A couple of weeks ago while at the ‘big tent’, Becky bought a black light flashlight. We have been talking about going into some of the Mines in the area and trying it out to see if we could find some minerals that might flourless so yesterday we did just that. Junior and Missy went to Las Vegas for a week and everyone except Becky and Dennis was still tired out from the big Kofa loop ride of Friday so only Becky, Dennis, Patti and I went on this ride.
We left the RV park around 11:00 and drove out Plomosa road to mile post 9 where we stopped to let B and D unload their Rhino. From there we headed east through the hills. We were looking for a couple of mines that we had been to last year. I knew that the mines were south of the main trail but not quite sure how far out they were so we took every right turn off the trail. Some were just dead ends. One of the trails went to a couple of deep vertical shafts.
Eventually we got to the first of the tunnels that we wanted to explore.
I had never been in this mine before but Becky and Dennis had and they said that it was very interesting with several levels.
We Put on our hard hats and grabbed our lights and cameras and walked into the mountain.
Patti doesn't particularly like going under ground so she acted as our outside spotter. It is always prudent to have some one on the outside just in case some thing goes wrong.
The tunnel went back several hundred feet. When we got far enough in to where it got dark, Becky turned on her black light. At first we got very excited because we saw several objects fluorescing on the floor and some on the walls but every time we tried to pick up the objects they crumbled to dust. We continued to explore the tunnel and passed a couple of wooden ore shoots and a set of ladders going up into an overhead gallery.
The ladders looked fairly solid so Dennis and I climbed up them.
The gallery was maybe 40 feet long and about 15 feet high with a lot of timbers and braces holding up the mountain.
I took the black light with me and saw some more glowing bits of stuff on the floor. I was able to pick up one piece and it turned out to be an Owl casting.
Okay, some of you probably don’t know what Owl castings are so here is an explanation. When an owl eats a mouse or other critter they eat the whole thing including the fir and bones. Later they will vomit up the fir and bones and other un-digestible parts. I think what we were seeing in the Black light were the tiny bits of un-digestible matter, probably the bones since they contain phosphorus.
After leaving this mine, we drove around the mountain to another one where we had lunch.
After lunch we suited up and went into the tunnel.
There wasn’t much in this one and nothing glowing in the black light.
From there we headed west on the main trail. We came to a track going north and since we had never explored that trail we turned onto it. After going through several gullies and over some low hills we came to an area with a lot of evidence of mining activity.
Eventually we came to a tunnel going into a mountain on our right.
We parked and got our lights, put on our hard hats went into the tunnel to explore.
This tunnel went back about 200 feet and had a vertical shaft near the end.
The vertical shaft had a ladder in it but the ladder looked a little unsafe so we didn’t try going down it. If we ever want to explore this shaft further we will need some safety harnesses and ropes. In the main tunnel we found some deposits of very sparkly minerals which we were unable to identify.
There was also several vanes of Crysocolla
but nothing that showed up under the black light.
After leaving this mine we made our way to Plomosa road where we headed west. At a spot where the road tops a pass we turned off onto a small track that Patti and I had been on before.
The trail follows the road for a little ways and then drops into a wash going south.
It is a fun trail
that goes through some very narrow rocky areas.
After the trail comes out of the wash it goes over some steep hills and through some deep gullies. Eventually the trails connects to the main one that we came in on. We got back to B and D’s truck around 5:00. Becky and Dennis headed for home but Patti and I had not taken anything out of the freezer for supper so we stopped at The Grubstake for Calamari.