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Old 12-19-2011, 04:19 PM   #1
Paloma Paul OP
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Claras wIndow

It was so nice out today I decided to take a trip out to Clara's Window. Basically a whole in a rock outcrop named for my beautiful wife. To begin with I named it when we discovered it. We had never seen it before and after asking around our small community of Gila Bend nobody else had ever seen it before either. I start my adventure with a picture of my 2001 TTR225.


It is basically stock except for a larger main jet and the baffle drill out somewhat.

I motored just south of town to a dirt road. The turn off has recently been bloked due to so much theft of copper wire from the irragation pumps. Fortunately enough room was left for a quad or 2 wheeler to get through




The area around Gila Bend has had a drastic change in the economy over the past few years. Fields were once dedicated to cotton are now being used for other purposes. 4 cotton gins use to be in operation to handle all the cotton, but now 1 gin is all that is required. The following two pictures show one of the abandoned gins and the one still in operation.





Where once the white of cotton fields went to the horizon as a winter wonderland, now the green of hay, alphalfa, and sorgum/sileage dominate the landscapes.



The felds are needed to grow crops for the 6 dairies which have moved to the area. With 4-5000 cows each producing anywhere from 20,000 to 40,000 combined gallons of milk per day, it is easy to understand the change of fields. And what brought the dairies and the field? The liquid of life..............Water.







And the only way to cross the canal is...........make sure in fact double sure you look both ways



A very narrow trail across the canal only wide enough for a 2 wheeler or 4 wheeler.

The other shift in the economy has been through the renewable energy package enacted a few years ago (AKA Solar Energy) Several very large arrays of solar panels have risen almost overnight in this land of intense heat and 300+ days of sunshine. Below is the Abengoa solar plant that is currently being constructed just off I-8 and Painted Rock Road.



And ALL these solar fields are using what was once farm land!!!! And way you might ask! Apparently farm land does not need to be OK or limited by archeological concerns. If virgin desert was used and a pot/habitation was uncovered work would be halted until it was investigated and cleared to continue.
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:36 PM   #2
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The window

North on Painted Rock road past Abengoa Solar is the window. This is the butte in the distance


Closer



Closer


and Closer



Plenty of arrowhead chips and other signs in the area. One has to believe the anchient one knew of the window. Below is what might have been a dwelling of some sort. It sure looked like it anyway.




Looking back from wince I came




On toward where I am headed The Painted Rock valley via a little known/used dirt road





Past an old smelter and abandoned settlement









Once again looking back, the butte on the right is the backside of Clara's Window

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Old 12-19-2011, 04:52 PM   #3
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Petra

In a little known area near the smelter is a small area of rock art. I read 3 dates on the rock. Can you?


1907, 1911, 1917, and W.T.
It has been speculated that the dates are from a young man growing up at the settlement and right before he went to WW1. No real way of finding out but the legend makes for interesting conversation/reading. Also in the vicinity are lots of rock art.










Once has to realize its always easier going down a rocky slope/road than up.



An old rock cistern on the way down to Painted Rock State Park




and finally on my way home a sight that has become all to familiar. What was once a road leading to more early mines etc has now become near impossible to reach.

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Old 12-19-2011, 04:58 PM   #4
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Abengoa

For more on the Abengoa Solar Field here is a link
http://www.abengoasolar.com/corp/web...res/#seccion_1
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:07 PM   #5
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Good stuff. I love the desert, I guess this is the time to make the most of it...
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:38 PM   #6
Wolfgang55
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Neat RR & your pix are spot on.
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:04 PM   #7
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Indeed

+1. Well done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfgang55 View Post
Neat RR & your pix are spot on.
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:58 AM   #8
KamperBob
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Nice ride report, Paul. The tour guide format works great. I like to learn about the areas I explore. A knowledgeable narrator takes the level of content up from entertaining to nutritious. Love it!
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Old 12-20-2011, 01:38 PM   #9
PersonaNonGrata
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Good stuff Paul, love the pic's of desert country, rock art, "Clara's Window", etc. It would be really interesting to know some of the history of these areas. Thanks a lot & happy trails.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:02 PM   #10
benwiggin2
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Loved this day trip and write up! Thanks!
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Old 12-22-2011, 04:47 PM   #11
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Thanks for sharing Paloma Paul. I enjoyed following along. I guess I need to find an un-named feature to name after my wife now.
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