Showing posts with label Tumco Gold Mine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tumco Gold Mine. Show all posts

Friday, March 12, 2010




What a treat it was this morning to open the Motorhome door to quiet & calm air.  The mountain sunrise & warmer temperatures had us outside within minutes relaxing in our pajamas with coffee in hand.    Cactus Wrens were twerbling in the Mesquite trees & a hummingbird dropped by to say hello.  Dragon Flies were in the air & we saw several butterflies.  Wasn't long & we had nice little morning campfire going.  Just might delay our Saturday departure for another day or two now.



Happy to report that Kelly's Dad has been moved from the hospital to a re-hab center & is doing reasonably well.  My Uncle Harry is still in the hospital & is slowly regaining strength.  With a little bit of luck he may be back to his 'assisted living' facility sometime early next week.

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Having been in this area before we are familiar with where things are so headed up the road a few miles this morning to, GOLD ROCK RANCH RV RESORT.  We had a load of laundry to do & we've used the laundromat there before.  A lot of mining artifacts have ended up here in this RV Park & I took a lot of pics of things in December of 08.  You can see those pics here at...GOLD ROCK PHOTOS & the blog for that same day here at...GOLD ROCK BLOG   I also took a few more this morning while we were there & I will include them in this blog.

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Last time here we also explored what was left of the old mining town of Tumco which is about 3 miles up the road from where we are camped now.  An organization in El Centro later emailed me seeking permission to use some photos I took that day & I said yes.  Never saw their project so I don't know which photos they used but you can see the photos of that day here... TUMCO PHOTOS (check out the large Cyanide tanks & old graves) & you can read my blog from that day here... TUMCO BLOG.

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We've decided to stay another day so tomorrow we might see a few jets in the sky as the Blue Angels perform at the El Centro air show west of our location.  We won't see the heart of the show but we might get some F/A 18 Hornets making some rather loud & sweeping turns out over the desert here closer to Yuma.  I went to a lot of Air Shows years ago in London & Hamilton Ontario but I can't take the crowds anymore so we'll watch from the desert.  First aerobatic team I ever saw was the Golden Hawks flying F 86 Saber jets way back in the 50's.


All & all we had a quiet afternoon just relaxing under the awning & soaking up this beautiful wind free & warm California day:))

GROANER'S CORNER:((  Did you know that England doesn't have a kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.



The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL.

Sunday, December 21, 2008



Always amazes me how the temperatures can vary so much in just a matter of feet. On the south side of the rig where the sun is shining it's warm enough for short sleeves but if you walk around to the other side of the motorhome, you have to put a sweater or coat on or your gonna be cold. Guess that tells me the daytime desert air is cool but the sun's rays are warming. It's a lot like our early spring days in Ontario.

We headed off for the short drive to the old abandoned gold mining town of Tumco about 4 miles up Ogilby road. It's a short half mile bumpity drive along a gravely stone road to the trailhead & just a few minutes walk to the townsite. There are no buildings left here, only some stone foundations, a cellar, some stucco & stone walls, a cemetery, a few concrete pieces & thousands & thousands of rusting cans & various pieces of metal. Tumco was a mining boom town in the 1890's with about 500 people & the only thing that stirs here now is the wind coming in off the dry California desert.


We spent the best part of 3 hours walking the mile or so around where the townsite had been. The mine itself was further back at the base of the Cargo Muchacho Mountains. Tried to imagine what it would have been like here over a hundred years ago on a typical Saturday morning in the month of December just before Christmas. Men probably worked the mine 7 days a week & the townsfolk would have been busy with their company stores, social clubs, local saloon, many houses & hospital. Hard to imagine all the hustle & bustle as I stood at the cemetery site overlooking where the town used to be. We noticed there didn't seem to be any kind of life here at all now. No birds, no animals, few trees, & no sounds. Only the wayward wind. And 28 stony grave sites. 4 LARGE CYANIDE VATS

It was particularly interesting standing at the site & walking down into the cellar of the place called, The Miner's Club. This was a saloon complete with billiard & pool tables where miners played, drank, roughhoused, & spent time with the ladies. As I stood in the basement with all it's old rusting tin cans & bits of forgotten memories I tried to imagine the carryings on of the all the characters just above me in the wild saloon on a rollicking Saturday night. The drinking, the fights, the guns, the laughter, the girls, the carousing & the shenanigans. This was probably quite a place in it's day. IN THE BASEMENT OF THE MINER'S CLUB SALOON

The largest man made structures still remaining are the 4 huge metal cyanide tanks up on a hillside. Weak solutions of cyanide were used in the mining process to separate the ore from the gold. Those tanks are slowly disintegrating now & have been filled with clay but we were able to walk through them & marvel at the heavy timbers the tanks were sitting on. I always find it difficult to understand how people did things years ago without all the wonders of modern technology & machinery. If only we could enter a time capsule & travel back to those times to see how they lived. I always find historical things fascinating, so to-day was not only a good learning experience, it was also a good day for getting some much needed exercise. OUR CHIEF SCROUNGER

From the Tumco site we headed further up Ogilby Road looking for another road we heard led back into a canyon. We didn't find the canyon but we found another curious site in the desert. I'll save that for to-morrow's blog.

We were back to the rig by 3 & I kicked back in the lounge chair for a little solar delight. Kelly built a campfire later & we had some steaks on the barbie until the sun began to set & then it was quickly inside as the desert air temperatures plunged rapidly. It was the end of another fine day.....................