A rainy day in Arizona and the beginning of our off-road adventure on Montana Mountain. We will drive up the mountain to an elevation of about 5,000ft. This is a pretty easy trail and it’s very scenic. I took a lot of pictures, but will not bore you with all of them.
First of many rolling hills and washes to traverse.
I love the starkness of these rocks and am always amazed when I see Saguaro growing so high in these conditions.
The landscape overwhelms one with its beauty and grand size.
Montana Mountain contains part of the 800 mile Arizona trail. There's also many hiking trails including one that will take to you to an area where Elisha Reavis “the old hermit” ranched. Elisha originally from Beardstown Il taught school but quickly lost interest and from 1874 until his death in 1896, Elisha Reavis transported his produce from his ranch to Rogers Trough and then down a trail, over Mountana Mountain and on down the creek bed to what is now Superior. The original settlement was called Hastings until the Army established Picketpost then the area was called Camp Pinal and Pinal City and finally Superior from 1900 on. The largest Silver mine in Arizona was located here and for a while it was a boomtown.
An interesting story written about Elisha is told by Tom Kollenborn:
“Elisha Reavis was a skilled packer and expert marksman with a rifle. He carried a Winchester 1886 38-40 repeater, and there were many stories about his marksmanship and fearless way of life. One of the best stories told about Reavis was the time he defended his abode from ten fierce Apache warriors who were heavily armed.
Early in the afternoon of May 8, 1878, Apache warriors tried to get Reavis out of his defensive dugout. Three warriors lost their lives to the deadly accuracy of Reavis’ rifle. Finally they decided to go across the creek and camp for the night. Their new plan was to wait until Reavis ran out of food and water. They were in no hurry.
Reavis, while awaiting his fate, recalled an old story he had heard about the Apaches from other men who had survived similar situations. If he could convince the Apache he was insane or crazy they might leave him alone. He quickly stripped off all his clothing from his body, grabbed two butcher knives and ran across his garden and the creek, screaming and showing absolutely no fear.
The Apaches heard, then saw the fire red hair and blue eyes of a screeching “white devil” racing toward them in the light of their campfire. The Apaches were convinced he was surely crazy, as
no sane man would run naked, armed with two knives, into the camp of seven heavily armed men. The Apaches fled in panic never to return to Reavis’ mountain sanctuary again. The Apaches raided into the area as late as 1881, but avoided Reavis’ valley.”
More can be read about this old "hermit” at:
The Old Hermit
...and for more pictures from this adventure: Montana Mountain