Wednesday, March 6, 2013


This is from our February 10, 2013 exploration.
Founded in 1908, Bouse Arizona was first a mining camp and assay office.  It is a very small, friendly town with a population of 996 in 2010.  In a previous post, I wrote about the mining claim and homestead of Thomas Quinn. There were enough prospectors in the area that an assay office was opened.  These four photos are just a few gems and minerals that were found in the mountains around Bouse. 

           Unknown    Crystal                                                   

How many dreams came true and how many were smashed in the Bouse  
 Gold,  gold.

                     Assay Office  

Across the highway from the Mercantile is a Memorial of the World War II military camp and those who so gallantly served and protected our Nation’s freedom.  To these, we owe a heartfelt thanks. The photos speak for themselves.
IMG_1115[1]IMG_1123[1]                         IMG_1119[1]                                  




      Some serious mementos and some humorous.

Next, we headed to the Assay Office.  

Guess what Rockhounding John is looking for. They have many books on the rocks and minerals that are found in the area.  But that is not all. This small building is also a museum of WWII.


Behind John, in the corner of the room is an exact replica of the turret that the soldier would squeeze into to fire at the enemy.  Actually the soldier was firing “blind.”  had no windows to view  the enemy.  


The cutouts that you see is for people like you and me to see the cramped quarters that the soldier worked.  

 Can you imagine sitting in that small place on that little white board, riding through the desert with ordnance exploding all around the tank?  

The only way the shooter could know where to aim was a black dot on a panel in front of him that was projected by another soldier. Communication way the headphones you see  I cannot remember if the person that was directing the gunner was above or below.  Hopefully, someone will provide that information.      

We left with directions to Camp Bouse.

IMG_1137[1]On our way to the camp, we find another great site to explore. There we find many  cactus                                                      varieties  scattered in the wind-blown sand dunes of the desert.

As we continued our search for Camp Bouse, the road became more narrow.  The ruts in the road were getting deeper and the desert rocks much more abundant.  

The wheels of the Miata were slipping and sliding.  I was scrunching up in mental pain every time a rock smacked the undercarriage of the car.  We were approaching a bit of a hill that would be absolutely no problem for The Bayfield Bunch’s Jeep.  Not only was the rocks inches thick, but I had to maneuver a curve at the same time.  One try – failed. Two try – failed.  Just wheels in the rocks.  Rats….foiled again.

Would anyone like to purchase a Miata? 

We never reached our goal. I turned the little car around and headed back down the road.  John spotted a wash and guess what he suggested we do?  I will not even give you two guesses.
We had to go to the Internet to finish our tour.  Hopefully, next year we will have the proper ride.

Camp Bouse was one of eleven desert training centers.  The camp was established in 1942s by General George Patton.  The camp’s location was “top secret” along with the tanks that were being used there.  “Gizmo” was the tank the servicemen were being trained to use for the “new warfare.”

Nine thousand GIs were trained on “Gismo,” a tank with shutters to flash lights in the desert in order to confuse the enemy as to their location.  The GIs were not allowed to reveal the location of Camp Bouse.  Their letters to home were taken to the headquarters then mailed.   

What is left today of Camp Bouse are a few foundations, some roads and rock footpaths along with rock decorations.  Their division insignia is laid out in rock.
General Patton, WWII, World War Two, Patton, Tank training in Arizona, Bouise Arizona, Sherman, Patton, Howitzer, Ninth Tank Group, 9th Tank Group, 701st, Grant tank in Arizona, tank training grounds, desert tank trainingIn 1950, the military returned to Camp Bouse to find and remove stray ordnance. Thirty one tons were removed from the training grounds.  They left behind warning signs saying “no digging” in the area and 
warned of picking up undiscovered ordnance. 

The military left behind one message:

Don’t we all wish we could live the message that was left behind sixty-three years ago?

There is a wonderful message they left for us.  Fitting for this time of the year.

May God bless you and your travels, give you safety and the desires of your heart.


  1. Nice to see a post from you guys again. Your poor little car is not made for exploring the back roads.

    1. I know. We are looking for another car to replace the 'baby' car. we do miss you and Jim.

  2. That was quite an adventure. SOme places are good for Miata's, some not so. Obviously you found a not. My daughter had a Mista a few years back. Traded it in and got an Audi TT. A little bigger, but not much. But MUCH better on ice and in the snow.

    Yup, I sure wouldn't go digging for anything in that area.

  3. Isn't it amazing that no matter what size town we travel through there always seems to be a war memorial. Thank goodness we are a country that never forgets those that fight to keep us free.

    I would never be able to be in one of those turrets. I would be petrified!

    Good choice to turn around.


  4. very interesting Nan... thanks for the tour.
    It was nice to meet you, John and those 2 sweet kids.

  5. Yup.. I think I would have turned the Miata around too. Too easy to brake something "vital" under there! Then you will be pushing it. LOL

    Karen and Steve
    RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard

    1. We just need to get another car to take off-road.


Thank you for leaving your comment. We do enjoy hearing from you.