Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Underground in Arizona

Before leaving Lake Mohave, I was lucky enough to catch sight of this large hawk or eagle doing a low pass over a whole flock of coots on the lake.  They all panic of course, and the splashing is their panicked reaction to dive or flee.


In other bird news …

And tis the season, so I thought it would be appropriate to take a drive up through nearby Christmas Tree pass.

Not surprisingly, I discovered that quite a few of the trees near the summit had been decorated.


I always enjoy reading the comments on the blog, but sometimes the ones that are screened out by Google are almost more entertaining.  Clearly these folks (or machines) have never read the blog, but attempt a comment to lure you to visit their blog, or sales page, or virus!

Here’s a couple …!

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This one is not well with English language!

“I have read several excellent stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking for
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Usually Google screens them out and they do not actually make it to the blog, but once in a while one slips through.

I’m still on my way south, slowly; so last week I made the long drive for over an hour and have been now been spending some time in the Lake Havasu area.  Once again my timing was off as the local swimming pool has closed for two weeks for annual maintenance.  It’s a great facility, with a large hot tub, and long hot showers which are a bonus when you are boondocking!

But if I could not get under water, I decided on the next best and got under ground.  There are lots of old (and new) mines scattered all over Arizona and the Lake Havasu area is no exception.  After a couple of false starts due to washouts from the recent floods, I found a very nice, safe hard-rock mine up in the hills not too far from the town. 

IMG_1650On the way up there is what appears to be an abandoned well dug in the bottom of a wash near the mine.  Perhaps it provided water for the burros used on the trail up into the hills?


The mine entrance.IMG_1655


Of course, I had forgotten to bring my headlamp for this expedition, but luckily I had a backup flashlight in my pack.  There were a lot of flies seeking shelter just inside the entrance, but I did not see any bats.


Several side passages branch off the main tunnel, but all seem to be fairly short.  I can hardly imagine the work it must have been to cut into this solid rock with the comparatively primitive tools of the time.  And while Lake Havasu is fairly close today, the city was only incorporated in 1964, so in the time of this mine, it must have been truly isolated.  It was very warm inside, and very, very dark!

Then I started to feel that I was not alone!  I pulled out my camera to see what it could record.


When I used a flash, the tunnel seemed empty …G0090624

Or was it?


Is that a light shining out of that side passage …G0100630G0090628G0090626G0080623G0070621G0060619G0140641

Then the camera started to record these weird swirls of light or smoke!


I’d sort of lost track of time, but when I found my way to the exit finally, it was refreshingly wet outside as a light rain had begun to fall while I was underground.  Fortunately, it did not rain enough to flood any of the washes I was hiking or driving in.

Here’s another Photosphere I did from the top of Lizard Peak, overlooking Lake Havasu.image

And a couple of shots of the trail down to the ‘balanced rock’ area.


And finally, the ‘required’ photo of Hailey!


Next post: cute burrows and flying boats!


  1. Like those tunnel shots for sure. Very creative. Gotta love those old caves & mine shafts. In the few I have been in I've never had a flashlight with me & like you had to use my camera flash to see ahead in the inky blackness.

  2. OMG! you would never ever get me in a tunnel like that.

  3. Ooooooo.....eerie stuff.
    Nina (wheelingit)

  4. I’d rather prefer not to visit this tunnel and sit back on my couch watching someone else doing it just as what I am doing right now. Bravo! Man, seems like God has created this place and forgotten.

  5. No worries, Mike, I'll keep exploring the caves for you!