Tucked in the northwest corner of the Sonoran Desert, east of the Colorado River, the Great Arizona Outback is a little-known refuge where the frontier has yet to close. Since the 1880s, independent, rugged individualists including Wyatt Earp have come to find peace and solitude in the pristine desert. Gold mines at Harquahala brought adventurers, miners, and thieves. Dick Wick Hall, founder and "Sage of Salome," gave the region its mythic aura. The 20th century brought successive generations of dreamers, schemers, and industrious settlers in search of health, wealth, or simply a new beginning. Mid-century Route 60 tourists in search of gas, food, and lodging supported the indomitable residents in their eccentric little enclaves. The Smithsonian Observatory above Wenden, secret World War II tank testing grounds near Bouse, brothels, slot machines, and a world-class bird aviary provided memorable diversions to travelers on the main road between Phoenix and Los Angeles.