A few days ago, I was talking to a guy named Ivan in the park where we are staying and he asked where we had gone the day before. I told him that we went out to see if we could find the Ripsey Mine put never found it although we had a good time.
Ivan told me that he could give us good directions to the mine.
So Wednesday evening he stopped by and tried telling us exactly how to get there and a lot of other places in that area.
After talking for a while he said; “ah hell, I’ll just take you guys out there tomorrow and show you around. Maybe I can get a couple of the other guys to go along”.
Thursday morning we had to go to Casa Grande for a 7:00 appointment at the radiologist for my bi-annual ultrasound to check the stint in my Aorta. We got there around 6:45 and waited in the parking lot until 7:15 for the people to show up. Everything went fine and we were back in Coolidge by 8:10.
We had told Suzanne and Roy that we would meet them on the corner of Coolidge Ave/Cactus Forest Rd. and highway 79 at 10:00 so we had time to kill.
Ivan came by and told us that our neighbor Mike would be going with us and they would be ready anytime we were.
Ivan and Mike. Ivan is on the left.
Suzanne and Roy joined us at highway 79 and we continued east. Eventually we got onto The Florence /Kelvin Hwy.
Ivan had some yellow plastic ramps on his trailer and as we bounced along the dirt section of the highway one of them fell of the trailer so we stopped to pick it up and a little further we caught up with him and returned the ramp. He was pretty happy to get it back.
We followed Florence/Kelvin for about 20 miles until we came to a large wash at the A Diamond Ranch. We stopped here to air down and for the Quads to be unloaded.
After a few minutes we were on our way heading south in the wash.
Patti and I realized that this was the same wash that we had been in when we came out here looking for the Ripsey Mine a few days ago.
When we got to the metal gate where we had previously turned around, Mike had opened it and we went on through it. Ivan closed the gate.
That became the pattern for the day; Mike opened the gates and Ivan closed them.
We traveled along the trail enjoying the scenery
and the interesting clouds.
At one point on the trail we came to a drop off on the left side. I wouldn’t want to take a wrong turn here.
We continued along the trail for a while and entered a wash through a narrow canyon.
The wash came to a place where someone in the past had erected a dam. The dam had subsequently filled in with sand and gravel and made another vertical drop off of about twenty feet.
This drop off is at the end of the trail. In the words of Larry the Cable Guy “Now that’s some scary shit right there”.
Back on the road we took a turn off onto a rocky trail that went into the mountains.
We passed an old tumbled down tin cabin along the way.
Eventually we got to the Ripsey Hill Mine where we stopped for lunch.
There was a lot of interesting stuff around the mine.
Here’s Roy checking out a huge air compressor.
The entrance to the mine was all cemented.
Mike and I entered the mine to check it out. The air was good with a breeze blowing through the tunnel.
There were a couple of side passages. One had a large boulder laying in the middle that looked like it must have fallen from the ceiling.
I didn’t go any further into this side room.
In another spot, I found an old wheel barrow.
The structure in the back ground surrounds a vertical shaft that drops about twenty feet.
Hanging from the ceiling to the left is what looks like an air vent.
This is looking down the vertical shaft.
Eventually we got back as far as we could easily go where there was a large pipe that looked like another air vent partially blocking the way.
Outside the mine there is an old cabin that looks to be in fair shape as these cabins go.
We got back on the trail and headed for another interesting roadside attraction.
We passed some Arizona Moose with young.
Our next stop was the Hackberry Cabin and mine.
The cabin looked pretty substantial and could be put back in shape with a little work.
It could definitely use a new roof.
We didn’t go into the mine. The floor was covered a couple feet deep with some really nasty looking water.
After checking out the cabin and mine we drove a little further down the wash.
We came to the bottom of the dam that we saw earlier.
If you look closely you can see that the builders used corrugated metal roofing for the forms to pour the concrete.
In the canyon are some pretty cool rock formations. You can see where this canyon was tipped up on its side back in geological past.
We left the wash and headed off on another adventure. We followed Mike along an interesting trail for a couple of miles.
Eventually we climbed a rutted road up a mountain and came The Ripsey Mine.
There was a lot if interesting stuff around the area.
I climbed up to where the shaft was to check it out.
There wasn’t much to see as the entrance to the tunnel had collapsed and it looked like a place to stay out of.
Here are the tracks for the ore cars where they dumped their load.
We drove over to where the mill had been and checked it out. There was a lot of interesting abandoned machinery still laying around.
This appears to be an old pump.
It kind of reminds me of a bowling ball cannon. FIRE IN THE HOLE!!!
I have no idea what this was but it’s pretty cool. Maybe it is some kind of mixer or grinder?
The Mill had a great view of the mountains to the north.
We left the Ripsey Mine and drove down a rough trail to the wash we came in on and headed for the highway.
It was a great day and we saw a lot of cool stuff.
I really appreciate Ivan and Mike taking us in to that area and can’t thank them enough.