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Monday, December 10, 2018

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Cajon Pass Juxtaposition: Drone Image...

Again, I caught something interesting with my drone's camera, last weekend:

I thought that the combination of the power lines, traffic, mountains, and clouds just make for an interesting photo!  

Cajon Pass: Sign of an overgrown trail?

So, I was using my drone as a surrogate explorer- not far from Cleghorn Rd., last weekend.  I noticed this post standing out in the middle of an overgrown area.  Was this an old mining claim?  An overgrown trail? 

Monday, November 26, 2018

Joshua Tree/Twentynine Palms: The Dale Mining District...

The area that makes up Joshua Tree National Park was was first referred to in an 1853 railroad survey, that was conducted by a Lt. R.S. Williamson.

In his journal, Williamson wrote: "A mountain range extends from the San Bernardino Mountains in a southeasterly direction nearly, if not quite, to the Colorado (River.)  Between these mountains and the mountains of the Mohave nothing is known of the country.  I have never heard of a white man who had penetrated it."

However, mining activity did not begin in the Twentynine Palms area until 1873.  Several mines sprung up in the area, with names such as the "Blue Jay," the "Cora," and the "Frying Pan."

Over time, prospectors searched for gold in the rocky hills to the east, over looking Pinto Basin.  Because water was found nearby, the town of Virginia Dale was founded in this area.

So, why was the town called "Virginia Dale?"  The reason is lost to the mists of time, but Virgina Dale may have been the first child born in the camp which eventually became the town.

The mine that was known as the "Virginia Dale" was actually three mines, the first of which was developed in 1885 by two men:  T.B. Lyon and ...."Chuckwalla" Wilson.

As the miners worked further south east, the town moved with them.

The population of one of the Dale camps is supposed to have peaked at three thousand people.  However, only eight people remained in Dale township as of 1920.

Today, only the rusting cyanide tanks and some tailings remain.

                                          Looking up, toward the mine.  Photo by Scott Schwartz. 
                                                             All rights reserved.

The ruined cyanide tanks at the Virginia Dale Mine.
Photo by Scott Schwartz.
All rights reserved.

Cyanide tank: interior.
Photo by Scott Schwartz.
All rights reserved.

The Pinto Basin can be seen, in this view from the mine.  The mountains in the distance are the Pinto Mountains.                         Photo by Scott Schwartz.  All rights reserved. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Joshua Tree National Park: More Gneiss Rocks...

Eons ago, this formation ("Jumbo Rocks") was submerged as part of a continental shelf.  

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Joshua Tree National Park: The Australian Connection...

The gneiss that is found in Joshua Tree National Park is nearly the same as that found in Australia and in Antarctica.  These two continents, along with North America, were once connected to each other, forming a super-continent that is known as Rodinia.  The Joshua Tree gneiss was likely part of the Rodinian Mountain chain that spanned across Rodinia, until Rodinia broke up, roughly 800 million years ago.

After the break-up of Rodinia, the Joshua Tree rocks lay submerged for another 250 million years.

Both of these photographs were taken at "Jumbo Rocks."

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Joshua Tree National Park...

....covers over eight hundred thousand acres, and covers parts of two deserts:  the Colorado and the Mojave.

Where to start exploring?  My standard operating procedure is to just pick one or two areas per trip.

"Jumbo Rocks."
Photo by Scott Schwartz.