When I get time I will fill in this area with old trips and stuff!
A day shot to a mine near Mojave
With hot weather just about to decend on the desert in earnest, we headed out to the one cool spot we knew. It had some decent
elevation, after all.
|Passing below the aqueduct pipe
This was a meet between a few new folks to the Mine Explorers and a few old timers. We Finally hooked up in the parking
lot of Jawbone Station and then proceeded onward and upward. Most of the first part of the road is on the california
aqueduct maintenance road so it is easy going.
Soon we reached a well used turn off and started really climbing. We passed thru the remains of a gate that seemed to
contain every piece of scrap metal for a hundred miles. The road got narrower and began to do a little cliff hugging. We wound
past a few vehicular remains and then headed up a really steep section that had two lovely switchbacks in the middle. But
of course, being the offroad tyrannosauruses we were, we simply motored on and up over the top.
|Shack and "portable" head frame
It was worth the drive! Not only were we greeted with a hill top view that extended for tens of miles across fantastic desert
topography in every direction but there was this excellent little mine camp at the top! There was plenty to look at as the
camp was still kind of intact. Sadly, most of the buldings have been torched with the exception of the wonderful mine winch
building. What made it so interesting was that the headframe appeared to be portable. It was designed so that with a minimum
of hassle you could actually lower the frame and truck it on out! Damn clever these old timers. And this mine wasn't THAT
old. I can remember camping down in the valley below this mine in the early 90's and seeing lights up here and wondering who
was up here and how to get to this place. Time and again I had tried the road only to run up against the gate and as the Mine
Explorers always respect people's property, we moved on. I wasn't until very recently when we hooked up with Rich that he
mentioned being able to pass thru the gate. And so, here we were.
Heh, well we are Mine Explorers, after all! So we hooked up and down we went. We were very lucky to have another new face,
Dave who we summarily tagged as "Mr. Gadget" as he had every cool toy known to man and we all drooled with envy. Dave also
had a very nice climbing rig with all the bells and whistles and even a nice air sniffer for safety. Dave lead the way down
180 feet- as far as his rope would go- to almost the bottom of the decline. He decided to stop there and we scampered by him
on the ladder to the bottom, about another 30 feet below. What we thought was a dead end turned out to be the air pipe all
jammed in the opening where it had fallen from above. If you waded thru the stuff, you could actually reach the belly of the
mine. Here we found a small adit about halfway filled with break down.
There was even a sparklet's water cooler! We were leery of climbing the breakdown pile as it is behind piles such as these
you can encounter deadly gasses. And this mine had no airflow, one entrance and was pretty crumbly. But heh, you know us!
We used Dave's sniffer, which began to sing almost immediately as we climbed over the pile of debris. But hey- the O2 was
only down a few PPM so we continued. The adit only extended about another 50 feet or so. We found a stope of sorts filled
with nasty looking orange liquid and then a small adit continued maybe 30 more feet and was connected to another small stope
that went about the same distance upward at maybe 50 degrees. Not super inmpressive. It didn't take too much thought to head
on out, while listening to the sniffer sing out. Not a bad little mine for the effort.
|Steeper than it looks!
But we weren't done by a long shot! We loaded into the more robust of the vehicles as Rich clued us in that we could
go visit a cabin nearby if we were willing to tackle the drive. I've been to the cabin and I call it the Mystery Cabin. So
we went off with a coupla Jeep Wranglers and a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The road is, needless to say, challenging! This pic doesn't
even do it justice. It was so steep that in spots we had to dismount to keep the vehicles from sliding, brakes locked, down
nasty sections. But we made it to the cabin just as the sun set and enjoyed revisiting the area. Then it was time to go back
UP those steep hills! Here, the Jeep GC had a little trouble, sliding almost sideways down a hill he was trying to tackle
but he persevered and we made it out! Quite an exciting run, all told and a great run. Our thanks to all who came out that
day for making the whole thing such a success!
R.I.P. Todd. God speed. You will be missed.