Saturday the 5th of August opened bright and early as we hit the road to the Simpson Mountain Range. Our goal for the day was an area called Indian Springs. Research can't make up it's mind and it was labeled as an Indian area as well as a mining area. We didn't find any mines, but we did encounter some old buildings as well as, for lack of a better word, an oasis. The area leading up to Raul Canyon where it is located is as desolate as can be found. As we began the climb into the canyon the spring began to show its face and things got green, and sometimes muddy. I didn't shoot a lot of fotos because I was counting on the Action Cam to film it all. My luck prevailed and I lost the best part of the film. I have shitty luck when it comes to making movies. Above is a lone steel cabin along side a kind of marshy area. We didn't stop in because we already knew we would be back.
Above is looking back across the marshy area and down the canyon. There were 2 different trails to get across the marsh. I chose the least muddy of the two. This is no place to get stuck. Hopefully when we return we can have another vehicle or two and play a little more in said mud.
Proceeding up the canyon led us to another old site. the building above was probably 15x30 feet. It had, at one time, wooden floors and roof built on a cement base. Behind me in the foto was a descent size cooling room built out of cement too. I have no idea what this was for so I will have to do more research on the area and see what I can find.
At the top of the canyon we came across this old wooden cabin. Again, no idea what it was used for other than shelter. The road forks here and we took the right fork at first. Don't do it. Dead end. Backtracking we went left and followed this road over the top into the next canyon and then up it til we went right over the top. The road continued down the other side of the mountain and we eventually found our way back to Simpson Spring Road. All in all it was a good trip. I am still pissed over the loss of film but what the hell, now I have to go back.
Yesterday, the 12th of August was a spur of the moment kind of trip. I woke up wanting to do something but I didn't know what or where. I got on Google Earth and began surfing the area of northern Utah. To the east of me I couldn't find anything I hadn't visited numerous times. I began to look west and somehow got to the Utah/Nevada border and came across some fotos of what they called the Jackson Mines. The fotos were kinda intriguing so I said what the hell and we took off. As usual, I missed the right turn and had to back track. The GPS was right on today and before we knew it we crested a ridge and saw the area above. I was like WOW. The usual for old mines and ghost towns is they are pretty much gone by now. Very few remain and even fewer with this much still left.
We wandered around this place for about an hour which wasn't even enough time to see it all. The temp played a huge factor in what we were going to do. The deserts here in the west have a tendency to get hot. This place was hot. And, there were no signs of water.
Like I said, we wandered around and decided to follow the road north. We were soon rewarded with another prime mine site. This one looked newer but research again is very sketchy. History says the area was "discovered" in 1906 or 07 and others say mining began in the early 50's. I had figured on it being a gold mine due to the quartz infused rock but this is where all histories agree, it was lead.
The 2nd mine had the shaft open below the hoist and it went down a fair distance. There was a ladder as you can see but I sure as hell ain't climbing down on that old thing. I did read that a group was there a few years ago and rappelled 75 feet before it became unsafe to continue. They had to be skinny guys because this shaft isn't very big.
Directly behind the hoist it looked like there was an entrance to the mountain but it was just a man made cave. After looking at it for a few I realized that it was the motor room for the hoist. They had built the room and then put a hole in the roof of this cave so the cable could run the hoist up and down. The foto above show the tiny little wooden roof over the cable hole. That had to have been a lot of work to build that.
At the south end of this area was a honest to goodness mine entrance. So we thought. Well, it was in a way I suppose. We went in and it went strait back about 25 to 30 feet. Then nada! At about the 20 foot mark there was a wooden bench that wasn't a wooden bench. It was an adit to a lower level of the mine. There was a ladder that went down but it was worse than the one at the hoist and this one didn't make it to the floor below. Even with the good flashlights we could hardly see what was down there. It would be interesting to find out but I don't think that will happen. The whole area was covered in some type of rodent poo among other things. Kinda gross. This mine was one of the dirtiest I have been in. Bats didn't even like the place. All in all it was a great trip for being spur of the moment. And the killer part of it was that the Action Cam finally did what we wanted it to and we got 2 great videos of the area. Maybe that's the idea.... go spur of the moment and everything will work out. You can see the videos on my YouTube channel "Jeep Peterson". Plus both trips on on the www.mtnmd.com website. Life is good my friends, Jeep on!