Someone in the group has a dropped pin (GPS Coordinates) for an abandoned mine shaft. What do you do? Take some off-road capable vehicles and go check it out!
It’s not easy to discern here, but the mine is somewhat steep, enough so that we have to take it slowly at least to begin with. Brandon was leading the group down and had a nice bright light to help make this shot. Immediately upon entering the mine, the temperature and humidity go up, which was unexpected.
Various metal tracks in the ceiling, likely used for some kind of equipment hang at precarious angles throughout the various shafts. We have no idea how old the equipment is or low long ago the mine was abandoned. It keeps getting hotter the further down we go.
Tami and I take one of the offshoots from the main shaft. Tami has a headlamp on, which is why she looks like the cyclops-sunbean.
At one point when we were pretty deep down, we turned off all of the lights and attempted to adjust to the darkness. There was nothing to adjust to. No light, at all. After several minutes of nothing but blackness with no difference whether ones eyes were open or closed, we turned on our lights and continued on our way.
We hadn’t yet reached the bottom (if there was one), when our leader decided it was time to turn back. Being a scuba person and familiar with various risks of low oxygen environments, apparently it was time to turn around. At that point, it was getting really hot and humid, and we were theorizing that there might have been a pool of water somewhere at the bottom.
As we ascended the mine, the air that had previously felt overly warm started feeling cool and comfortable only because it was a relative temperature to the heat that was present further down. When we eventually got out to the dry desert air (around 70°F), it was absolutely pleasant.
“Hannah don’t touch that!” – and she then defiantly sticks her finger in it. Probably just salt left from evaporation of the nearby pool, but it could easy have who-knows-what kinds of industrial chemicals mixed in.
Hannah apparently really likes rocks and was just giddy with excitement about the various kinds found here. Her enthusiasm was fun to watch for all of us.
At the bottom of the mine pit a pool had formed, which is somewhat unusual to find in the desert. It must have been pretty well shielded from the sun by the high walls on all sides. There were also various aquatic plants living in the water, so it must be somewhat consistent in its level.
Yep, the group had fun.
I’ve got more upcoming tales of the trip to San Felipe coming up, but I’m thinking I should separate the blog posts by event or topic a bit more so they don’t get too terribly long. For now, another RV-themed sunset picture to cap things off.