheep Bridge is a suspension bridge located within the Agua Fria National Monument Lands and crosses the Verde River. The bridge was built in 1989 replacing the old
bridge which was built to allow the Basque sheep herders a safer way to herd their sheep from the low country to high country, rather than crossing the hazaradous Verde River.

It was getting close to sunset on our return so we were trying to hurry since we had about 20 miles to travel to get back to civilization. We were blazing along and at the very last moment all I could yell was, "big rock right!" Too late. Our right, front tire hit hard and threw our alignment so far out that the tire began rubbing, then the brakes weren't working properly. All I could think about was being stalked by cougar and snakes. Luckily there was another family off-roading who came to our resuce. We broke down around 6pm and we didn't make it home until this morning at 2:30am. What an adventure!


15 reviews:

Helen said...

Wow! Those are beautiful photos.
Pretty state and another amazing talent you have :)

Field Notes said...

Interesting post - I enjoyed reading it.

It always saddens me to hear of wild animals being killed because they got to close to humans. I grew up in MT (grizzly bear country) and later lived to NH where there are lot of black bears and civilization keeps creeping into their habitat.

In MT there's always one dumb tourist every year who doesn't know how to camp in bear country. And people in MT & NH, well, some anyway, get it and make their environment as inhospitable to bears as possible.

I have heard that cougars behave a little differently around people - they seem to lack the fear and suspicion that bears seem to have.

In other words, a lot of wild animals get killed because of stupid people. A part of me wonders how preventable and avoidable that cougar death might have been...

whimsicalpam said...

Gorgeous photos and a wonderful story!

picciolo said...

wow what an adventure! Love the photos too, I'm glad you eventually got back ok!
: )

Waterrose said...

I heard yesterday that the mountain lion had rabies, so in the end it was best that the cat was put down.

woolies said...

did you hear that the little boy has to be treated for rabies? Heard it on the news last night.
Great post!!!

Waterrose said...

Yes, and anyone who came in contact with it (touched it) has to go through the rabies series of shots as well. UGH!

femputer said...

How sad about the mountain lion. :( Also, I hope you are not one of the people who needs rabies shots! yikes.

gilfling said...

Rose that sounds like quite the adventure!!! I loved reading this - after sharing images of my own local countryside it is wonderful to see something so completely different on the other side of the world almost! The poor cougar - such a shame although it is good the boy was ok - it is always sad to hear of an animal being killed due to us moving into it's territory.

Lovely also to read of your family history - I am so glad you now have a blog!

Infinite Cosmos said...

That looks like an amazing place! I soooo miss the desert :-( Not that i mind where i am, but the desert is so magical...

Anonymous said...

Bloody Basin road is a very beautiful place & one I love to get out to & have been going there for coming up on 40 years. That being said, it sickens me to see that the common direction of the comments on here are that of sympathy for the mountain lion and none for the boy. People, what's wrong with you?? A little boy was attacked by a cougar with rabies, and all you say is "Poor cougar"??? I say thank God his grandpa was there with his gun and was a good enough shot to kill it. Perhaps the direction of your sentiments and sympathy may change if that had been your son...

Anonymous said...

Hey these are nice pictures. My name is Hannah Reddin formerly Helm. my grandfather is Charles William Helm sr. better known as bill Helm. He was a wrangler for many many years in bloody basin. The cabin just before long Mesa and after yellow jacket is called horse camp. do you by any chance have any photos of it? My garndfather helped build it and has done the up keep of it most of his life as well as my dad and our family. there is not many childhood memorys of mine that do not enclude the wonderful beautiful land of bloody basin. I live in oklahoma now and havent been down there in a few years and would really love to see a picture of the cabin to show my kids.

thank you for refreshing some old memories,

hannah Reddin

Waterrose said...

Hannah, I don't have any pictures of what you describe. There is a lot of land in that area and I can't say that I know where the place is that you describe. If you happen to know the coordinates or more details on how to get there I would be happy to take pictures once we go there again.

Anonymous said...

Hannah, I have Pictures of the cabin your Grandfather Bill Helm Dismantled in Childs and hauled by horseback to its current location and reassembled in the early 1940s.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - I would love to see the cabin photos. Me and my buddy are going up to that area next weekend

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