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Playing in the Plamosas!

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Holy Hare, but what a lovely time we had!! Thanks to Tim and Devon, George and Diane, Marcus, Dave and Cheryl, and friend Tina - for joining me (and my dog Conan!) in the Plamosa Mountains for a few days! The Plamosa Mountains are that range of mountains, both north and south of Interstate 10, just east of Quartzsite. The area was mined all the way back into the 1800's, all the way up to 1958 - for placer gold, lead, silver, copper.


I don't have alot of pictures to post, but I know some really fine picture takers who were on this journey with me, and hopefully they can add to the thread!


We met up in Brenda, along SR 60, on Thursday morning.

Get along Buckaroos!



We headed north across the desert from there, aiming for the Southern Cross Mine, primarily on the Stagecoach Road - which is actually not a road anymore, but another trail. This area can be a real challenge, as it is loaded full of ATV trails that lead here and there....But we made it!! Thanks to everyone for their patience ! I think I only took one trail that went off the main trail, but we did end up at the mine!!

Headed north - the east side of the Plamosas:



The arch and cross on the top (with its artificial flowers) at the Southern Cross Mine.



Headed down the spur trail to the mine. To the left of the tip of the saguaro is the arch of the prior picture. There was one washout on this trail that Marcus powered through....



From there, we drove past the Tough Nut Shafts, onto the Climax Mine. Interesting how the miners named these! We drove into the heart of the Plamosa range:




The desert was so pretty!



We exited onto Plamosa Road and headed to camp. Thanks to George and Diane for picking out a great campsite the night before....saving us time. We were all set up and enjoying dinner and a nice campfire at an early hour!

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On Friday, we headed back south on the Plamosa Road, stopping at the Bouse Fisherman. I don't have pics of this, but its pretty cool and worth checking out if you are ever in this area. Done by the Indians long ago, the Fisherman points off to the Colorado River - a ways off in the distance.


We then drove west into the desert, heading out on the Plamosa Backside trail, ie. the west side of the range. And we did find the "Quartzsite sand dunes", altho really they are the Plamosa dunes. Small dunes, but then we didn't drive into the bigger stuff, just crossing a few small dunes.




We did find only one washout along the trail....Tim shows how to climb it...(it was a bit deeper than it looks!)



It was so pretty driving across the sandy desert:



We drove around a little bit looking for the water tank that I had remembered was out here...and found it! It was actually near an old mine shaft, with one deep hole. Re: the watering tank: Marcus said these are called Trick Tanks....The rainwater comes off the mountain, collected on the sheeting, into a tank. The tank is protected by a rubber covering to reduce evaporation, and has filters to prevent sticks, rocks, etc from entering into the water. From there the water goes into a concrete tub for the animals to drink from. This area does have big horn sheep, although we did not see any. (And thankfully we didn't see any snakes on this trip!)


Dave and Cheryl (along with the rest of us) walk over to the tank from the mine shaft.



Diane and Tim....Checking out the tank:



We head on back to camp after this, anxious to make it an early day so we have time to make chicken and dumplings dinner in our dutch oven. Along the way, we stop at one mine shaft that has the deepest hole of any that I have encountered! Amazing that it has yet to be covered with a grill....George reported how he had encountered this hole once late at night, on a quad, and was lucky enough to stop!


We did spend 15 minutes checking out the area near camp, looking for hematite and jasper, as noted in the AZ Gem Book. We didn't find alot to get excited about....dinner was on our minds!


Thanks to everyone for helping to cook and eat the chicken and dumplings! And a special thanks for the wonderful cherry cobbler that Devon and Tim made! We ate good that night! What a great part of our trip!

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On Saturday morning, after a rather wild windy night, we packed up and headed 20 minutes down the wash to the Conglomerate Caves. I was unable to find any info on these caves prior to the trip, so was curious what they were like. It was Saturday morning, so there was a good amount of traffic out there....Good we were first!


George climbs up to one:



Checking out another:



And Cheryl walks to another:



One little play area....Up and over:





From there we go into Moses mode....exploring despite no trails on the gps to help....And of course I miss the first turn, and end up at the Quinn Pass and think to try to find the old cistern. We didn't go far, and decided to return to try to find the mine before lunch....

Up the steep hill...



It was getting late, so we stopped and ate lunch, aired up and headed home....It was nice to get home on a Saturday afternoon!


I had a really great time and feel very blessed to have had some great comrades on this trip! Thanks for coming along!!

smiles, ladybug

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Looks like a fun trip...

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Nice pictures Karen! Thanks for leading us on a tour of the Plamosas and the surrounding area; it was a very fun few days. You can view all the pictures I uploaded here: Diane's Album.


Leaving Brenda the landscape reminded me of the west end of the Camino del Diablo.






Tail-gunner's view




Almost to Southern Cross Mine




Our fearless leader




Leaving Southern Cross Mine area




Just over the berm to the remains of a stone structure




And more remains on down the trail






Stopped at another shaft




Group shot at the Fisherman intaglio




Conan the little sweetheart




Devon & I walking back




And the gang




These two were besties by the second day




We got to drive over a thin strip of dunes




Trail guides up a small washout




Checking out a mine near the watershed




This is possibly the deepest shaft we've ever seen, next to the biggest of the Four Peaks. Yes, this hole almost swallowed George years ago when we were riding quads out there, except it was in broad daylight. :eek:!




Yet another shaft to check out




Bouse in the background on the way to camp




Rock art on the way to Conglomerate Caves










A special cave






Airing up before heading home



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Oops missed one. I think we all felt a little like Conan on Saturday morning after the windy night and not enough sleep!



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Wow those are GREAT pics Diane!! Thanks for adding them! I just didn't take as many as usual, and yours are so crispy clear!

Thanks for the ones of Conan too! We were all tired after Friday night's hurricane!!

smiles, ladybug

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Some misc pics from the trail, not in order:

Group photo at Bouse Fisherman intangilio:


Official sign:


The fisherman:


As seen from the air:


Prepping the dutch oven dinner:





Dutch oven cobbler:



Lunch in a wash:



Mine Tunnel:




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Nice pics all. Thanks for sharing... ;)

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Our fearless leader.







Everybody's looking for something.




Somebody found something.




At the beach.




The dinner crowd.




Blindly following Moses.




Curly saying "Oh, hell no. We're going back to Egypt"


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