Ramblings of a Techno-Viking

Scadden Wash BLM (Quartzsite, AZ)

The last 10 days or so I've been with Bob Wells and an frequently-changing group of people who read his blog. We talk, go for walks, and help each other with projects on our rigs. One night we went into town for pizza and Karaoke. Many of the people here have attended the RTR.

Scadden Wash is a free 14-day BLM area east of Quartzsite, Arizona. There are more trees and tall cactus than in the other BLM areas near Quartzsite that I have used. Verizon signal is good, but the only TV signal I could get was a Spanish-language one.

On my way here, my starting battery died so I wound up changing it out in a parking lot in Blythe, California.

Posted Monday 10 December 2012 04:16 UTC
Last edited Monday 10 December 2012 04:35 UTC

Kofa King Valley

Another entrace to Kofa wildlife refuge besides Castle Dome is King Road, that goes through the King Valley and leads to the King of Arizona mine the refuge is named after. This is dirt all the way from US 95, and goes through BLM land. There are multiple places where an RV can park near the road, many of which were occupied. I chose one where hills were fairly close in all directions and only a couple of other campers were in sight. Verizon signal was week, and only spanish-language TV stations came in.

The view was a bit nicer than where I had parked near Castle Dome, but due to the lack of TV I moved on to Castle Dome after a day. At Castle Dome I parked a short ways down the road to Big Eye Mine. Walking it I found a better spot before the road was too bad for my motorhome, but it did not seem worth the bother to move. I also found some old mine shafts. It rained and I was not washed away, and a road grader smothed the main road within a day.

Posted Sunday 16 December 2012 04:31 UTC
Last edited Sunday 16 December 2012 04:31 UTC

Finding Mines in the Desert

There are many abandoned gold and silver mines in the desert southwest. Most "played out" where there was no longer any ore worth processing, but some were closed when the price of gold or silver dropped. Roads and trails generally go somewhere, in mining areas the remains of such roads often go to mines. Sections can look in quite good shape, and other parts will have plants growing in them or be completely washed out.

Tumco, California is an example of a gold mining area. You can wander the hills and find mine shafts, tunnels, and collapsed mine shafts. Some have fences, most of which are in poor shape.

Castle Dome, Arizona was a silver mining area. Kofa NWR does not allow new mining claims, but some of the ones that existed when it was created have been maintained. Roads marked "No Vehicles" lead to many of the mine shafts that have been abandoned.

Palmetto, Nevada is another silver mining area. I did not explore the area around it much, but the land is BLM land open to exploration and possibly filing mining claims.

Tonopah, Nevada managed to survive past the silver mines closing, and is now a town at a highway crossroads. The mining park in Tonopah is well worth a visit if you are interested in mining history.

Posted Monday 24 December 2012 23:34 UTC
Last edited Monday 24 December 2012 23:34 UTC

Pilot Knob 14-day

At the Sidewinder Road exit off of Interstate 8, to the north is The Museum of History in Granite, and to the south is a Shell gas station and the Pilot Knob LTVA. (The Shell station has a Dump Station and cheap propane.) If you go west on the frontage road on the south side of the freeway to where the pavement ends there is a BLM 14-day area.

This is flat, and the plant life is mainly creosote bushes with occasional ironwood trees. Verizon signal was excellent, as was the TV reception. Freeway and train tracks are visible, as is the Chapel at the museum, the rocks the LTVA was named after, and some sand dunes. I camped near some power lines and a falling-down house that was for sale, with a couple of motorhomes in the yard. (It did not appear to be occupied.) This does not appear to be a popular area, but there were several RVs camping closer to the freeway. While the location is convenient, this place just doesn't have much appeal to me. I did take a walk as far as the start of the dunes, maybe a half-mile from where I camped. If I go back I may park closer to the dunes.

Posted Saturday 29 December 2012 04:17 UTC
Last edited Saturday 29 December 2012 04:51 UTC