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 Virginia Dale-Pinto Basin Mining District, just east of Joshua Tree National Park. I mean sure, I knew there were a handful - or two - or maybe three - of mines, but nothing really prepared me for the sheer number of sites until we were driving around on the roads. Hundreds - perhaps even thousands - of tailings piles dotted the landscape.
In three days, joined (or was it led?) by Mike @mk5, we'd hop from mine to mine, pushing our Tacoma's up narrow, rocky trails, traversing steep canyons in search of seldom-visited historic sites, and plunge deeper into the darkness of old adits than I'd ever been before.
Seriously. If there's a place in the United States with a higher density of historic mining activity, I've never been there. Frankly, I'm not sure I'd want to!
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… 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… 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…