Archive for January, 2008

A Rare Rainy Day

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

Rain today, so we can stay inside and catch up on the website posts!

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Rock Art and a View

Friday, January 25th, 2008

Another day of geocaching took us by motorcycle a few miles away, then up a mountainside. On the way up we went through a series of rock types and came across this boulder. A thin layer of rock that looked almost like a layer of plaster was wearing away and exposing the raw rock beneath, contrasting it with the desert varnish covering the majority of the rock face.

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We reached the top, finally found the cache then took in the view. We had a great vista of the American Girl wash area. You can see all the ‘snowbirds’ dispersed over the valley.

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A New Hobby!

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

After using the GPS to find Peter Kane’s waterhole, Robert discovered a new use for the electronic device besides a pedometer. He found Geocaching, a new hobby. Our first day out we had several caches within hiking distance marked on the GPS. We quickly found our first!

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We continued our route and found our second cache within an hour. While we were inspecting the contents another group of ‘geocachers’ arrived (coincidentally from Oregon also). They didn’t have to look hard for the cache since we had it already! They gave us coordinates for another cache we didn’t have on our GPS and we decided to look for that one after we found our third goal. That last cache was a difficult one, we were right on top of the coordinates, but we never saw the container. All in all we hiked 9 miles, found 3 of 4 caches, learned more about the uses of the GPS and had a great time out in the sun.

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Robert inspecting the contents of a cache.

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Mary Jo even got in on the fun!

Peter Kane Mine

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Our friends Glen and Barb from British Columbia took us to a remote mine site created by Peter Kane in the 1920’s and 30’s. During the winters of two decades he worked at building a road to his site, carving small caves in the wall of a wash to live, cook and store supplies, and digging his mine. After his equipment was vandalized he gave up and died penniless in nearby Blythe, CA. His meticulous road has survived the decades since, through storm and sun, attesting to his determination and single handed hard work with pry bar and muscle only!

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Barb and Mary Jo in front of one of the many retaining walls supporting the road.

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Two of the three small caves carved into the wash. We finally found Peter Kane’s waterhole, with the help of the GPS. A modern addition to the waterhole is the pipe to a wildlife ‘guzzler’ probably installed by the fish and game department.

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Below the cliff is the original waterhole, a mecca for wildlife and probably the reason Peter Kane sited his mining efforts nearby!

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Rock Playground

Monday, January 21st, 2008

Various activities involving rocks! A hike to a mine entrance, a lump of blue kyanite ore from a nearby mine, a rock jungle gym to climb on and through!

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Discoveries on Another Hike

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

While on yet another hike, over the same area we had walked a few times before, we discovered new things! This quartz obelisk, standing upright, alone against the desert background was a natural sculpture.

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We chanced upon this rock shelter, apparently someones homestead that at one time had a tar paper roof. There were still some household items on a shelf and a little broom in the corner.

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Neighbors

Friday, January 18th, 2008

We are camped on BLM land which is considered dispersed dry camping, no facilities are provided. It’s free and everyone is pretty well spread out and for the most part respectful of neighbors and the environment. We discovered an animal neighbor and took some pictures, hopefully not disturbing this chuckwalla too much!

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Coffee on the Deck

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

Sunny, calm mornings call for a cup of coffee on our makeshift ‘deck’!

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After a leisurely morning we usually take a nice walk to explore the area. Occasionally we have company, in this case a Marine helicopter flew over. We also see a Blue Angels jet making maneuvers roaring overhead. The Border Patrol is also prevalent in the area, so we’re well protected!

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New Campsite

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

We moved to a new campsite after a resupply trip to Yuma, Arizona, about 25 miles away. We’re closer to the American Girl Mine Site and closer to the base of the mountains. We have a great view out our window to the mountains. We also have good exposure to the south for our solar panel and the Zodi portable shower cannister.
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The American Girl Mine was apparently a series of open pit mines with tons of tailings that were artfully spread around the desert landscape. We can hike to the base of these tailings about 1 + 1/2 miles away. The patterns created must have something to do with limiting erosion I expect.

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Tumco

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

We were camped near the ghost town of Hedges/Tumco, an early site of mining in the Cargo Muchacho Mountains. We wandered through the few remains of the town that once boasted 3200 townspeople. It was a company town that emptied for good in 1949 after a checkered history of gold mining. All that is left of the 100 stamp mill is the foundation, after the scavenging of parts and scrap metal over the years, and the ravages of the fierce winds and sun.

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For a picture of the mill in it’s heyday, click here.