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 > Exploring Tecopa

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FishPOET

La Habra, CA

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Posted: 01/05/10 02:17am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tracy and I left Norco at 11am on Wednesday December 30. We met Stephan & Sonia at the 210/15 junction and headed North on I15. We sat in a lot of traffic between Barstow and Baker. We arrived at Tecopa Hot Springs Campground at 5pm. We set up camp and sat by the campfire until 9pm. It got down to 28° overnight.

Map of the Tecopa Mines
http://www.etogen.com/ue/Tecopa%20Map.pdf

We were on the trail at 9am on Thursday December 31. Our first stop was the Noonday Mine. Noonday, Columbia, War Eagle and Gunsight Mines produced lead and silver.

Map of Noonday Mine
http://www.etogen.com/ue/Noonday%20Map.pdf

Funicular Railway upper cable pulley at Noonday Mine
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Roadbed from a Funicular Railway that brought the ore down the mountain.
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View of the valley
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Stephan, Sonia, Tracy & Ely at the Noonday Mine.
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Sonia, Tracy & Ely at the entrance to Noonday Mine
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Sonia & Ely inside Noonday Mine
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Stephan outside Noonday Mine
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We moved over to the Columbia Mine.

Map of the Columbia Mine
http://www.etogen.com/ue/Columbia%20Map.pdf

Looking down the main shaft in the Columbia Mine
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Looking up the same shaft
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After we left Columbia Mine we headed for China Ranch Date Farm. http://www.chinaranch.com/ Fresh date bread was just coming out of the oven and we devoured a large loaf. Mmmm good!

[image]

[image]

We left the China Ranch Date Farm and headed back to camp to see if Mike had arrived yet. Mike had not arrived so we headed for Shoshone and visited "The Crowbar". Back to camp at 3pm and Mike had arrived. We spent an hour in the Hot Springs, had dinner and sat around the campfire until 9pm. Not a chance we were going to sit out in the below freezing temps to welcome in the New Year.

FishPOET

La Habra, CA

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Posted: 01/05/10 02:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Friday Morning January 1, 2010 had us on the trail at 9am. Stephan's brother Mike and his family joined our group for the day. First stop was China Ranch Date Farm for more fresh bread!

[image]

We headed for the Sperry Wash Trail.

http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/barstow/amargosa.html

We ran Sperry Wash about half way and stopped for lunch. After lunch we continued South to the exit near Dumont Dunes. We traveled North on Hwy 127 to the turnoff for Ibex Springs and Ibex Mine.

Ibex Spring
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Ibex Spring
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Ibex Spring
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Ibex Talc Mine
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Ibex Talc Mine
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Ibex Talc Mine
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After Ibex Talc Mine we headed back to camp for the evening routine of sitting in the hot springs, dinner and campfire until 9pm.

Sunset at camp
[image]

Got NASCAR?
[image]

FishPOET

La Habra, CA

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Posted: 01/05/10 02:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Saturday Morning January 2 we were on the trail at 9am. Tracy was under the weather and stayed in camp. Our first stop was the Gunsite Mine.

Map of Gunsite Mine
http://www.etogen.com/ue/Gunsite%20Map.pdf

Gunsite Mine
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Mike, Stephan and I explored the main level of the Gunsite Mine. We walked in approx 1500'

Inside Gunsite Mine
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Vertical shaft inside Gunsite Mine
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Inside Gunsite Mine
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Inside large room inside Gunsite Mine
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Inside large room inside Gunsite Mine
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Large steam winch drum inside Gunsite Mine
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Exiting Gunsite Mine
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After leaving Gunsite Mine we took the old Tonopah & Tidewater railway bed http://www.ttrr.org/ across to Excelsior Mine Road. We stopped at Becks Spring for lunch.

We saw snow at the Tecopa Pass.
[image]

We saw Horse Thief Springs and Horse Thief Camp. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/needles/horse_thief_camp.html

We made a quick stop at Snow White Talc Mine.
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[image]

Our plan was to run the Kingston Wash Trail if we had time...but we did not get to the trailhead until 4pm. http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/b........s.Par.dbee090c.File.dat/KingstonWash.pdf

We turned around and headed back for camp. Back at camp at 5pm. We loaded the Jeep on the trailer for an early Sunday departure to beat the holiday going home traffic. We sat in the hot springs, had dinner and sat around the campfire until 9pm. Overnight lows were 26°

Sunday morning we were up and ready to go at 8am......





