Tuesday, March 27, 2012

 This is some pictures from the museum that shows some of the minerals in the moutains and the valleys from around this area and into Nevada. A brochure listed almost 10,000 mine locations in Death Valley from years past. There are still a couple of mines operating somewhere in the park and several just outside the park. Of course Borax was the main thing mined in the 1800’s on the valley floor. Borax is used in many different things from glass, pottery, some metals, laundry soap and many other things. The main
Borax mining in the US now takes place in Boron CA outside of Bakersfield. There is a large open pit mine there.

From the looks of the different shades of minerals in the dirt and rocks in these mountains there are many minerals around this area.

This a  log hauler, the wheels were about 8 ft tall.

 Road grader
The wheels on this machine were made with solid wood. they must have weighed at least 1000 pds

Old Diesel electric generator


20 Mule team, the tank on the back was their water for drinking. they had to haul their own as there were going 165 miles with the load and there was long areas without water.

20 Mule Team wagon team, each wagon carried about 33,000 pounds of  Borax mineral. Those were tough mules!!

Here is Red Cathedral 

We drove up to Stovepipe Wells area, near the sand dunes. After listening to a talk from the ranger about the sand dunes we drove 2.5 miles up a dirt road to Mosaic canyon and hiked the canyon. We took about 1.5 gal of water each with us, plus another 1.5 gal in the truck. We drank most of  what we took with us and then gave away a half a gallon to some kids that decided to walk up the 2.5 mile road and into the canyon with 1 quart of water total. Needless to say they were thirsty as it was 86 by the time we got back to the truck at 1pm. 
 The hike was great, some real challenging areas with slick rocks and my knee but we made it. We think we did a total about 2.5 miles round trip.

This plant is hanging onto the rocks on the side of the wash area. Hard to imagine that it gets enough water to survive and grow. real tough plants here in the desert.

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