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Sunday, November 3, 2013

South of the Cudahy - "A long time ago someone had stashed a whiskey bottle"

 I rendezvoused with the Big Blue Van in Mojave.
 The sun was setting as we left the pavement.
 Driving up Mesquite Canyon with Koehn Dry Lake and the Fremont Valley in the distance.
 Beginning our descent into Last Chance Canyon.
 Not as sandy as previous trips. A few minutes after taking this photo we drove past Bickel Camp. The camp was alight with solar lawn lights.
 Driving deeper into Last Chance Canyon looking for our campsite.
 After setting up camp and eating dinner Mike unpacked his guitar.
Deep in the confines of the canyon the constellations moved across the sky above our camp accompanied by the music from the strings of Mike's guitar.
Dawn below the Cudahy Mine.
I walked across the canyon to take photos of our camp and began to discover signs of an old mining camp.
Old tobacco tins and pried open cans.
Soon I discovered a trail and followed it up the canyon.
The trail ended at a small prospect.
I took a quick look inside the mine and wondered how long it took to excavate. On the left looked to be a large midden. On the right some plastic jugs, what was their story?
Walking down the slope from the mine an object behind a rock caught my eye.
A long time ago someone had stashed a whiskey bottle. They never returned and the whiskey had turned to syrup.  I returned the bottle to it's hiding place for someone to find in the future.
Looking southwest down Last Chance Canyon.
On my stroll around the canyon I saw golf balls. Numerous golf balls. About every 40 or 50 feet I found one. What was the story on the golf balls?
After a few moments it dawned on me where the golf balls originated. Someone had been up at the Cudahy Mine driving balls across the canyon. Fore!
After an hour of scrambling it was time to return to the camper and eat breakfast.
We spent a comfortable morning relaxing in camp.
An eight legged visitor crawled through our camp. Because it was early November and the tarantula was out during the day I was thinking that our visitor was probably a male looking for a date.
Leaving our campsite.
Another 4X4 road closed. No one will probably ever again visit the remains of the old stone cabin or lovely little grove of Joshua Trees.
Driving north in Last Chance Canyon past an outcrop of pink tuff.
Great colors for photographs in Last Chance Canyon.
Northeast of the Smith Mine.
Just before we stopped at this location a group of 4x4ers flagged down Mike. They recognized his van from an expedition in the San Bernardino Mountains, 100 miles to the south, several years earlier.
Another Stanley looking for his Stella.
As the sun began to set we started our journey back to pavement.
Black Mountain in the distance. Hiked to its summit 18 years ago.
The sun, the Big Blue Van and a cloud of dust.
Pavement only a couple of miles away.
The Big Blue Van driving into the sunset and headed for home.

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