While driving along a stretch of open road, something off in the distance catches my eye. Hmmmm, that demands investigation. T Red finds its way along a dirt road and up a slight hill to what appears to be the ruin of an old milling operation.Read More
Joshua Tree National Park
A drive through Joshua Tree National Park might take a couple hours, viewing the park from the road. An exploration of the park would take a lifetime. Joshua Tree National Park has over 550,000 acres of wilderness filled with a variety of plants and animals that make their home in this land shaped by strong winds, unpredictable torrents of rain, and climatic extremes. Every now and then, man intrudes in this wilderness and leaves his brief, passing mark among the surreal geologic features that cover the landscape. Let’s go see what we can find.
The day was perfect, mid-70s with clear skies, the slightest breeze and no one in the area. Once you've been in the desert long enough, you get a feeling of how "visited" an area is. The Golden Bell Mine is a seldom visited place. Hidden behind a low hill, there's no evidence from the road that there's something interesting behind it. Like many of the awesome places in JTree, you gotta get out of the car and do some exploring (and of course, pre-trek research always pays off, and helps keep you from getting lost, breaking a leg, dying of thirst and being eaten my coyotes and turkey vultures, but that's another story).Read More
As with many of the mines in J Tree, few details are known about its origin, ownership and production over the years. The scant records so far discovered reveal that on May 27, 1895, a lead ledge that became known as the Eagle Cliff mine was located by Robert Muir. My hat's off to him. Back in the 1890s, it would have taken a true explorer to discover this claim.Read More
Half a mile west of the Cholla Cactus Garden, there are two small hills on the south side of Pinto Basin Road. That fact, in and of itself, is not really a big deal as there are small hills all over J Tree. These two hills deserve mention however, because they serve as a great landmark for the trail/mine road that leads up into the Hexie Mountains and the Golden Bee Mine.Read More