A day (and night) in Dateland

On our way to Ajo we stopped for a night in Dateland.  Dateland is basically just a truck/gas stop, but it has a gift shop and a place to get one of the best date shakes around. Dateland has been around since the 1920s.   If you stop here and like/love date shakes be sure and try one of their blends.  I also bought a piece of date bread and a date/pineapple cookie.  I was disappointed in the baked goods, however, as they were dried out and flavorless. 

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The Oasis RV park is where we stayed and it’s definitely a hidden gem.  $25 a night for full hookups.  Level, gravel sites with brick “patios”.  Roomy spots and unending desert to walk your dogs in.  There are desert trails, washes and roads that lead to the Aztec Hills and sand dunes. Barrel cactus dot the landscape and if your lucky they will either be in bloom or in fruit.  It is well off the highway, though there are trains that are within hearing distance.  They don’t blow their horns at crossings, so the only sound you hear are the clacky-clack of the cars rolling by.  There is a pool, pay laundry, propane sales, desert access for quad riding, Cabana with restroom and shower.  It’s a low key park, with everyone being friendly.  They have get togethers for ice cream socials, potlucks and I heard the owners even had a prime rib dinner for guests!

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There is not a lot to see in Dateland. You can travel to Gila Bend and go to the Painted Rock Petroglyph site.  There is also another Petroglyph site closer but more difficult to get to (4×4 or ORV only) named Sears Point Petroglyph site.  I didn’t make it to either of them, but hope to return to check them out another time.

We did go out to Spot Rd (heading east) to a rock house that we read about.  We got there as sundown approached so didn’t have a lot of time to explore.  About the house: ” “The name “Bill Cody 1902” carved into the interior wall of the house might have been the famous Buffalo Bill Cody, AKA William F. Cody “Buffalo Bill” (1846-1917). In 1902 longtime partner, Nate Salsbury, dies. Cody forms a mining company and begins investing heavily at Oracle, Arizona. The small town of Oracle is located 177 miles to the east of Dateland Arizona, which makes sense. This house could have belonged to Nate Salsbury and Cody could have carved his name before his departure to Oracle.” -ghost townAZ.com   It was a interesting small building to look at, the wood windows in places were still standing where walls had tumbled down.  There is a nice stone fireplace.  It was with great sadness that we saw that the carving suspected to be done by Bill Cody had been vandalized.  Someone had knocked that part of the wall down and it looked like they were trying to take it.  It had broken in pieces though, so probably they decided the value wasn’t there any more. 😦

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Next morning after an hour and 1/2 walk with the dogs we headed for Ajo!

 

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