Not far from the Diamond Tunnel, is the California Tunnel. Setup in the 1870s (in the early days of the mining district), it was never a large operation but interesting today because of the equipment left behind.
In 1872, William “Billy” Spurr and James Bryant discovered the Trapper lode high in a cirque on Lion Mountain. News of the silver strike spread and soon other miners staked claims all over the mountainside. The barren slope got its name when a prospector thought he saw a mountain lion high up on the hillside. Turns out it was a white mule, but the name stuck.
2015 was a busy and eventful year. I was out exploring for 48 days, which is more than last year and averages nearly every weekend. And I’m still way behind on posting trips…
It was also a year of good discoveries: some places were found by accident (the “Sapphire Tunnel“, and Winnekta Mill), some, I was led to (Cupule Cave and Camel Tracks), and some were places I had been searching for quite some time (the Belden Arrastra, Freight Wagon Petroglyphs and the “Wooden Ore Car” Mine). It was a great year for exploring.
About eight years ago, I read a book on Nevada mining history that had a photo with a wooden ore car sitting out front of a mine. “Wow!”, I thought to myself. “That would be an incredible sight to see.” Of course, I immediately set out to find it. I scoured my notes, looked over maps and asked my friends. No luck.
It is a long and lonely walk into the wilderness of the Mojave desert to get to this isolated petroglyph site. Most of the petroglyphs here are of abstract design but a few are different and quite interesting. One in particular appears to be a crying face or mask. You have to look carefully to find it.