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Discussion Starter #1
Recently I took a ride to the Savannic and Grand Gulch mines far out onto the Arizona Strip. These are old mines established in the late 1800's. More information here and here if you're interested. Unfortunately, I miscalculated the mileage and ran short of gas before actually getting to the mines. Vegasdesertrat read of my failed attempt, and offered to ride with me out to the Grand Gulch. He's spent a lot of time on the strip, and knows the area very well.



We met last Saturday on South River Road in St. George where it turns to dirt just south of the Southern Parkway. VDR (Mark) owns a low mileage 89 TW with the cool red and black paint scheme. He's made a number of creative modifications to his TW.







The wildflowers were blooming, and I stopped to get a picture of a carpet of purple wildflowers on the valley floor.







On down the road Mark spotted a snake in the road.







I'm not a big fan of snakes, but Mark had some snake pets when he was younger so he wanted to check it out. It turned out to be a bull snake.







After playing with the snake for a couple of minutes, Mark set it off to the side of the road. It was a good thing he did, cause a couple of trucks with stock trailers passed us shortly thereafter.



Before we got going again some riders on big bikes pulled up. They were on their way to meet some other riders in Mesquite, but they had overshot their turn. Mark got them headed in the right direction.







I don't know who this sign is intended for, cause this sure doesn't look like a primitive road to me.







Bonus points if you can guess what this is.







Eventually we made the turn down through Pidgeon Canyon. I liked this stretch of road because of all the cool rock formations.











 

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It's a really big block of cheese!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I spotted a few interesting things along the way.







It's amazing what a few hundred feet in elevation change can do. We dropped out of the junipers and into cactus country.











Eventually we arrived at Twin Tanks, just a short distance from the Grand Gulch mine.







I don't imagine the roads were all that great when this vehicle made the trip out here. The light surface rust is a testament of how arid the climate is out here.







Approaching the Grand Gulch mine.







Not chain drive, but old timers nonetheless.







No power steering here.







The "accommodations". Some preservation work has been done.







The "facilities". Not even a two holer!



 

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Wow B-dub, this looks like a really fun ride.



I love the pic of the sea of purple wildflowers, when desert plants do their thing it can create some absolutely surreal scenes.



I also had to laugh a little at the pic of you guys showing the three "big-bike" riders the way. It reminded me of the time when my can of Fix-a-Flat salvaged a couple of KLR riders' trip a few months back. They couldn't resist taking a shot at my TW, even as I was bailing them out of a tough spot. Little did they know that I had a KLR of my own collecting dust in the driveway. When are these guys gonna figure out that us T-dubbers know what we're doing?



Thanks for another great ride report, I really enjoyed it.
 

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There is a dirt runway on the bluff near the Grand Gulch. While we were at the mine looking around we heard the sound of an aircraft up on the bluff. Shortly thereafter a helicopter took off and headed for Vegas. They must've been at the mine and headed back to the helicopter about the time we showed up. Awhile later an airplane flew in and landed. We rode up to take a look and met the pilot and a young couple. They were walking down to check out the mine. Because of the remoteness of the mine, flying in isn't a bad way to visit.







The end of the runway. You better be airborne by this point, cause it's a long way down.







Remains of the smelter. Unfortunately, due to design problems it was never used.







Remains of an old boiler. Steam power was the way to go in the early days of the mine.











The shaft. More than 500 feet deep.







Footings for the steam engine that was used to hoist ore out of the shaft. Water reservoir on the right.







Ore bucket?







Stationary engine used in the more recent days of the mine.



 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
The real deal.







Some kind of refining tool.







This must've been a powder magazine. It was located quite aways from the rest of the camp, and built into the hillside.







On the way back out of the mine Mark snagged a piece of wire. Fortunately he felt it hit his foot, so it didn't get wrapped up too tight around things and he had it out of there in just a couple of minutes.







There was a surprising number of these little critters crawling around.







Mark was very patient with me, and let me spend the time to see all that I wanted to see. In retrospect I shouldn't have taken so long. I kind of lost track of time. It wasn't a big deal for me, but Mark had to travel further than me to get home. Sorry about that, Mark. My next mod needs to be a timepiece mounted to the bike.



Eventually I had seen enough, and we headed back.







At first look this hole in the hill looked like a mineshaft. Upon further investigation though, I could see a pipe coming out and down to a water trough. So, it had to be a developed spring. Very little running water around here, so I'm sure they were willing to do what it took to find water for the livestock.







I take it that Mark likes to watch western movies cause his comment to me at this point in the canyon was that this would be a great place for an ambush.







I enjoyed Tony's videos of the NorCal guys doing the stream crossings. So, I thought I would show you guys how we do it in northern Arizona.



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A little "dry" humor for ya.




Stopping to stretch our legs. Only 71 more miles to go.





 

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Discussion Starter #8
It's a really big block of cheese!


Yeah, it's like watching clouds. If you're observant, and have some imagination you can see a lot of cool things!



Wow B-dub, this looks like a really fun ride.



I love the pic of the sea of purple wildflowers, when desert plants do their thing it can create some absolutely surreal scenes.



