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Tag: gold mine

In Over My Head | Missing Death Valley #2

Making my way south from Furnace Creek, I wasn't in any rush as I putzed along Badwater Road. With tourists swinging into the other lane to pass me by, I soaked in the ever-changing western face of the Black Mountains. Is it just me, or does it look like that guy is fishing in Lake Manley? No fish out there buddy! After passing the parking lot at Badwater, traffic thinned out significantly. Sure, there was still a bit - heading to or from Sidewinder Canyon or south towards Jubilee Pass and Las Vegas - but by and large I was…

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Pick One to Hug | Snow in JTNP #3

It's extremely rare that we camp in the same location two nights in a row, but our second night in the Jumbo Rocks campground was - being essentially windless, and certainly snowless - so much more pleasant than the first, that it was as if we'd driven for hours and camped somewhere entirely different. Unfortunately, that didn't mean that the tent was dry. It was still cold, so a thick layer of frost had formed on all the exterior surfaces overnight - a situation that we'd ignore as we packed up a few minutes after sunrise - requiring us to…

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Wonderland in White | Snow in JTNP #2

Having climbed into the tent by 7:30pm, exhausted after nearly two days without sleep, we fell asleep quickly despite the tent flapping wildly in the wind, the entire thing swaying - as I imagine a train car might - with each gust. Still, with warm feet and ear plugs, everything was dandy until just after midnight when I heard the pitter-patter of rain. Or was it? Rain, it turns out, isn't so bad as long as it stops early enough in the morning that the rain fly can dry out by the time we need to put the tent away.…

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Extras Along the Way | EMHT Segment 4

I could have included this stuff in the main East Mojave Heritage Trail stories - and usually I would have - but they were already getting long. Plus, I know that most would prefer YouTube videos anyway. Not that there will be any YouTube videos here, if I just got your hopes up. Anyway, this is a mishmash story of a few things that weren't explicitly part of EMHT Segment 4, but that I experienced during that same span of time. The Copper Glint Mine As I was leaving Las Vegas - my body and the Tacoma both resupplied after…

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It's All Wilderness Now | EMHT Segment 4a Camp Clipper to Turtle Mountains

After running the first two segments of the East Mojave Heritage Trail (EMHT) with Mike and Zane last month, and then returning for the third segment with @mrs.turbodb only a week later, it was less of a question of "where" and more a question of "when" my first trip of 2024 would take place. The "where" - of course - would be the final, fourth segment of the 770-mile long route, winding my way through the Mojave Trails National Monument and the Turtle Mountain Wilderness. Segment 1: Needles to Ivanpah - 173 miles Segment 2: Ivanpah to Rocky Ridge -199…

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Mine Hopping | EMHT Segment 2A Clark Mountain to Silver Lake

We lucked out with a windless night along our ridge on the eastern edge of the Clark Mountains. Hoping that out orientation would allow for some nice color at sunrise, I was up early to try and find the best angle from which to capture the splendor we were lucky enough to call home for a night. Framed by Clark Mountain, there was just a hint of color in the sky. Mike @Digiratus and Zane @Speedytech7 weren't far behind, and as I was wrapping up the morning photo session of their best-gen trucks, they were boiling water for coffee and…

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Almost the End | EMHT Segment 1B Caruthers Canyon to Clark Mountain

There aren't many nights that I close up all the windows and doors on my tent, as - especially when there is a full moon as there was on this night - I enjoy being able to gaze out on the surroundings if I wake up in the middle of the night. But parked under the watchful gaze of Easter Island Rock, with temperatures in the my-feet-are-numb range and a 10mph breeze blowing through camp, I zipped everything up tight, inserted my earplugs, and hoped for the best. It worked, and I was nice and toasty when my alarm -…

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Bass Camp and Beyond | Connect the Dots #4

Hoping to get some photos before the sun was up and the cabin-under-a-rock was lost to the shadows, I set my alarm for too-dark-o'clock, and hit the snooze button a couple of times before finally pulling on my pants and climbing down the ladder to a beautiful morning. Even before the sun was over the horizon, the glow on the granite hillsides was magical. This old water tank caught my eye. Suddenly in a rush against the sun, I scampered up the hillside in search of a location where I could capture the entire camp. This - given the car-sized…

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Gruelling Hike or Heavenly Hot Spring? | Connect the Dots #3

One of the dots I'd hoped to connect on our trip through Nevada was hiking to the top of Boundary Peak in the White Mountains. Boundary is an interesting peak. Appropriately, it sits on a boundary - the state line between Nevada and California. At 13,147 feet, it's the highest peak in Nevada.  And hilariously, along the same ridgeline - less than a mile away, and just across the California border - Montgomery Peak rises 298 feet above Boundary Peak, yet Montgomery Peak does not rank amongst the top 100 of California's highest peaks. Sounded like the perfect peak to…

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One Dark Mile | Montana #4

After climbing into our tents to escape the oncoming storm, wind gusts and rain continued in fits and spurts for the next several hours. Even with my tent now tied down, a stronger-than-normal gust lifted it - with me inside - six inches, a situation I was forced to remedy during a lull in the storm. Thankfully however, by midnight, things had significantly calmed down. Winds were in the much-more-reasonable 5mph range, and only intermittent sprinkles fell on our flies. This allowed everything to dry out reasonably well by morning - each of us glad that we weren't putting our…

