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2001 Trip Report - Rendezvous - Jail Canyon

Jail Canyon        

By Ana Romero and Robb Anderson

Originally this was supposed to be the Hunter Mountain trip. But, hope turned into despair when the 3 foot snow drifts kept the mountain closed to all vehicles. So, just three short days before the Rendezvous, I (Ana) went with John Page, Bob and Marilyn Martin, and Annie Bunch, to scout an alternative trip. Naturally, I asked some of the locals for suggestions;  and, to my delight, they turned me onto Jail Canyon and the exceptionally well-preserved mine at its end. So, that is the story of why Hunter Mountain got cancelled and Jail Canyon took its place - and, I’m sticking to it! Eleven brave souls decided to take their chances with us. 

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Our truly fearless president, Bob Jaussaud, and treasurer, Ken Sears, even opted to join our entourage as sweeps. Robb Anderson was at the wheel and Ana rode shotgun. Robb disclaims any responsibility for any navigational errors. Okay, so I missed our turn in spite of the fact that Reda Anderson advised us that we had missed our turn. (Reda, I promise to listen to you the next time.) After about two more miles I finally decided that we should stop and reassess our position. Since Ballarat was only 4 miles further, and since several people had never visited this ghost town, we decided to forge ahead and make a quick stop at Ballarat and its cemetery.  After about 30 minutes, we got back on track and took a back road to our original destination, Jail Canyon. The road through Jail Canyon offered some mild challenges to the 4 wheel drive devotee, but at no time was spotting required by anyone. Finally, we did reach the end of the road. It was just a short hike following the stream to the mine. The Corona Mine has several tunnels and supposedly yielded enough gold, silver, lead, and copper sulfide minerals to make it a worthwhile endeavor well into the last century. Several people were astonished how intact this mine still was. A few hardy and brave individuals in our party decided to enter a couple of tunnels and do some exploring. Beds were found in one of the tunnel rooms. However, our intrepid explorers, noting that there was evidence of tunnel collapse, wisely decided to exit. Back at our vehicles  we found some shade and enjoyed our lunches and good company. After lunch we got back into our vehicles and headed back to Panamint Springs, or so we thought. Shortly after leaving the mine area, my daughter, Laura, decided to get a flat tire. I kid you not, there had to be at least 8 men helping repair one tire. Unfortunately, the plug that was inserted blew out a short distance ahead. Again, we stopped, but this time the plug stayed in. When we reached the paved road everyone was released to return to. base camp to hopefully clean up and get some rest before the evening’s activities. Robb and I drove ahead anxious for some unstructured time. Luckily, Ron and Linda Lewis were driving behind my daughter’s vehicle and were able to radio us that she had had a blowout but was able to come to a safe stop. At this point, her undersized spare was installed and would have to do for her return trip to Las Vegas after the barbeque. Well, all’s well that ends well. It’s all part of the adventure. A good time was had by all