Southwest Adventure, Living & Travel

DesertUSA's Reports and Articles

Gold Is Not Going to Go Too Far From Its Source

Gold in a Pan

Gold Dust in Arizona's Washes - A short history lesson, please. A million years ago, rocks melted, the earth cracked, and gold nuggets formed. End of class. A million years later, the nuggets are hard to find, but weekend prospectors search the desert wadis (washes), hoping to get lucky.

"Gold is not going to go too far from its source unless there's been lots of time and lots of water to wash it downhill," says David Steimle, a chapter president of the Gold Prospectors Association of America (GPAA). Standing recently in a wadi at the foot of Arizona's Santa Rita Mountains, he said, "Flood waters thousands of years ago washed nuggets down the mountain through these arroyos and deposited the gold flakes we're looking for today. Prospectors who have worked these gullies know they don't produce a lot of sizable chunks, but they do give up a bunch of fine gold dust." More...

The Apaches and Pinos Altos Miners

Pinos Altos

Pinos Altos – Expect the Unexpected - On May 18, 1860, three prospectors, frustrated by previous failures in the region, paused for a drink of water at Bear Creek, near today's Pinos Altos. To their surprise, they found themselves staring at gold in the bottom of the cold clear stream.

During the next few months, Chiricahua Apaches, who claimed the region as their land, watched as unexpected - and unwelcome - prospectors surged by the hundreds into the mining encampments that would become Pinos Altos. The Apaches became incensed as the prospectors invaded the surrounding mountainsides and stream beds in a fevered search for gold. They became more incensed on December 2, 1860, as an Apache band, encamped along the Mimbres River to the east, suffered a surprise attack by 30 Pinos Altos miners. The band would mourn a number of losses. More...

Joshua Tree National Park Attraction

Desert Queen Ranch

Bill Keys and the Desert Queen Ranch - Keys and his wife, Francis, didn't just survive here in their desolate lonely ranch, now surrounded by Joshua Tree National Park, they thrived.

Though the sign at the entrance mentions reservations, none of the twenty-three people waiting to get in that Thursday had one. A young ranger, whose first name, Miriam, is all I got, cheerfully passed out envelopes for the entrance fee. She had us drive through the gate until we were all in, lined up our cars behind hers, and promptly at 1:00 p. m., she closed the gate and led us into the ranch proper. About half a mile in, the caravan circled around for its exit, and we all piled out, right at a weathered wood building that was the original Joshua Tree Elementary School. More...

Violence Erupted Almost Daily

Gambling was a lucrative business that operated round-the-clock. Here, the legend of Eustacio Legada was born.

Eustacio Legada, Gambler and Card Shark - Southern New Mexico was engulfed in terror, until Pat Garrett restored order by dispensing with or killing any number of desperadoes far more dangerous than the celebrated "Kid." One of those men was an inhuman brute, Eustacio Legada, alias Manuel Ribar, a noted gambler who frequented the gambling dens around Mesquite, New Mexico, just south of Las Cruces, during 1895 and 1896. At this time, the rough-and-ready camp had a population of two thousand five hundred with twelve gambling dens, seven restaurants, four mercantile establishments, a livery stable, one hotel and the usual brothels. More...

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DesertUSA is a comprehensive resource about the North American deserts and Southwest destinations. The desert is a wonderful place to enjoy the outdoors and to spend time in recreational activities. You can camp, hike, bike, fish or just explore this unique environment found only in the American Southwest. DesertUSA has information on national parks, state parks, BLM land, and the Colorado River and its lakes. We also have articles about the cities and towns located in or near the desert regions. Use as a resource to explore the many adventures that await you in the desert.



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