I also had to laugh a little at the pic of you guys showing the three "big-bike" riders the way. It reminded me of the time when my can of Fix-a-Flat salvaged a couple of KLR riders' trip a few months back. They couldn't resist taking a shot at my TW, even as I was bailing them out of a tough spot. Little did they know that I had a KLR of my own collecting dust in the driveway. When are these guys gonna figure out that us T-dubbers know what we're doing?



Thanks for another great ride report, I really enjoyed it.


I like the desert wildflowers, too. We have to enjoy them while we can, cause as you know they don't hang around long. I don't think the big bike riders will ever get it, unless or until they get their own TW! I'm glad you're enjoying the report. The ride was a lot of fun.



What a great ride, man that's some beautiful country. Thanks!


Hey, thanks! I've really enjoyed your reports of the awesome country you live in.
 

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Hi B-Dub,



Hog Heaven this ride report.

That little camera takes great pictures.

I'm still a little sore from that many miles in a day, normal is 75 or so and only a day to recover.

I need to figuire out the Photobucket img thing and I will post up too.



It was beauTWful out there for sure and you were awesome to ride with.

VDR
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Almost back to the truck.







It was a fun ride. 207 miles round trip for me. I really enjoyed meeting and riding with Mark (vegasdesertrat). He's a great guy. I hope he'll add his input to this report, and I hope we get to ride together some more.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks, vdr. I hope you're feeling better soon. Admiral posted a great tutorial here if you haven't seen it already. It was great sharing this adventure with you.
 

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Boy, that sure is some interesting stuff at the old mine. I would never have guessed the owners would have left some big old dump trucks, but I imagine they were broke down or something. This is just some amazing stuff for someone interested in old mine sites like you and I...and the road to get there was pretty scenic as well. My wife would be disappointed in the creek crossing. She needs water. I thought that short video was pretty funny comparing to what the NoCal guys had to go through. I'll be chuckling over this one for a while. Oh, and the green "real deal"...copper?



Thanks for sharing



P.S. My guess for the thing on the trailers is some kind of water tub kinda like sorta thing. Thanks again-good ride report.
 

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Thanks for sharing your ride with us. Nice report of a nice ride. Your stream crossing was much less eventfull than the NorCal 150 ride.



Joemama
 

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hey I might not get my feet wet on that creek crossing!

beautiful ride report! thanks for the great descriptions of the area.



the bull snake is the same species we have called the gopher snake. beautiful and very helpful maintaining rodents and harmless.



did you need you extra gas, or with the xt350 did you make 200+miles?
 

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Great pics and report. Laughed at your "stream" crossing.....
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Boy, that sure is some interesting stuff at the old mine. I would never have guessed the owners would have left some big old dump trucks, but I imagine they were broke down or something. This is just some amazing stuff for someone interested in old mine sites like you and I...and the road to get there was pretty scenic as well. My wife would be disappointed in the creek crossing. She needs water. I thought that short video was pretty funny comparing to what the NoCal guys had to go through. I'll be chuckling over this one for a while. Oh, and the green "real deal"...copper?



Thanks for sharing



P.S. My guess for the thing on the trailers is some kind of water tub kinda like sorta thing. Thanks again-good ride report.


Thanks, Admiral. The mine itself is private property. If the owner ever decides to clean it up there is probably a small fortune in scrap metal with prices the way they are now. But, he would face the same problem they had in the early days - getting it out of there. The green rock is indeed copper ore. Also, you get the prize for correctly guessing that the thing on the trailer is a water tank, the kind used for watering cattle. As you noticed, the tank is big enough that it would be too big vertically or horizontally to transport if it were one piece. So, it was made in two pieces, with the intent it would be assembled on site.



Thanks for sharing your ride with us. Nice report of a nice ride. Your stream crossing was much less eventfull than the NorCal 150 ride.



Joemama


You're welcome, glad you enjoyed it. It sure is a lot easier crossing the "stream" when you can see the big rocks on the bottom, and when you don't have to worry about drowning the engine. I wouldn't want to be in that canyon during a heavy rain, though. The road crosses the streambed numerous times. In places the road has been cut away and some of the entries and exits to the streambed were steep. It was evident there has been some real gully washers through there.



hey I might not get my feet wet on that creek crossing!

beautiful ride report! thanks for the great descriptions of the area.



the bull snake is the same species we have called the gopher snake. beautiful and very helpful maintaining rodents and harmless.



did you need you extra gas, or with the xt350 did you make 200+miles?


Yeah, there are a few advantages to that kind of stream crossing. Like you I enjoy seeing the wildlife. It makes the trip more enjoyable and interesting. Mark did see a mule deer, but about the only wildlife I saw this trip was the snake, some of the wooly caterpillars and stink bugs, and some hawks. I've been amazed how consistently I get about 195 miles on the XT350 tank. I took plenty of extra gas. I poured my extra gallon in to the tank at the Grand Gulch mine, and didn't have to worry about it from that point on.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Great pics and report. Laughed at your "stream" crossing.....


Thanks! I really enjoyed reading of your escapades on the Sheetiron. It sure looked fun.



That looked like a great adventure.



Thanks



Happy Trails All



Ron in Boise


It was Ron. Not on the same scale as your recent adventure, but it was a lot of fun.



looks like an awesome ride!


It was a long and dusty ride, but still very enjoyable. I always enjoy seeing new country. Thanks!



Great pic's/trip report! enjoyed it!


It was a fun ride, and I enjoyed sharing it with you and the others.
 
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