Up to an Old Mine

Brad and I took the Jeep out in the desert one day in a different direction.  One that Brad hadn’t been in but there was signs of mining operations so off we went.  While Brad has a lot of time in his four seater (and his two seater) off-road machines he has never been off-road in a Jeep.

Ready to go.  Our 1998 Jeep looks pretty good even with 145,000 miles on it. Barney got to go as well.  His first time in a Jeep too.
There are old mine sites all over the place. If you look for disturbed areas or tailings piles you are likely to find an old mine. This looked like some sort of processing setup. Long abandoned. There were a lot of copper deposits in this area. Maybe that is what they were mining and this was some sort of crusher. No signs of a smelter or big heat producing equipment.
We met two nice folks from British Columbia, Neil and Pat, with a two seater Can-Am Commander at the campground.  Similar to Brad’s four seater but more of a utility machine with a cargo box on the back. Brad has one of these at home.  They had been down in Arizona for two months exploring all over.  Brad spotted their Commander and asked them to come along.  
There were mine holes everywhere.  All of them had iron grates over the opening to keep people out.
Even though it is desert, rocks, cactus, more rocks, dirt and it looks pretty desolate there is plenty out here that is quite lovely.  Everything blooms in the spring.
We got back to the campground and there were lots of Jeeps there. A big sign announced some sort of Jeep Jamboree the next morning.  The next morning was Saturday and there was also a big flea market at one end of the park.  We were going there in search of a folding rake and some sand paper. We found those and some nice sunglasses and a flexible grabber tool. It was a really big flea market, well,over a hundred vendors.
Even more Jeeps had shown up. The Jeeps all got organized probably by destination and played follow the leader out of the campground.  Four strings of 25-30 Jeeps filed out just like it was some sort of parade.  I had no idea where they went but it is hard to imagine that trying to do anything with 30 Jeeps could have qualified as fun.  

We used to go up around the Boy Scout Camp near Grantsburg, WI. and drive through the woods and the swamps and the river bottoms.  There would be three or four machines and as many people as we could fit.  We had great times.  Several others wanted to go with us once and we said OK.  What was fun became no fun.  One and only time we did that.

Brad had to admit that my Jeep,was fully capable of doing what needed to be done.  He did comment about the stiffness of the ride compared to his Maverick.  Barney didn’t complain. He is all about having fun, all the time. And nuzzling ears from behind.

One more ride to report on, later.

We are more than two months into being elsewhere, living in our coach, finding new places, new friends. We are working on stretching our stays, we want to try for two weeks or more at any one place. That gives us time to do what we want to do without hurrying, time to discover new things, time to take a day off, time to make adjustments as needed. So far this is working quite well.  All of our next stops will be 10 days to two weeks.  We are looking forward to them.

Roger and Susan

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