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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Old Mines and Old Cars
First thing this morning we went into town to get another two solar lights. Had to look around the maze to find that booth again. 
Time in a bottle...
We went down Dome Rock Road W. and turned onto Cholla Road. The pavement ends at the intersection with the Pipeline Rd. and climbs up into a remote wilderness area. Pretty soon we saw the first old mine down to the right. On the left side towards La Paz Valley we saw the outcropping of another mine, this one much bigger and fenced. It looked like it was still in operation. An old trailer and a car was parked behind the fence - either a guard or the owner.
Oh Shit...

From here we had the choice of going down to La Paz Valley or following the "Oh Shit Run" higher up into the mountains. Whadda ya think we did?
At another fork a sign announced the "Yellow Dog Mine", and no trespassing please. So we didn't trespass but followed the main trail, which by then had narrowed a lot.
Yellow Dog Mine
From the side we were on, we got a good view across the valley to the Yellow Dog Mine, featuring a couple of wooden buildings, one being living quarters. However, there was no sign of any life there.
A long-dead Saguaro

Now the road became even more adventureous and since our Jeep is a front-wheel-drive only, we parked and hiked up the road. Molly was excited being able to sniff up all the wonderful new spots.

Mighty Saguaro Cactus, Cholla and a full variety of all kind of prickly plants were decorating the desert floor. 

While being around this old mining area I imagined the oldtimers, driven by their hope and greed to find the big riches in the bone-dry rocky ground. Every drop of water had to be brought up here, except when it rained and the flashfloods brought enough water for a couple of days.

While the sign for the "New Hope" Mine warned us that no prospecting is allowed in this staked-out claim, we had no intentions to start any other prospecting than for a good photo shot. However we did find a couple of old bottles which we confiscated as souvenirs.
Mighty Saguaro Cactus

With a beautiful deep blue sky above we had a perfect day, and it wasn't even too hot. However, the dry air requires us to drink a lot of water and it didn't take long before I felt the thirst. So we returned to the car where we all shared water from a big bottle. 
We made it down again to Quartzsite before noon, but I had to stop at another very interesting place, the desertgardens where an antique car enthusiast doesn't want to leave ever again. If it hadn't been for Bea waiting for me in the car, I would probably still be there. 

So, I am done for now. Tomorrow we will be driving to the Joshua Tree National Park. It will be the first time for us to see this great park.


  1. That photo at the top of your blog reminds me of the cactus I stumbled into in March of 2011 on a wild flower walk in Desert Palms. Not a nice animal. It bit me!!

  2. What an interesting adventure you had!! Hopefully, we'll get a chance to get up there and check it out too. I love finding new places to visits. Have fun on your journey and be safe!

  3. I love those antique cars as well.

  4. Your bottle is beautiful. We have never been on Oh Shit Road. Next year we're going to have to make that run.


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