After traveling what seemed like the necessary distance to reach the first mine (Gypsy) and not seeing anything, we were about ready to give up. The road was deteriorating, it was getting later in the day, and mines are notoriously difficult to find. Most are unmarked, and many have been filled in or sealed off by BLM for safety reasons. As we exit the Jeep and look around, I notice a post off on the horizon. Ah ha, there's the mine!!
Dang, false alarm. Turns out to be a pole marking the 'SW Corner'. Southwest corner of what?? What the heck?! I have no idea, but a very strange place for this pole. Truly is out in the middle of nowhere! And no mine in site. After exploring on foot, we notice another area off in the distance that looks promising, and it looks like the road heads in that general direction, so off in the Jeep we go. If this isn't it, we'll head back. Here's what we find.
I think I can make out the words "oro fino", which means "fine gold", and below it, "working" and much dimmer the word "mine". Perhaps a sign staking out a working mine? As we look around, I see something down in a gully that looks like a rock wall, and (drum roll please...) I notice the opening for a mine leading into the hill!! I'm so excited I yell for my wife and immediately climb down into the gully to the mine entrance.
If it weren't for the stone walls outside the mine opening, I doubt we would have found it! Based on my map, this has to be Gypsy Mine. The other mines in the area will have to be saved for a future adventure, as we are running out of daylight. But this was a great find, and we will definitely be back!
|Gypsy Mine entrance|
My guess is that all these openings (we found at least 4) lead to the same mine, which is probably quite extensive. The opening on the left (my right) in the photo below is large. It's a steep, short drop off and then looks like it cuts deep into the hillside. You would need a ladder or rope to get down.
Here's an interesting marker with the words "oro fino #1" etched on the surface. You can see another mine opening on the right. Cool!!
Hope you enjoyed my little travelogue! Important note: Mines are extremely dangerous! It's really fun to find these old mines, but please do not go inside!!