Underground near Silverton

A large compressor sits idle.  Photo by Micah.

These are underground photos from a mine in the Silverton area that we explored. I actually didn’t have much underground time planned for this trip, but the mines we did check out turned out to be fantastic.
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San Juan Chief Mill

Mill boilers and flowers.

This scenic ruined mill site was built in the late 1890s and never saw ore from its namesake, the San Juan Chief mine. It is the second mill to be built on this site. In 1900, it had 2 roasting furnaces and 15 stamps.
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Robidoux Inscription and Pictographs

On a late autumn day in 1837, a fur trapper from Santa Fe, Antoine Robidoux, stopped along a narrow canyon in the Territorio de Alta California (what is present day Utah).  Beaver pelts were surprisingly lucrative at the time and, as hard it is to believe today, the Uinta River was a haven for them.
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Cary Ranch Pictographs

These are very interesting.

A few years ago, my friend Rick and I were invited out by Dick Cary to visit his historic Cary Ranch and examine some of the pictographs there. The ranch area was first inhabited by the Mountain Cahuilla indians. The site is near a natural pass and an old indian trail that connects inland Southern California shrub lands to Anza Borrego country of the Sonoran Desert.
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Sound Democrat Mill

The Sound Democrat Mill is an awesome find and one of the highlights of the San Juan Mountains.  The mine was first discovered in 1899. Gold and silver ore from the mine was packed on mules over a 13,000′ ridge to the Sunnyside Mill in Eureka Gulch.
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Summit Mine

Waste rock was easy to get rid of.

High up in the spires of the Sierra Nevada there lies a hidden and seldom visited mine where a trail goes through the mountain.

To get there, you have to follow a steep trail across jagged granodiorite cliffs. A thousand feet below is the old mining camp of Lundy and the views of 13,057 ft (3,979m) Mt. Dana across the canyon are quite spectacular.
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“Palmetto Wash” Petroglyphs

It is a nice site. Hopefully it sees no more damage.

Over the years, I have visited this small petroglyph site many times. It is not too far from the road, so it makes for a nice spot to take a break.

During a recent visit with my family, we were saddened to find some drill holes have been made into the volcanic rock adjacent to some of the ancient petroglyph panels. What a shame! I’m not sure if someone was attempting to steal the petroglyphs or if someone was taking core samples to study the volcanic rock. Either way, it was careless and a federal crime. I hope whoever caused the damage faces some punishment and restitution so repair work can be done.
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Ramshorn and Skylark Mines

Skylark tramhouse.

I took a trip to a couple of mines high up in the Central Rocky mountains of Idaho.  I love finding old mines with tramways and these two were great.

A large silver-lead strike was made at the Ramshorn mine (and the Skylark above it) in 1877 and the rush was on. By 1882, a smelter had been blown in, charcoal kilns built and 300 people lived in the town of Bay Horse that had sprung up down in the canyon below. The smelter was closed by 1897 but mining continued until 1925.
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2016 Year End Summary

Well 2016 is finally over, it seemed like a long year. It was a quieter year for the site with only 22 posts but I was out more than ever with 55 days exploring. I took 4,797 photos during those days out, which is not a record but close.

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Bald Mountain Wash Petroglyphs

Cowboy signatures.

Brownie Sam and Emmett Rosse, two Shoshone cowboys, stopped alongside this huge volcanic boulder in late October of 1932. It is a place where their ancestors had camped many times. The ancients had carved numerous symbols on this rock, they decided they would too. They stood on the backs of their horses and added their names to the record above the petroglyphs below.
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