Fun in the Desert

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We have been told by folks we run into and friends that when in Parker don’t miss the outside saloon. However, no one could tell us how to get there!

We rounded up the neighborhood on Sunday and headed for Parker and the desert saloon. First though, food for the trip was on the agenda. We stopped in Parker at a Mexican restaurant that nearly froze us out. We requested some heat and they put a space heater up about 2 feet from the ceiling. That didn’t do much for the cold toes! Thank goodness they had a special running because the food was nothing to write home about so no recommendations here about where to eat.

After lunch, we headed up 95 towards Havasu to find this phenomenon everyone had been talking about. Five miles out of Parker we made a right on Cienega Springs Road. The road is dirt and maintained by the county even though the sign says otherwise. At least that is what one local told us!

Driving through the Buckskin Mountains gives another view of the desert. After five miles of driving we see the church front they have constructed out of steel up ahead. Whew, we must be getting close.

What a sight! First the church and now old cars situation at the entrance and through out the parking lot. The church is not the normal kind of church you think of when you think of a church. It may look like that kind of church from a distance but up close it show that it doesn’t have any doors and no pews. In fact, there are no windows. One actually walks through it in about 20 steps. The building is made of solid steel and the walls and ceiling are covered in stamped tin. I thought maybe the roof was copper because it had turned green. But then, maybe not.

The saloon is called the Nellie E named after a mine in the area. You can still see some mining equipment in the hills and many “holes” in the mountain where mining was done. Copper was mined here.

A bridge had to be built across the wash to allow foot traffic to the bar from the parking lot. This entrance brings one to the tables and chairs of outside sitting. To the right is the stage. Since the saloon is only open on Saturday’s and Sunday’s, they bring in bands to provide entertainment. There is an outside bar next to the stage area but all we could see going on there was where one would order hot dogs, hamburgers or chili.

To the left was the swinging doors of the saloon. Inside the saloon was the real bar, set along side the wall. The top of this bar is brass and the bar stools are made of steel and say from side to side. A fireplace stove had been set up to keep the place warm. The windows at the end of the room are really old glass refrigerator doors. A couple of round tables and photo’s of the making of the saloon were the only decorations. Solar generates the power to the saloon.

The place sported a horseshoe pit as well as a huge balcony for seating. This was on the second story.

Stay tuned tomorrow to see the real attraction to the Nellie E. Sure got a lot of giggles out of this.

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