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A Good Day on the Desert

A Good Day on the Desert

by Bob Jaussaud

There are many ways to explore the desert and one way that can be very rewarding is exploring on Google Earth. When we find something of interest, we figure out how to get there and figure out a time to go. Such was the case last weekend when Ron Lipari, Vicki Hill, Mignon Slentz, Cindy Lane and Mike Vollmert came to visit. I had spotted a hidden dry lake bed on the side of Flat Top Mountain that needed to be checked out. So we headed out for an adventure. Our first find was a habitation cave with two old bed frames in it, probably from the 1930’s. Further along, we crossed an old road and decided to hike it a ways. To our happy surprise, we found several old cars. Speculating why they were there, we discovered they were on an old road to the Ibex Mine.

So, the next thing to do after returning home is to see if we can find anything out about our finds. It turns out the Ibex Mine was a rich gold deposit that was purchased by P. K. Klinefelter in 1892. In a Los Angeles Herald Newspaper from 1892, it is described as a “veritable bonanza” only eleven miles from Needles. The ore that was being removed was described in the article as causing “the eye to twinkle, the breath to come faster and the hand to tremble.” The article closed by saying, “talk about your lost Pegleg, your Breyfogle or your Comstock, what are they to the Ibex? The outlook for Needles is truly delightful.”

By the way, the dry lake bed on the side of Flat Top turned out to be a good hike too. We were not the first ones there, though. Someone had aligned some of the rocks on the lake bed to read “JN. 3:16”. It was sobering to hear Ron Lipari recite the bible verse. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Back in the cars, we discovered an old road that led all the way around Flat Top Mountain. We came to familiar territory when we bounced into the Flat Top Spring area. It was a good day on the desert.             ~ Joso