2017 - Trip report - Spring Mountains Trip
Spring Mountains Trip
September 19-21, 2017
Leaders: Bob & Sue Jaussaud
It was advertised as an exploratory and that is what it turned out to be. But hey! Those roads looked OK on Google Earth.
After the group (Vicki, Ron, Glenn, Nelson, Neal, Marian, Bob &Sue) assembled at Valley Wells, we decided to take a short side trip to see the Mohawk Mine. Well╔ the road in was awful and the mine we finally found was on the opposite side of the mountain from the mine we wanted to see. Working our way around the mountain, we finally found the Mohawk, which turned out to be pretty neat after all. There was even an old tin shack still standing. The morning had evaporated, so we decided to have lunch before continuing.
The road to Pachalka Spring was so much nicer than the road to the Mohawk Mine. So much so, that we missed seeing a large pothole. Marian found it, though, and totally collapsed one of the front shock absorbers on her new truck. Her front tire was dragging in the wheel well. The only solution was to put on her smaller spare tire, which provided enough wheel clearance so she could limp back to civilization. While we were working on the Johns╒ truck, Vicki showed us a nice petroglyph panel not far from where we were stuck. It was late in the afternoon by the time we were ready to move on,so we decided to proceed to the first acceptable camp spot and enjoy the evening together, as Neal & Marian would not be able to continue with us the next day.
As luck would have it, we located a nice site above a wash and set up camp. We were a good ways up the side of Clark Mountain, so the weather was very pleasant. Exploring the area around camp on foot, we located the four really nice arrastras I had seen on Google Earth and an old mine and rock shelter just a short ways up the wash. As daylight waned, we
thoroughly enjoyed a traditional happy hour and Ron fixed one of his famous pasta and meatball dinners for us all. Nelson and Marian contributed their tasty salads. It was a special evening.
The next morning we worked our way back to pavement and Nelson volunteered to follow Neal & Marian back to Valley Wells while the rest of us located the next turn off. When Nelson returned, we headed east on the north side of Clark Mountain in search of the Green Cabin. We detoured a bit to checkout the Beatrice Mine and the ruins of Stonewall, finally arriving at Green’s Cabin precisely at lunch time. Sue had researched the cabin history, which was occupied by the Greens from 1900 to1920. Lunch was in the shade of the front yard tree.
After lunch, we skirted the Colosseum Mine tailings and located a little used road that led us to the Frank Curtis Cabin. We found the cabin totally intact and very usable, as the local mice can testify. It was an amazing find though. Moving on, we descended Clark Mountain on the east side via the very steep Colosseum Mine Road, turning off to visit the remains of Ivanpah. By now, it was late in the afternoon and warm at the lower elevations, so it was agreed we would head to the Spring Mountains and stay at the “99 Cabin.” We received a phone message from Marian that she and Neal had arrived home safely.
The road up the east side of the Spring Mountains was very rocky and slow. Along the way, we encountered a herd of 14 or more wild horses. They were beautiful and it was amazing how close they allowed us to get. Vicki took some great photos! It was 6 p.m. when we finally arrived at the cabin, an A-frame located high up on the east side of the mountains. Our campsite was cramped and windy, but we again enjoyed our happy hour, which was followed shortly by Sue’s vegetarian chili dinner and complimented with Vicki’s salad and apple muffins and Ron╒s sesame seed cookies.
Glenn had early commitments the next day, so he left us shortly after dinner. It was a night drive in the dark, but he emailed that he arrived home safely.
It was still windy and cool in the morning, so we all agreed to skip breakfast and head out. After a few hours of rocky road, we arrived at Goodsprings just in time for breakfast at the Pioneer Saloon. It was a really good meal that we all enjoyed immensely.
After breakfast, we said our goodbyes to Ron and Vicki, who wanted to beat the traffic home. Nelson, Sue and I headed on to explore the Lucy Grey Mine southeast of Primm. After coming to a dead end on the original road into Lucy Grey Canyon, we found an old mine road that led to the mouth of the canyon. Unfortunately, from there, on the road was pretty much washed out. We worked our way to within site of the cabin and walked the final distance. We could see that the cabin had once been a special place, but it is in sad shape now. Our exit was via the paved road between Desert Siding and Nipton, where we each went our separate ways.
It had been a wonderful few days exploring in the desert with great people. We are so lucky! ~Bob
Photos: Bob & Sue Jaussaud, Vicki Hill