This weekend Bundu Trek accompanied two other off road vehicles on an exploration of Last Chance canyon and the surrounding area. Our goal was to find the Rock House, a geocache location that had been visited last year in May without the Bundu Trek crew. Little did we know that we would visit not just one homestead ruin, but three!
The weather was sunny and warm, reaching somewhere around 90F by midday, not bad by desert standards. We followed the number one directive in off-road desert travel, never travel alone! Two vehicles is acceptable, three is better.
|Reducing air pressure in the tires just after leaving pavement. Lower air pressure gives a broader tire 'footprint' in loose soil and sand and better cushions the bumps and battering of off road travel.|
|Slow and steady and in low range for best control in these conditions|
|Time for lunch!|
|Our lunch spot near the sparse ruins of a long abandoned mining operation.|
|The Bundu Trek crewman exploring the blasting magazine across the wash from the mining building pads|
|On the trail to the Rock house|
|The Rock house blending in the the boulders surrounding it.|
|The back of the house. Whoever built this place had poetry in his soul. The front of the house overlooks a vista that is breathtaking in its majesty.|
|The geocache. We updated the log and left something for the next visitor|
|The front door and window of the Rock house|
|Seeing this every day could never become ordinary. From here we spied another ruined homestead on a far mountain. We were determined to find it after we finished here.|
|Bundu Trek crewman with the trip mascot 'Lucy'|
|On the way to the other homestead we stumbled on yet another abandoned mining operation|
|One of several buildings on the grounds|
|The ruin of a substantial single room building. It appeared to have burned long ago.|
|Notice board, perhaps this was the office for the operation?|
|Water! green and a bit slimy but water in the desert. A trickle was coming from the pipe into the trough.|
|The mine, partially collapsed.|
We traveled across the valley and up a trail to the ruin that we had seen from the Rock house. It turned out to a place we have visited a couple of years ago with a ruined shack and horizontal mine shaft. It begged to be explored, something that is not recommended by Bundu Trek for amateurs.
|The mine shaft|
|View from the shack|
|Looking back at the Rock house we noticed the glint of something shiny in the distance. I used my 10x50 binoculars to make out a solar panel along a trail. Very interesting and worth a visit! It was to be our next stop.|
The solar panel was powering a tectonic plate observatory that remotely sends information that reports on plate drift. A very cool find!
|From the plate observatory the ruin that we left from could be made out. Can you see the red circled dot? That's where we were when we saw the reflection of the solar panel!|
|Fellow trekkers examining some of the observatory equipment|
We saw many jack rabbits on this trip and took pictures of two of them:
It was a great trip and a perfect trifecta, three homesteads finishing first, second, and third in best ruins found in the Mojave!