Thursday, December 29, 2016

A Ride to the Big Cave.


Asked to Lead.

Dennis M. came by on Tuesday and asked that I lead the Wednesday ride.

Col-de-sac Tours.

I decided that I wanted to try and re-find the “big cave” in the north Plomosa Mountains.
We had been there several years ago but I was a little foggy on exactly where the cave was located. I knew that it was way on the north end of the mountains.

I figured that we were probably going to be taking a lot of dead end trails trying to find the cave so I put my signs on the jeep.Winking smile


Everyone got a kick out of it.

Getting Started.

We met at the fire station around 9:00. There were four jeeps in the group.

Once we were all there we headed for Plomosa Road where we turned northeast toward the town of Bouse.
I vaguely remember that we had to go almost to Bouse and make a left turn into the desert there.

Ultra Light's.

As were nearing Bouse we saw a couple of personal aircrafts flying over the desert.


It was about 40° this morning. I’ll bet those guys are freezing there butts off up there.

The Turn Off.

I thought we were close enough to Bouse so I turned left on a good dirt road where we stopped to air down the tires.


After airing down we headed west into the desert.  We followed this wide dirt road for about half a mile.

The Wrong Trail.

By now I realized that we had probably turned off the highway too soon.
I knew that we had to go further north so I took a small trail to the right. We continued north, taking several trails that go more or less in that direction.


One thing about these trails is that they tend to wind around through the desert and never go in a straight line. You have keep turning onto several trails to go in any particular direction.

A Gate?

After taking several trails we came to a gate.  I don’t remember any gates out here before.


We stopped here to reconnoiter.
After a bit I decided that we should just go through the gate and see where the trail goes.
Just past the gate a smaller trail turns off to the north so we followed it.


An Old Mine.

As we traveled along we came to an old mine. Once we got there I remembered being here in the past and knew that we were on the right track.

We walked around this area for a while checking out the mine.

Here is Sam (Dennis’s guest) in his first mine.


Someone did a lot of work stacking these square rocks to make a wall.


Moving Right Along.

After we checked this area out we continued our search for the “Big Cave”

I noticed a trail going up the mountain in the distance and remembered that there was a trail like it near the cave so we headed toward it.


There It Is!!

We came around hill and saw the cave mouth in the mountain.


Eventually we got to the parking area near the cave.

The Cave.

There is a foot path to the cave from the parking area.

Here you can get an idea of the size of the opening of this natural cave.


This is one of the largest natural caves in this area. It isn’t very deep but it is a large room.


There is a large hole in the top of the cave that lets in light.


This may give you some idea of the room’s size.


Someone has left a memorial to a deceased relative here in the cave.
We find a lot of memorials around the desert to commemorate people that loved the desert around here.  


We left the cave and continued our tour.


Climbing the Hill.

After we left the cave we drove around the corner of the mountain and turned onto a steep trail that we saw on our way to the cave.
We turned onto this trail and climbed the mountain.


About half way up the hill we came to a small shack.


This shack used to have some old electronics in it the last I was here but now it is empty.

We continued to the top of the ridge.


The view from the top is pretty cool.


An Antenna Base.

Near where the two jeeps are parked is the base for what was a large antenna tower.


After a little while we headed back down the mountain in search of a place to have Lunch.


Back on the desert floor, we wandered around for a while looking for some place out of the cold wind to have lunch.
Eventually we found a spot in a wash where there was enough room for all the jeeps to park and still have enough room to sit around.


Another mine.

After lunch we continued our tour through the mountains. We came upon another mine.
I recognized this mine as we had been here years ago. The last time we were here the mine was flooded.


As it turned out the mine is still flooded.


We wandered around this area for a while, then continued our ride.

Dick and their friends had to leave us here as they had company arriving today.

Down to Three Jeeps.

Now we were down to just three jeeps.
We carried on.
My plan was to go around the end of the range and head south on the west side of the mountains.

I took a couple of wrong turns but eventually we made it around the mountains and went through the pass south of the Four Peaks.  After stopping at the big hole for a couple of minutes we headed toward Plomosa Road.
We didn’t stop to air down and just headed for home.

A Test.

I had decided to turn off at Sunkist Road as it comes out near where we are camped. Dennis M. who lives almost next door to us was going to follow us but decided to take the highway home to see if there was any difference in how long it takes.
As it turns out we got to our street at the same time.

I think it is probably a little shorter going Sunkist mileage wise but since Sunkist is a dirt road you have to go slower on it. The time is about the same.

Okay that’s another Col-de-sac tour in the books.

As always, it was a fun day in the desert.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Gold Rice MineTrail In California.



We had Christmas Dinner at The Times Three Family Restaurant with Jo Ann, Dave, Jim and Doris.
While we were there Dave mentioned that Frank wanted to lead a jeep ride on Monday. We were to meet them at the fire station at 9:30 Monday morning.

The Ride.

At 9:00 Patti and I went to the Pilot station to get gas for the jeep and buy a couple of sandwiches from Subway.

Denis was there also getting gas.
I asked him where we were going and he said; “some trail that Frank found in a California Trails Book.”


We were at the fire station by 9:20 and waited for the rest to arrive. Around 9:30 we left the fire station and headed north on AZ 95.


At Parker we crossed the Colorado River on the new bridge…


and entered California.


We turned west onto CA 62. We drove to the turnoff at Big River RV Park. There is a road there that heads south. We followed that road for a while, then turned west on a wide graded gravel road. After a couple miles we stopped to air down.


After airing down we continued west until we came to US 95 at Videl.

Into the Dirt.

We crossed the highway there and continued west on a smaller dirt road.


This was a easy trail with just a few washes to cross.


An Interesting Cross Roads.

After a few miles we came to a large intersection where there was this big concrete block where someone had left some nice chairs for people to sit on.


After taking some pictures here we turned south on a smaller trail.
This trail headed for the mountains.


Into the Mountains.

Eventually we left the flats and the trail started to become more interesting.


We went through some nice deep gully’s…


and up some steep rocky hills.


From the hills we had some great views of the mountains to the west.


After a while Frank called for a comfort break.


Lunch Time.

Eventually we came to a wide wash where we stopped for lunch.


Dave Takes A fall.

While we were having lunch Dave was walking around and took a fall and cut his knee up. Frank broke out his first aid kit and put a band aid on Dave’s knee.


Back on the Trail.

After lunch we continued along the trail.


The trail wound higher into the mountains.


A Tough Spot.

Eventually we came to the roughest spot in the trail. It was a place where some of the trail had washed out and someone had piled some rocks in the washout that made it just passable.


After getting across the tight spot we had some small boulders to negotiate.


Stamp Mill Ruins.

We continued up the mountain and passed the remains of an old stamp mill.


The mountains round here are really rugged.


The End of the Trail.

Eventually we got to the end of the trail.


We wandered around here for a while…


and checking out the views.


Heading Back.

After a while we headed back down the trail.


Denis was very helpful, spotting for everyone at the tough spot.


Once past that spot we headed out of the mountains.


A Shortcut.

After a couple of hours we found a shortcut back to US 95 and headed for home.
Patti and I decided to take the Agnes/Wilson Road and went across the Colorado River to Parker. The rest of the party went south on US 95 to Blythe, CA.

It was another interesting ride and a good day in the desert.