The truck would not start. Mike started the diagnostics. By 10am Mike had diagnosed the problem as a bad fuel pump . My only option seemed to be to offload the camper and have the truck towed in to Pahrump on Monday morning and hope the local parts store had a new fuel pump. We did not have cel service in Tecopa. Mike drove me out to Ibex Pass and we started making phone calls. Autozone in Pahrump had a fuel pump motor but not a whole assembly. None of the other parts stores had any fuel pump assemblys or fuel pump motors. Mike drove me into Pahrump (70 miles round trip from Tecopa) and we discussed options along the way. I had never replaced a fuel pump before but Mike had. Mike offered to help me out if Autozone did have the correct fuel pump motor. I bought the motor and we headed back to Tecopa to start the process of removing the fuel tank. I had filled up with fuel in Baker and the tank had approx 30 gallons of fuel. We tried a few different methods of draining/siphoning the fuel with no luck. We decided to drop the tank with the fuel in it. We got the tank dropped and dug a trench to get it out from under the truck. Both vent hoses broke while getting the tank out. Once the tank was out we removed the fuel pump and drained the fuel into cans. Mike rebuilt the fuel pump assembly with the new fuel pump motor. We re-installed the fuel pump into the tank. We drove back into Pahrump for new vent hoses. We re-installed the tank into the truck. We put 15 gallons of gas back into the tank and the truck started. We packed everything up and hit the road at 11pm. Home at 3am.

[image]

Mike saved me a large repair bill as well as a missed day of work on Monday. I cannot thank him enough for sticking with Tracy and I all day on Sunday to fix the truck. THANK YOU MIKE!!!!!!!!

Overall the weekend was very enjoyable. The mines were awesome. The nights were cold but the days were sunny. We had zero wind.

kohldad

Goose Creek, SC

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Posted: 01/05/10 04:09am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for a great trip report. I sure hope I'm given enough time on this world to make it out there to visit some of those mines, looks very interesting.

Sorry about the fuel pump problems but you learned something and still stayed out of the traffic.


2015 Ram 3500 4x4 Crew Cab SRW 6.4 Hemi LB 3.73 (12.4 hand calc avg mpg after 92,000 miles with camper)
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weymard

NORMANDY

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Posted: 01/05/10 04:26am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very interesting report. Congratulations for the job ! Thanks for sharing.


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silversand

Montreal

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Joined: 09/12/2004

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Posted: 01/05/10 04:56am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey Guys:

This is one excellent trip report! Fantastic old mine photo-documentary. This is one route we now have on our schedule.

Many thanks, and kudos for this Report,
Silver-

*On edit: I just realized where you were; I'd explored a good part of the Mojave Preserve & Needles, by mountain bike, just south of Tecopa, however camping with ultra-lite tent and equipment!

* This post was edited 01/05/10 05:06am by silversand *


Silver
2004 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4 6.0L Ext/LB Tow Package 4L80E Michelin AT2s| Outfitter Caribou

Golden_HVAC

Fairview OR, USA

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Posted: 01/05/10 05:32am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great pictures,

Good thing the new pump was not impossible to install. I need to do that to my motorhome, and the tank is 75 gallons. Want my address??

Fred.

Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli

Seattle

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Posted: 01/05/10 07:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very interesting trip report. Are the mines inspected for safety?

I noticed a large timber header that looked to be breaking under the load.
[image]

Sorry about the fuel pump. Nothing like adding a little chaos to your trip for fun and excitement. It makes for an unusual memory. Glad things worked out ok.


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jefe 4x4

West Slope, Northern Sierra Nevada

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Posted: 01/06/10 12:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fishpoet,
An unusual kind of report. Since they put fuel pumps in tank now-o-days, it's a chore to R&R. That tank with 30 gals of fuel would weigh about 250 lbs. That takes some big guns laying below the tank under the truck!
We had some fuel pump probs in our 90's XJ (the one I rolled off a cliff in Telluride)
Glad you got home in one piece, and under your own power.
regards, as always, jefe


'01.5 Dodge 2500 4x4, CTD, Qcab, SB, NV5600, 241HD, 4.10's, Dana 70/TruTrac; Dana 80/ TruTrac, Spintec hub conversion, H.D. susp, 315/75R16's on 7.5" and 10" wide steel wheels, Vulcan big line, Warn M15K winch '98 Lance Lite 165s, 8' 6" X-cab, 200w Solar

DianneOK

Donnelly, ID

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Posted: 01/06/10 08:07am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fish, we also have changed the fp motor on a ford ('95)[emoticon]...out in the middle of the desert with a full tank [emoticon] Fortunately, were had a shop building, not a picnic table [emoticon] Don't envy you, but you got it done [emoticon]

Great report and were are looking forward to getting out, too [emoticon]


Dianne (and Terry) (Fulltimed for 9 years)
Donnelly, ID
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2012 Ford F350, diesel, 4x4 SRW, crew cab, longbed
2009 Lance 971 Truck Camper, loaded


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