Mark D Stephens: Adventurer, writer, photographer, ambassador of the sonoran desert
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Adventure to Sibley Mansion
by Way of Copper Creek, Pinzgauer, and Margarita

Sibley Mansion Copper Creek, ArizonaSibley Mansion in Southern Arizona stands as just a few rock walls and a symbolic statement of how well mining investments work. The fellow who built the mansion, Roy Sibley, did so in an effort to bait some unsuspecting fools into investing in a mine that was going under. Now the mansion decays away.

There is a neat old building referred as The General Store that is in the same shape as Sibley Mansion. I bet we could come up with a few ghost tales to tell about this place.

Says Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers about the Sonoran desert:

"Let her lead you so very far away no-one can reach you / spread out wild and wander / and may everything you poison come back stronger..."

Sibley Mansion is a relic of a poisoned history, but now it's interesting and wild, and you can see the Sonoran Desert taking it back.

The trail to Sibley Mansion is quite rough at the creek, and the entire trail is rather long. We camped at the Mansion to break up the bumpy ride, and to find a reason to try out Alicia's Mexican Food in Mammoth, Arizona.

Land Rover Discovery on the road to Sibley MansionMy typical assortment of banditos -Brooke, Greg, and Clay- joined a rowdy crew Pinzgauer owners for this drive to Sibley Mansion and to see who could make the best margarita. They shared campfire tales of Southern Arizona wild west Sonoran adventure mainly revolving around one central theme: how to keep a Pinzgauer running.

No one knows a sure-fire method.

Another theme in discussions about Pinzgauers with Pinzgauer owners: they wouldn't trade it for the world. The most talkative guy on the trip was Dave; his Pinzgauer wasn't even operational, so he rode along with someone else. At least that was his story, but I think that Pinzgauer owners know better than to travel without a second set of hands for when the thing breaks down.

Pinzgauer on the way to Sibley MansionThese Pinzgauer owners, though, love their contraptions. I must admit that I envy the articulation, clearance and gargo space. Plus, they look cool. Check out Lorenzo there to the left. He's happy.

Accrding to the website, www.pinzgauer.uk.com,

"Stories about the Pinzgauer are usually about the laws of physics and the glorious moment when they were broken."

Sibley Mansion in Copper Creek ArizonaAt one point Dave was pouring me one of his 'famous' campfire margaritas and said, "How is it physically possible that my Pinzgauer breaks so often?" That's when someone laughed across the fire and responded with, "Stories about the Pinzgauer are always about laws of, uh, science and how YOURS just don't agree with 'em. Or some shit like that. Pass me another marga-marg-margaree...damn. You know what I want, pass it over."

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Pinzgauer Copper Creek Arizona trailAs for the road to Sibley Mansion, it contains a lot of rock crawling and several hills during the final 2 miles; but the majority of the trail is graded dirt road. There is an easier way to get there from Mammoth, Arizona as well. Copper Creek is pretty with a standard riparian Arizona environment: Mesquite, Acacia, Palo Verdes, great-tailed grackles, rattlesnakes, lizards, and very little water. Ol' Roy Sibley had a prime piece of land in the Sonoran Arizona wilderness.

Check out the gallery to the right for some great photos of Sibley Mansion and the trail with the Pingauer crew.

Sibley Mansion Trail info:

A recent email to me indicated that this trail is closed. The mansion site resides on private property and the land owner no longer wishes to allow random visitors to enter. I can't verify if this is true. If it is, it's best to respect the owner's decision.

The mansion is an impressive sight, nevertheless.

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Mark D. Stephens: Adventurer, Writer, Photgrapher and Ambassador of the Sonoran Desert