Yesterday’s high winds rocked us to sleep but stopped around midnight. This morning was cool with a light breeze.
I have been curious to know how far north one could drive in Tyson Wash. On the map the wash appears to go around the mountains and almost to the Colorado River.
Around 9:30 we left the park and went to Pilot to fill Clifford’s gas tank. From there we drove back passed the park and down into Tyson Wash and headed north.
The wash is very wide and has a lot of tracks. In some places it is like a gravel road and in others it is real soft.
While we were driving along we passed a Palo Verde tree and I noticed a a dark lump in the branches. I stopped and backed up to check it out. I thought the lump was a bee hive but on further examination we found that it was a swarm.
Or maybe the bees were in the process of building a nest. We didn’t stick around long enough to find out for sure.
The track we were following went along some high banks.
After traveling in the wash for about 11 miles we came to a fence with this sign.
So I guess my question was answered. You can follow the wash as far as the Indian reservation.
We decided to go back south and follow one of the many quad runner trails that cross the wash. After going about 3 miles we saw a trail coming in on the right so we turned onto it. And headed west into the mountains the trail ended in a sheer drop into a gully at an old mining site. Across the gully was an old mechanical shovel and I wanted to check it out. We had crossed a place where quads had gone down the side of the gully so I backed up and turned Clifford down the bank. As we were going into the gully I thought to my self, “I sure hope there is another way out of here!” Because the drop was real steep with a lot of big rocks. There was a track on the other side however that looked like it went out on the other side of the gully.
We made it over to the shovel and got some pictures.
After taking some photos we started down the track that you can see on the left. It went for about a half mile around a hill and stopped.
There was a set of quad tracks in the gully running parallel to the trail we were on but it looked like the tracks petered out, so we drove back to where we had initially crossed the gully. It looked very steep and at the top we would have to make a more than 90 degree turn onto the upper trail. I wasn’t sure that we could make it.
I put the Jeep in first gear, low range and hit the gas. Up we went, tires spinning and bouncing over the rocks, at the top I spun the wheel to the right and we were on the trail.
I let out a big sigh of relief.
Patti said she wasn’t worried at all. Apparently she has more faith in Clifford and me than I do.
We drove east along the trail until we came to another one going to the southeast and turned onto it.
After a couple miles we came to The Boyer Gap road where we turned west toward the Marble rock quarry.
I wanted to check out a couple of mines that we had stopped at on a earlier trip.
There are some mines marked on the map and I wanted to know if they were the same ones. I figured that if I got a GPS track to them I could look at the track on the “Map Soft” Topo map on the computer and find this out.
Along the way Patti got some pictures of Segmented Cholla cactus blossom's.
I wanted to see where the Reservation line was on this side of the mountains. So at a cross trail we turned west and followed it for a mile or so. Along the way we passed a metal fence post with a board bolted to it but no sign. The trail we were on became a wash and we followed it for a while.
We were getting hungry so I pulled up in the shade of a Palo Verde Tree and we had lunch.
While we were there I took a GPS reading and found that we were about a mile into the Res.
After lunch we headed back to check out the mines. Along the way we passed a concrete floor and a pile of old lumber. I took readings, Patti wrote them down and we went on.
As it turned out these ruins were not marked on the map so I don’t know what they might have been.
From a distance, if you squint your eyes and use a lot of imagination, the First mine (which turned out to be “Dome Basin Mine”) almost looks like cliff dwellings.
On the way back out we stopped to take a picture of Ocotillo’s in bloom.
The second mine on our list is the "Darling Mine". We didn’t get all the way to the mine itself because I didn’t want to chance the trail. It was a very narrow quad track on the hill side so I took GPS readings and turned around. According the map, the trail doesn’t go all the way to the mine anyway.
We headed for home and got pack to “Plan B” around 3:30.
Trip time = 6 hrs.
Trip Miles = 42
Reservation Fence = N 33 46’ 55.1” W 114 20’ 51.8” 531 ft.
Shovel = N 33 44’ 39.7’ W 114 19’ 37.0” 919 ft.
Dome Basin mine = N 33 44’ 50.9” W 114 20 25.6 805 ft.
Darling Mine Turnaround = N 33 44 22.2 W 114 20 15.7 789 ft.
Ruins in wash = N 33 44’ 50.9” W 114 21’ 47.6” 649 ft.