Forbidden Entry - Sylvia Nobel

Phoenix, Arizona

This is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, and dialogues are products of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

© 2015 by Sylvia Nobel

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the publisher.

For information, contact Nite Owl Books

2850 E. Camelback Road, #185

Phoenix, Arizona 85016-4311

Phone: 602-840-0132

Fax: 602-277-9491

E-mail: Niteowlbooks*


str2 978-0-9839702-4-8

Original Cover Photo – Patrick Lange

Cover Design by

Christy A. Moeller, ATG Productions

Phoenix, Arizona

Library of Congress Control Number: 2014954997


Linda Jackson, Prescott National Forest, District Ranger

Cynthia Barrett, Law Enforcement Ranger, BLM

Dr. Laura C. Fulginiti, PhD, D-ABFA, Forensic Anthropologist, Phoenix, AZ

Harold Linder, Exploration Geologist

Tina Williams, Editorial Services

Donna Jandro, Editorial Services

Jon Young, State Chief Ranger, BLM

Kevin Weldon, Geologist, Prescott National Forest

Toby Cook, Assistant Fire Mgt. Officer, Prescott National Forest

Jerry Elian, Fire Prevention Tech, Prescott National Forest

Cathy Cordes

Miner Bob

Kelly Powell, Manager, Bumble Bee Ranch

Tom & Lynn Miller, G & S Gravel, Inc. Mayer, AZ

Bradshaw Mountain Guest Ranch, Crown King, AZ

Gary Mackey, Dobson Plant Manager, Mesa, AZ

Manny Mungaray, Plant Manager, Arizona Metro Mix

Patrick Lange, Cover Photo

Taryn Holman

Teah Anders

Lee Ann Sharpe

Kelly Scott-Olson and Christy A. Moeller, ATG Productions, Phoenix, AZ

My husband, Jerry C. Williams, for his patience, support and countless hours spent accompanying me on my research trips around the beautiful state of Arizona.

To my Loving Family, Cherished Friends and Devoted Fans

Thank you for your continuing encouragement, patience and support

Dedicated to the memory of: Elizabeth Bruening Lewis

Mentor, treasured friend, #1 cheerleader



Energetic music thumped from the speakers, fueling my already upbeat mood. I pressed the accelerator of my spanking-new, lime green Jeep a little harder, relishing the instantaneous response. Oh yeah. Sweet. Cruising along the two-lane road that sliced through the cactus-strewn landscape, I sipped hot vanilla-laced coffee and marveled at the sight of the vast desert panorama enveloped in a thick layer of ground fog—a rare occurrence that added an interesting dimension to the ordinarily parched Arizona topography. A shadowy platoon of moisture-plumped saguaro cactus stood at attention alongside the road, accentuating the eerie scene. Awesome.

But I knew it wouldn’t last long. According to the local weather forecast, it was slated to be another picture-perfect day with afternoon temperatures climbing to the low-seventies. Having spent the first twenty-eight winters of my life in damp, chilly Pennsylvania, I was still getting accustomed to flowers blooming, green grass and the luxury of sunbathing outdoors in the middle of December. Hard to believe nine months had already passed since I’d been flattened by acute asthma, dumped by my fiancé, then made the agonizing decision to quit my job at the Philadelphia Inquirer and head west to the small town of Castle Valley. To say there had been a lot of changes in my life would be the understatement of the century. But happily I had a new job, a new love, and the scorching Arizona heat had apparently baked away the majority of my debilitating symptoms, although extreme stress or a preponderance of cigarette smoke would sometimes set me off again.

I cracked the window slightly and inhaled the rain-cleansed air saturated with the rich aroma of damp earth, creosote and greasewood. How great was this? The epic storm that had pounded Arizona for six days had finally blown away during the night. Even though I’d enjoyed the welcome rainfall and even a few snow flurries, my prayers for clear weather had been answered. At least for the next few days. The ten-day forecast called for another Pacific storm to move in, but I consoled myself with the fact that there was a chance it could be wrong. I’d been looking forward to this particular day for months. I wanted it to be absolutely perfect. So far, so good.

I glanced eastward at the snow-covered ridgeline and drew in a breath of sheer delight. Pastel pink clouds, crisscrossed by brilliant streaks of magenta jet contrails, stood out in sharp relief against the pale turquoise light of dawn. Mesmerizing! With difficulty, I dragged my gaze away to refocus on the road, accelerating past a slow-moving cattle truck, one of the few vehicles I’d encountered since leaving home. But then, how much traffic would there be on a Thursday morning? I’d checked road conditions several times online and made the decision to avoid what seemed to be perpetual road construction on the I-17 freeway. No sense getting caught in that annoying snarl of congestion if I could