Saturday, May 22, 2010

I live, I drive I am JEEP!

Hi there and welcome to another blog. I decided that since I have been working so much overtime, it was time to use some vacation and treat myself to a 4 day weekend. I spent yesterday changing the oil on the Jeep and mowing the grass...... being domestic I guess you could say. Today was spent out in the hills of Eureka and Jacob city. We arrived in Eureka around 11 am and went up the north end roads to see what there was to see. All of the old buildings and such have been gated off. I had to shoot this foto from across the mountain and as u can see, it is fenced in. I personally think this is bull shit but what can I do? We then went to the main mine on the east side of the town and they still allow you up to see that but that's about it. A sad note though, part of the mine dump hopper system did not survive the winter. It has collapsed and that really bites. We continued south along the edge of the mountain taking every trail we could. We found some mines they have recently sealed over and threw rocks down them. A few of them took a long time for the rocks to hit. I would really hate to fall down one of those. We went further south and up the road to Mammoth and went up and over the mountain to my favorite garbage dump. Every year new bottles appear and we got 2 on this trip. I don't think they are the 100 year old ones but they are very old. We finished by visiting both cemeteries and then headed back north to the Oquirrh mountains and Jacob city.
We went up Ophir canyon to the town and stopped in on John Skinner. He is writing the history of Jacob city and I wanted to see if the book was done. It's not. Dammit! Oh well, I asked if he had been up Dry canyon yet this year and he hadn't so I figured it was time for me to try. The road is not in very good condition and I can see why they have given it a black diamond trail rating. I have run it a bunch of times both up and down and today's trip was uneventful. The yellow Jeep had no problems and we arrived at the top in just under 20 minutes. There was snow on the trees and in some shaded areas but for the most part it was just right. That means no dust and some mud in spots. Instead of going back down Dry canyon, we took the main road and just relaxed on the way down.
When we arrived at the bottom and hit the pavement, we ran in to the boys in the foto above. There had to be nearly 20 bull elk lounging in the farmers field. I have been going up there since 1988 and I have never before seen any elk. As you can see, they are all in velvet and this guys gonna have one hell of a rack. I asked a lady who was out walking if this was common and she said every night they come down and hang out in these fields. Wow! I never knew any existed on this side of the Oquirrh's. It was getting late so we headed out to the highway and headed home. I really like days like today. I saw things I hadn't seen before and over all had a great day. I need to do this more often. Next trip, Memorial day and I'm thinking either the devils playground or Boston Terrace. Stay tuned. Jeep on my friends!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

2 mountain ranges, 1 great day!

Hi and welcome to another adventure! Today was a rerun of my last trip out to the Lakeside mountains. The trip was planned to see if we could find my lost GPS and use my new one to finish exploring the mountain. The weather today was almost perfect. It was slightly overcast and somewhat on the cold side with a ton of wind but hey, I'll take any day away from work to Jeep! Well, we didn't find the GPS so that part kinda sucked, but the new one worked just fine and we were able to continue our exploration. The foto above is of the mine that I had wanted to find. It is called the Monarch mine and guess what? It's still open...... for now. That means that a return trip is now mandatory for that fact. And, we have another reason to go back now too. It seems that the Lakeside mountains are possessed. Russell started the day with his car keys in his pocket but alas, when we returned home.... they were gone! Stupid mountains. Good news is I didn't lose anything!
We crossed over the mountain and went down the east side of the range and explored a bunch of roads just to see where they went. While up one of the canyons, we came across this fine young specimen of an antelope. I used my telephoto lens and got him as he stood across the canyon. He appears to be shedding his winter coat and getting ready for summer! Wait, I'm waiting for summer too! I'm ready to lose the top and doors and feel the freedom. Is it summer yet? So, we finished exploring and made plans to return and explore the mine and look for some car keys. We made it back to Lakeside the town, ate lunch and decided the day wasn't over yet. So we headed south back to the Oquirrhs and took the new Jacob City atv trail over to Dry canyon.

The Oquirrhs are quite the opposite of the the Lakeside mountains. They still have snow and with snow you get mud! The new trail is an old one really. They took a bunch of old trails and connected them so you can go in a complete circle from the trail head to Jacob City and back. The lower section uses the old power line trail and its a blast. With this last storm we found a lot of mud holes and really slippery trails. Gotta love it! We made it up Dry canyon to the 2ND mine and at that point it was getting very greasy so we headed back down. Today was a great day. It really doesn't get much better. The last foto is me blasting one of the many mud holes we encountered. It was one hell of a hole and
I had one hell of a good time! So, I guess my next trip will involve exploring the mine before they close it and looking for lost keys. Until next time, JEEP on my friends!