This is my sibling Damocles, claim-jumping. Since this behavior once caused
a whole lot of shooting and dying, I grabbed my camera and shot him with
This loading chute was very dangerous to work in; the chute clearer had to use an iron bar to free the chute when it jammed, and now and then he had to use small shots of dynamite to do the job. This chute is still very dangerous; it could fall at any moment.
|Mines are not things to play in. Here we have my sibling Damocles and his spawn, posing for a photograph.|
|This automobile got too sick to go any farther, rolled over on its back, put its feet up in the air, and waited to die. Someone hurried the death along with a few thousand bullets. The carcass was then stripped of anything and everything useful.|
|Desertphile, looking for old mines to reclaim. Abandoned mines are very dangerous, but they can also be a source of a little money if newer mining methods are applied to old mines. This mine has nothing more to offer the fortune seeker, except perhaps death.|
|Damocles taking a break from climbing rock faces.|
|I did not believe Damocles when he boasted he could climb to the top of this rock face; when he did, I was both astonished and amused: once up there he had to find a way back down, which took him an hour or so. Note the lack of a helmet, lack of knee pads, and lack of.... well, any and all protective gear. This is proof that I'm the smarter of the two of us.|
|Damocles at the mouth of a lava cave.|
|Damocles at another lava cave. He visits these site to pick up the trash that people tend to leave here, and to check the safety of the cave. The ceiling could cave in at any time.|
There is a large amount of silver ore laying around this mine. Most of that ore
is too poor to bother smelting. There are three gold mines just a few miles
west-southwest of here, in Afton Canyon.
Here in this image are the walls that were built along the small-guage rails where the ore carts were loaded at the chute. At the end of this rail was once a brick-lined smelter, so there was no doubt also a stamp nearby.
|Here is a better image of the wall. Look at how well it was made--- amazing!|
|All that is left of an adobe building at Riggs, California.|
|The trash dump of Riggs, California. There are hundreds of tin cans here. Dumps like this are scattered all over the Mojave Desert.|
|Here is Barb, using the desert's wind to travel.|
|Desertphile in the Hand of the Land.|
|For a month or so I lived here, in this palapa under the tree.|
|The palapa, which shows how open and inviting it is. This is a nice place to stay in the spring and fall, but during the summer the bugs and insects are too great a bother.|
|The second time my pickup's gearbox protection rod was bent!|
|I protest Scientology Inc.'s crimes and human rights abuses, even in the desert! :-)|
|Near the Blue Bell mine.|
This is the "before and after" image of the steel bar
under my pickup that protects the gearbox. Desert travel is very
hard on automobiles; in many places, the best way in and out is
on foot or on a horse. |
My pickup has a "open" differential, which means that if one of the rear wheels is stuck in sand, that wheel continues to spin while the opposite wheel does not. This means that once stuck, it is a lot of work with a shovel, a jack, and assorted blankets to get unstuck.
|The road to Carp, Nevada.|
|Carp, Nevada. I didn't find anyone living here. Kind of looked like the whole town was abandoned.|
|Shack at China Ranch, near Tecopa California.|
|Building at China Ranch|
|Castle Rock Camp Grounds|
|Train bridge, on the way to Denver|
|Train bridge, on the way to Denver|
|Miner's shack, Utah|
|Miner's shack, Utah|
|Elgin Schoolhouse, Nevada.|
|Big hook, on a corral in the Mojave Desert.|
|The road to Moore, Utah.|
|Navaho Rug, Storm|
|Rainbow Valley, Nevada|
|Hubbell's Trading Post, Dine'tah.|
|The ShyMobile, Dine'tah.|
This miserable bit of fun is known as "Stuck in deep doo-doo, and
hard to get out." My pickup here is stuck in deep shale, while
also hard up against a hill (the driver's door was blocked),
while also being held in place by a desert bush wrapped around the
tail pipe. The pickup is actually leaning against the hill--- the
driver's side is lower than the passenger side. The image here
has the camera held at an angle, so that the pickup appears
horrizontal--- it was stuck with the front end a foot
higher than the back end.
The nearest tow truck was 30 miles away, and perhaps could not have freed my vehicle because the trail was too rough. Rather than hike 30 miles just to be told I would have to extract my pickup by myself (and then walk 30 miles back), I took on the job myself.
The first task was to cut the pickup free from the brush. Since the brush was growing on the side of the hill, I had to work on an incline to cut it free. Fortunately I always travel the desert with a great many tools--- I had a pruning shear in my toolbox. The temperature was 112 degrees Fahrenheit.
Since the pickup could not go forward, nor backwards, nor to left or right, the only option left to me was to make the pickup go UP! Using a screw jack, I lifted the pickup in stages, front end first then the back end. Each time the pickup was raised, I placed shale and assorted bits of desert under the tires. When I had raised the pickup about 16 inches, I then placed my back against the driver's side of the pickup, placed my feet against the hill, and shoved until the pickup slid away from the hill. Then I again raised the pickup another foot or so, and again shove it away from the hill. I had to do this a total of five times until the pickup was back on the trail. It took me nine hours, and I consumed four gallons of water.
I have no intention of having this much fun ever again.