Apacheland Movie Ranch was in full swing back in the 1960’s making Westerns with the fabulous backdrop of the Superstition Mountain Range. Big stars like Ronald Reagan and Elvis filmed movies there.
The ranch suffered two major fires. The last one on Valentines Day 2004 destroying nearly everything.
The remaining buildings, the Elvis Chapel where Charro! was filmed and the barn, were moved to the Superstition Mountain Museum
We were not aware of the movie ranch when we bought our little house on the hill over here in Gold Canyon but heard stories almost immediately once we arrived. Possibly because the charred remains of what was once a place creating magic and entertainment for all was right down the road. Walking distance.
We visited the Superstition Mountain Museum right after we moved. I loved it. The history surrounding this area is amazing. Like most states, it is painfully sad that as a state we don’t work harder at teaching the history of Arizona for more than a day or two to students in overcrowded class rooms. Most of us desert kids get very little real education about the gold rush except for California’s history.
Feeling I needed to see Apacheland’s original home I hiked over there the other morning after I thought the rain had passed.
Drizzling and gray it was a peaceful walk on a muddy trail. It’s always so hot that being slightly wet felt good. Completely alone I reached the section I believe I came for.
As I stood there a wave of energy surrounded me and my eyes filled with tears. This overwhelming feeling as if I had finally arrived, as if I had been waited for, as if it had taken me far too long to get there, took a hold of me for probably no more than a minute or so. Standing there alone with tears streaming down my cheeks I was not afraid but rather sad I had waited so long. It was clear I had been sent there by the energy that surrounds this entire valley and told to give a voice to a piece of history we could lose so easily.
I walked home now knowing I had been given a mission. I dried off and headed back over to the museum in hopes of better pictures or maybe find a volunteer or docent that could tell me more about the fires and the history.
I wandered into the barn where a few of the men were holding down the fort (sitting on benches chatting about life, there was no one around and it was about 100 degrees outside!) Always friendly and inviting they offered me a seat on the bench.
I enjoy being around men who are much older than myself. I have learned to listen. I have also learned that I have enough sass to hold my own but know to not go too far and show the respect deserved.
The boss rolled on up and hung around to yack with us for a few. After listening to me spar with one of the men who had been prodding me into a political conversation the boss turned to me and asked if I wanted to volunteer at the Museum.
I started Saturday.