I woke up way too early Saturday morning. Like 3 AM. I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I decided to go find a mountain and watch the sun come up over the valley. I thought I’d try south Mountain. I’ve heard there is a road up there, and I’ve never been there.
I idled out of the neighborhood so as not to wake everyone up (my bike is pretty loud) and headed west toward Phoenix. The roads were empty, and the air was nice and cool. A nice start to a Saturday.
I sat on top of south Mountain, drank coffee and had about 7 epiphanies. I forgot all of them, of course but I’m pretty sure they were epic. 🙂
On the way back down I checked out this place called Scorpion Gulch. Its right off the side of the road.
The thing that strikes me about Arizona, is they give things really bitchin names. Places like Bloody Basin, Two Guns, Horsetheif Basin and Bumble Bee. Theres towns called Tombstone, Happy Jack and even Santa Claus.
In 1936, William Lunsford bought some frontage along the road heading up to South Mountain to build a curio shop and Trading post. There was an active gold mine on the mountain, and William staked his claim to be a part of that turns out.
He gave it a killer name. In true Arizona Style, he called it Scorpion Gulch. I think its my favorite AZ name so far. It sounds like a place you could throw child abusers into; I mean…. “Scorpion Gulch” ffs.
If he were still alive, I’d find him and buy him a beer.
I can’t find a lot of details about this place, but it was still operating in 1966 when Lunsford was 75. In the 1970s, it became a bar and there’s a few stories of people who frequented it.
A cool little morning outing, and a great ride. Arizona has a lot of cool little places.