Yesterday we took a ride with the Wednesday Jeepers.
We all met at the Arco station on the east end of Quartzsite around 9:00. There were seven jeeps in the group. After toping of the gas tanks we drove east on I-10.
We took the Hwy 60 turnoff and continued east to Vicksburg Road.
Here we turned north and drove to the intersection of Hwy 72.
Here we crossed 72 and got on Vicksburg Pit Rd. We stopped here to air down.
We continued down the road until we got to the gravel pit where we turned onto a small trail heading east.
We stopped to check out an old miners cabin. Unfortunately the cabin has been heavily cannibalized.
After wandering around the cabin for a while we followed the trail around the hill.
On the other side of the hill we found the Desert Queen Mine. The first thing you see when you come around the corner is the ore dump where the ore from the mine was rolled out in the ore cars and dumped into waiting trucks.
Then to your left you see the entrance to the tunnel.
This one is still accessible so of course we had to investigate.
The tunnel goes into the mountain a long ways.
After about fifty feet or so I noticed a side tunnel going to the left and could see some kind of structure at the end.
I investigated the tunnel and found an ore shoot. This is where the miners sent material down to the main tunnel so it could be loaded into the ore cars.
After checking out the shoot I went back to the main tunnel and continued further into the mine.
We noticed this interesting black and red rock on the walls of the tunnel. I don’t know what is is or if it is significant but it was different than the surrounding grey rock.
Further back the tunnel split off again. On the right side of the tunnel you can see a vertical shaft going down. It turned out to be only about ten feet deep but if someone fell in to it they could break a leg or worse.
You can also see at the far end where the tunnel splits left and right. We followed both tunnels to there end and found several bats hanging from the ceiling and flying around.
In this picture you can see one hanging on the right and another bat in flight.
Here is another bat in flight.
On the way out of the mine we noticed a shaft going up on the left side of the main tunnel. You can see some lumber across the top of the shaft that appears to be holding a lot of loose rock up there. You can also see more of that red and black rock on the sides. Maybe that is what the miners were following. Also if you look close you can see another bat flying around.
Inside the tunnel the air was very warm and stuffy and smelled of bat pee. It was good to return to the sunlight and fresh air.
There was an interesting Saguaro just outside the mine.
We left the Desert Queen Mine and continued our ride.
As we drove along we saw the first cactus blooms of this season.
We were looking for the Glory Hole Mine but the trail had been washed out on the side of the mountain and was too narrow even for ATV’s so we couldn’t go there. We turned around and dropped into a wash where we followed it for a while until we caught up with some ATV’ers who were parked in the middle of the wash having lunch. Since we couldn’t go any further we also stopped for lunch.
After lunch we got on a trail that left the wash and we followed it for a while.
Eventually we turned off this trail to the right and got onto a fairly rough trail up another wash.
We followed this trail for a while but it eventually it came to dead end so we had to turn around again.
Somewhere along this trail Don in his Jeep Cherokee misjudged a large rock and did some damage to the quarter panel.
We got into another wash heading west.
Eventually we came to a wide graded road and after a couple of miles we were back to Hwy 72.
We headed west on 72 to the outskirts of Bouse, AZ we turned southwest on Joshua St and followed it to Plomosa Road where we turned south toward Quartzsite. We took a turnoff to go over Quinn Pass. It is a short steep trail that is one of Cheryl’s favorite’s. It is basically a loop that comes back to the highway.
It was a fun ride with an interesting mine.