Return to Route 17by John Scott on Oct. 08, 2013, under Uncategorized
As promised, faithful readers, I swung by the ghost town of Bumble Bee to take some photos. As I drove down the 5-mile stretch of dirt with it’s winding turns, I began to feel that this road would have been hellish in a stagecoach. Finally, crossing the old bridge that covers Bumble Bee creek, a small cropping of buildings dating back to the territorial days sprouted up. However, they looked to be all occupied. Yes, folks, the town of Bumble Bee appears to be a selection of homes, probably belonging to the folks who work at the neighboring ranch. I was a little disappointed not to have an opportunity to wander around and take photos of dilapidated buildings, yet encouraged to know that someone is caring for this old nugget of history.
The old stagecoach road did allow for some terrific views and the ambiance of the Old West. Out in this remote area I could envision masked bandits emerging from any number of hiding spots. No wonder this area was ripe for the picking. I was half expecting Randolph Scott ride up on horseback and ask if I was lost.
This got me thinking about Pearl Hart and her failed stagecoach robbery. Even if she and Joe Boot had not been apprehended by a posse some days later, Pearl would have eventually been caught. She was recognized by one of the passengers, and women on the run probably stuck out like sore thumbs.
The terrain around Globe where Pearl and Joe pulled their stunt seems more open and exposed than the road to Bumble Bee. Now that I’ve been on both roads, I can safely say that the northern route seems a better choice for outlaw activities. Kind of like an English Muffin with all the nooks and crannies for the butter to hide in. Clearly I should get some breakfast.
To read more about this iconic outlaw activity in our territory, R. Michael Wilson’s book, Encyclopedia of Stagecoach Robbery in Arizona, is an excellent source. If you or the family are fond of outdoor excursions, the many places off of Route 17 will keep you busy. I realize the temptation is great, but don’t hold up any quads.