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Monday, December 29, 2014

Lucy Gray Mountains - "Required low range in the M59"

We drove east on I-15, exited at Nipton Road and drove southeast to the desert metropolis of Nipton. Then we pulled into the empty dirt lot in front of the El Oasis Cafe and parked. Upon entering the ramshackle establishment Jan ordered the enchilada dinner, I chose the Bill Burger and both selections were excellent. Great tasting food, friendly service and a relaxing atmosphere can be found in the little desert town of Nipton. Next time we might give the Nipton Hotel a try.

After dining in Nipton we drove northeast alongside the Union Pacific rails.
To the north we sighted the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System.
Soon we turned right and drove east into the Lucy Gray Mountains. Just moments after this photo was taken a Big Horn Sheep ran across the road in front of us.
It was after sunset when we set up camp in a wash near the road and prepared dinner.
Another cold crisp dawn in the Mojave Desert. After breakfast I began a hike up the canyon to the Lucy Gray Mine.
The Lucy Gray Mine is/was for sale.
The Lucy Gray cabin and it was in sad condition.
I followed the road up the canyon toward the mine and found, I think, a 1950 M59 dump-truck with a Reo engine and Heil three yard dump-bed. 
Someone, very recently, had been scavenging this truck.
I found this photo, from a 4x4 website, taken in June of 2014 and it shows the truck intact. On my visit there were fresh tire tracks and foot prints at the truck and a portion of the dump bed had been removed. The scavengers also had removed the front and one of the rear axles, radiator, fuel tank, engine hood and front bumper.
The mine was high up a canyon to the north.
I have always enjoyed driving big old trucks and while hiking up the road imagined driving down from the mine with a load of ore in the dump-bed.
The road was steep and would have required low range in the M59. (When I returned to camp Jan told me that when she was seven years old she owned a yellow toy dump-truck. She pedaled it around with her dolls in the dump-bed. Quite a juxtaposition in those two truck stories.)
The Lucy Gray Mine. All of the buildings were in some state of collapse.
The adits and shafts were sealed.
Hiking back down the canyon to our camp I found this smashed and buried car in a small wash near the road.
Back at camp bees had found moisture at our waste water outlet. After this photo more bees arrived and it made breaking camp a bit more exciting than usual.
Driving down the canyon the "Ivanpah Bird Burning System" came into view.
Estimates per year range from a low of about a thousand by BrightSource to 28,000 by an expert for the Center for Biological Diversity environmental group. - WUWT
We returned to Nipton, turned left and drove east toward Lake Mohave.

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