Tuesday evening's blog mentioned our trip to the ghost mining town of Ruby and the fact that Ruby was closed when we got there. That prompted reader Mary Russell to comment: "The perfect description - a closed ghost town! Who opens it?"
That's a darned good question, and to find the answer we Googled "Ruby, AZ." Lots of sources, and this is what we learned from one (Mining and Murder in Ruby, AZ):
Ruby, one of the best preseved ghost towns in Arizona, was first discovered by Spaniards in the early 1700's. They found it not rich enough for their tastes and moved on. In 1854 two mining engineers picked up the old Spanish placers, eventually discovering rich gold and silver veins in the area. By the 1870's, more propectors had filed claims in the area known as Montana Camp, named for Montana Peak (which actually has that little mark over the second "n" so it's pronounced Moan-TAHN-ya.)
Over the years the camp grew, with the usual assortment of disputes over claims, gunfights, murders, saloons, a mercantile and other places where lonely and discouraged miners could work off their energies with members of the oppostie sex. Fierce Apaches tried to take back their land, and vicious Mexican bandits tried to take the gold. And so on and on. You are welcome to read the history on Google!
In 1937, the gold was gone, and the silver, lead and zinc that had been the mainstay of the town finally petered out. The mining was done, and in 1941 the Post Office was closed, and so was Ruby, Arizona
Today the old ghost town remains private, owned by a couple of different families who are working to preserve the town and make it into a recreational area. The good news is, they now allow visitors. The old settlement continues to boast more than two dozen buildings. The town is looked after by an on-site caretaker, who charges $12 per person for a tour, Thursday through Sunday. We went that way on a Wednesday to find the gate chained and padlocked.
Now you know who closed Ruby, and who opens it, and when.
But we're getting ahead of getting there. From and back to the rally grounds at Amado, AZ, it is a 79 mile trip, largely by seldom-tended gravel road. Leaving Amado, we passed the Longhorn Cafe at the same time that a Corvette Club rally did. This was one of the most unusual Corvettes.
The hillsides and fields were ablaze with bright yellow wildflowers.
Our lunch stop was the tiny town of Arivaca, where we had been advised to seek a lunch of a "carne asado burro" at La Rancherita.
Casting caution to the wind, we entered the covered patio, ordered, ate and enjoyed!
Now, most restaurants offer patrons the use of a restroom, especially those who are on the road. La Rancherita was no exception. Their restroom was across the street, in the offices of the Arivaca Human Services Department. You had to ask permission, of course, before being directed through the small dining area and the kitchen to a small closet in the rear.
Shortly after leaving Arivaca, we found the gravel road and charged merrily along. We had to slow down as we forded, for the first of about a dozen times, this tiny creek.
This is a view looking upstream from one of the many crossings.
Soon we had Montana Peak in sight (remember the little mark above the "n").
At this "junction" the entrance to Ruby Ghost Town is to the right, and the main road meanders off ahead and left.
Of course, Ruby was closed, but we got a few distance shots of the old town.
All in all, we had a great afternoon. The scenery was fine, the weather was perfect, and most of all, we had some time for ourselves, which was needed at that point.
And a big welcome to our newest followers, "Cindy K" and Ali. Don't know much about Cindy K, but Ali has her own blog: Ali's Page.
We'll tell you about our visit to Tumacacori National Historic Park next time we meet along ... Our Life on Wheels.