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More interesting stuff around Yuma

I did a lot of trike riding around Yuma, and ended up in a lot of cool places. I would take off on a BLM road and ride it all the way into the mountains where it either ended or got so steep and so loose that I couldn’t get traction any more. One of the first things I found was these old basins that were used for sluice mining. How they got enough water to sluice mine is a mystery to me, as there isn’t a whole lot of desert as barren as the desert around the Chocolate Mountains. Nevertheless, there were basins at the top of a cliff, and below the cliff was a wasteland of sand and gravel typical of this type of mining, so somehow or other they found the water.

Here is the inside of the basin plastered over with concrete

Here is the lush, green desert around the Chocolate Mountains. Well, it is as lush as it gets, anyway.

Vertical mine shaft thoughtfully fenced off to protect mindless tourists

Vertical mine shaft that has NOT been fenced off to stave off terrible accidents involving holes and vehicles. Vagabond Tourist’s Helpful Advice: DO NOT RIDE YOUR OHV AROUND HERE IN THE DARK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I tried and tried to find a shaft I could see into so I could see if the bottom was visible, but no such luck. The gravel around these holes is so unstable that I didn’t dare get close enough to see. Perhaps another, more intrepid person would have done it anyway, but I’ll have to leave that up to someone else.

Very seldom do you find any of the old structures around these mine shafts. Here is a rare exception. I was hoping to determine whether miners actually went down into the mine via these vertical shafts or whether they were just for air or light or something, but I could not tell from the wreckage.

Much less often, you find a horizontal mine entrance like this one. I think I found three of them all told, although I know there is another one somewhere around American Girl because I saw a photo of it on-line. On the roads to these mine shafts, the BLM has placed signs advising us that abandoned mine shafts are dangerous. That is the reason I can tell you, with confidence, that you should be very careful around them.

Here is the second of the three horizontal mine shafts I encountered. It may appear that this one was unfenced, but that is inaccurate. I am shooting through the fence. Not that I would have gone into the mine if there were no fence… Well, okay, I WOULD have gone into the mine if it were not fenced, but not very far in because I am only a little bit stupid rather than very stupid.

This is the view from inside the mine shaft, or at least as far as I could get inside the mine shaft.

At the end of another road, I found this old cabin. Since there was the usual warning sign on the road approaching the cabin, I knew there was a mine shaft somewhere in the vicinity.

I found the old mine shaft way above the cabin. I actually clambered up here to see how far I could look in. Clambering up, and particularly down, is extremely treacherous if you are me and have CMT. It is steep enough that I was worried about teetering down the hill in an avalanche of rock, or breaking my leg or something. Unfortunately, the shaft had been blocked by a cave-in (deliberate?) not far from the entrance.

Ah, here is the desert near Yuma in springtime. It is not entirely without color. The track you see going around the Ocotillo is the road I am riding up. I believe this road ends up in the area around where I found the vertical mine shaft with all the wreckage at the top.