Abandoned Arizona Vulture City – Wickenberg
We also found time to journey down to the ghost town of Vulture City. Expecting to pay a fee and enter a tour of the ghost town we brought our little doggy, Nellie, a chihuahua-beagle breed. She weighs about as much as four water bottles and her fur is a mix of gray and silver with speckles of brown near her neck and white along her snout. Upon stopping at the gate we realized they were only open on Saturdays and this was Sunday so we decided to venture on down the road to find a way into the site. We pulled off onto a sandy road in our little two-wheel drive Corolla. Slipping, sliding and almost bottoming out near drainage ditches along the sandy roads I put her in reverse and parked off to the side in a patch of desert. I gathered my backpack and Kelly leashed the doggy who stood there wagging her tail and panting happily with a look of excitement on her face. We plodded along up the sandy road avoiding prickers with every step and losing sight of the ghost town. We expected it to bend around or break off to a different part of the ghost town, but after a mile of walking it just ended up in someone’s driveway so we turned around. Disappointed I wanted to leave. All of the barbed wire fence along the side of the road was private property that said it was under “24-hour surveillance.” That was the only way into the ghost town. We needed to make a decision and after little thought, Kelly found a piece of fence missing and proceeded to crawl underneath of it. I passed the dog off to her and wiggled under the fence avoiding cactus prickers. I took the lead and meandered through the desert brush until we remained hidden from the roadway and gently placed the doggy in my backpack. We walked around in the general direction of Vulture City Ghost Town, but my eyes caught an abandoned mine shaft in the distance and we started to drift towards that instead. After breaking and pulling cactus out of our feet we finally reached a dirt roadway, but decided to check out the shaft first. Inside the shaft laid an abandoned tunnel of darkness definitely worth exploring, but we did not bring headlamps so we put this in the vault for future adventures.
Parched, we grabbed water from our bags and took a few swigs before heading out down the dirt roadway. We walked along the road for a bit until we stumbled upon a property line fence with a “NO TRESPASSING” sign and a convenient spot for all of us to sneak in through the corner. I noticed brand new vehicles atop a hill in the ghost town so we veered off the roadway and into the desert to avoid being seen by any security. The first building we stumbled upon looked like security cameras hung from the outside, but someone disguised PVC piping to scare away trespassers. As I crept closer I noticed the fake, impostors and continued exploring the abandoned ghost town. Old gears and broken, heavy-duty cables scattered out across the floor along with a few wooden ladders. I tucked my arms in and walked through the next room feeling out the floor below me for sturdiness as I walked out across broken tiles. The pungent aroma of petroleum made me pucker my nose as I inched closer to the only locked room in the building. I climbed up on a rusted 50-gallon drum to peer in through the old-jail style window to cast my eyes on a room full of used oil and 50-gallon drums. I noticed a camera that may or may not have been working and continued on to the next building with little hesitation. In the next room lay a bunch of old abandoned tools sprawled out across the floor with a colossal gear smack dab in the center of the building. My olfactory receptors continued to smell a hint of petroleum as we wandered around the room checking the old electrical panels above the gear system.
The desert sun began to fall asleep leaving us room to explore one more building so we decided to check out one adjacent to the Vulture City mine shaft. We shortly found ourselves in a precarious situation as we neared the vicinity of the abandoned town’s security. The mine shaft was sealed off and the ghost town below looked half abandoned and under construction with a quarry adjacent to it. Suddenly, my eyes shifted towards the hill where the security vehicles parked and I noticed a man speeding down on a four-wheeler towards us. We scampered for cover our feet losing traction with each step down the gravely hill. Kelly fell behind as she carried our little doggy and I thought for sure we would get hit with a citation for trespassing, but somehow we managed to remain incognito in the desert brush. We stopped to regain our breath and followed the same path back to the car as the final rays of the days beat down on our dry skin making us quench the last of our water supply. The tuckered little doggy passed out in Kelly’s lap and snored the whole way home in the car.