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A Stroll through the Rocks | Three Ways #2

Having drifted off to sleep to the pleasant pitter-patter of rain, it was extra nice to wake up just before sunrise to clear skies and a completely dry tent. Letting @mrs.turbodb bank a few more minutes of shut-eye, I headed to a nearby ridge to watch the sun crest the horizon. Surrounded by mountain fingers, any westerly winds had been kept at bay through the night. Half an hour later, my whistle - carried across the sandy slopes on a cool breeze - was answered in kind as @mrs.turbodb started her morning routine while I retraced my steps back to…

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Saving the Best for Last | Joshua Tree #5

Perched above I-10 and the Chuckwalla Valley - which for some reason, I'd previously assumed was on the south side of the Chuckwalla Mountains where the Bradshaw Trail passed through the Chuckwalla Bench - I was relieved when the previously rambunctious winds died down after sunset. Having gotten very little sleep the night before, I fell asleep quickly and slept soundly - perhaps my best night of sleep the entire trip - waking well-rested about a half hour before sunrise, so I could get an early start to my day. A nice place to wake up on the final morning…

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Cary's Castle | Joshua Tree #4

Uncomfortably hunkered down in the passenger seat of the Tacoma with a towel covering my legs for warmth, I spent the first few hours of the night transferring photos to my computer and doing a bit of reading. By 9:00pm, winds were strong enough that waves of sand where being thrown against the side of the truck as it rocked relentlessly with each 60mph gust. It wasn't until nearly midnight - after falling asleep for a few hours - that I decided I really ought to point the nose into the wind. ...HIGH WIND WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 4…

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All Alone | Joshua Tree #3

Boy was I lucky. My night at 5380 feet on the top of Eureka Peak was a little cool - not a problem given my doubled-up down comforters - with just the slightest breeze to keep air moving through the tent. It was a far cry from the wind event that was bearing down on the region - and that I'd suffer through over the remainder of my visit - but I woke up well-rested and looking forward to a beautiful day! A little alpenglow on San Gorgonio Mountain just before the sun crested the horizon. A bit of sun…

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Crowds | Joshua Tree #2

After a very pleasant night - temps in the low 40s °F, only a slight breeze - on the southern edge of Pinto Basin, I was up bright and early to make the 12-mile drive back to the intersection of Pinto Basin, Old Dale, and Black Eagle Mine Roads. I'd gotten out of camp just before sunset, knowing that I had a full day ahead, and knowing - even if I didn't admit it to myself - that each of my dozen or so stops would take longer than I imagined. As I sped across Pinto Valley, the sun crested…

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An Evening in Pinto Basin | Joshua Tree #1

In all the years I've been exploring the deserts of southern California, I've never made it to Joshua Tree National Park. The reason - if a little lame - is also simple: it's just too far away. Now, I know what you're thinking - they drive 20+ hours from Washington to Death Valley on a regular basis - and Joshua Tree is too far? Yes. It's a few more hours, and even I have my limits for what are usually 5-day trips where we leave at 8:00am and need to get at least a few hours of sleep before starting the…

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One More Day in Dale | Mine Mania #3

Nestled into the canyon at the Golden Egg Mine, I'd either gotten the truck leveled just right or I was extra tired from the previous day's mine hopping. Whatever the reason, I slept fantastically until about three minutes before my alarm went off. I love nights like that. What a place to wake up. As if I'm the only one in the entire mining district! Exploring into mine adits, shafts, etc. is not safe. I joke around about that a bit in this story, but I just want to be clear: Stay out, stay alive. Still bummed that I'd failed…

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In Search of an Ore Cart | Mine Mania #2

One of the great things about a pit mine is that every step of the mine has plenty of level area to park on - with no rock stacking required. Plus, we'd somehow - accidentally - chosen a spot that was essentially windless, the wall behind us sheltering us from the westerly winds. Exploring into mine adits, shafts, etc. is not safe. I joke around about that a bit in this story, but I just want to be clear: Stay out, stay alive. The Iron Age Mine Also - completely by accident, given that it'd been pitch black when we…

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1,350 Feet Underground | Mine Mania #1

So. Many. Mines. I must admit to not really understanding what I was getting myself into when I started looking into a trip to the Dale Mining District, just east of Joshua Tree National Park. I mean sure, I knew there were a handful - or two handfuls - or maybe three - of mines, but nothing really prepared me for the sheer number of sites until I was driving around on the roads. Hundreds - perhaps even thousands - of tailings piles dotted the landscape. #overwhelmingmuch? After flying down to Las Vegas - which is so much better than driving -…

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Needle in a Haystack | Not the Rock Art #2

Having gone to bed at a little over 6,000 feet above sea level and surrounded by snow, I was a little worried that I'd be freezing cold and that the tent would be covered in frost when I woke up in the morning. To my delight, neither came to pass, and as I climbed around on the rocks behind camp - looking for rock art - just before sunrise, I found myself hopeful for the day ahead. Good morning, sun! After watching the sun crest the horizon, I hopped from stone to stone on my way back to camp. Cereal…

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