Flashback: February 6, 2002

I take Mike’s cousin Ricky to a real ghost town.

Swansea is a ghost town about 60 miles west of Wickenburg. Located on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere (or as close to there as you can get), it takes about 3 hours to reach the place by car. But it takes only 40 minutes by helicopter.

Mike’s cousin Ricky was in town on one of his annual visits. (He doesn’t come annually anymore and I’m not sure why.) Mike had to work and I needed to play. So I took Ricky to Swansea in Three-Niner-Lima.

We landed on the site of what had been the mine manager’s house. The area was flat, covered with the same fine gravel that seems to cover about 90% of Arizona’s desert. The town was deserted — at least I don’t remember anyone being around.

Ricky stands near Three-Niner-Lima, on the site of the mine manager’s house.

We explored the town for about an hour. I’d been there before and although I found it interesting, Ricky really seemed to enjoy it. The town has quite a few buildings, many of which have enough left of them to explore. BLM, which owns the townsite, has a walking tour, with numbered stops, and a brochure that explains a lot. It really is worth seeing, but whether it’s worth a total of 6 hours spent in a car, most of which is on dirt roads, is debatable. Having the helicopter for transportation really makes places like this much more accessible.

Ricky at the Wheel
I don’t know why, but I like this photo of Ricky behind the wheel of a desert wreck.

This year, if Ricky shows up, I’ll take him someplace new. I have a few ideas for places to explore.

What do you think?