Oatman and the mines along old route 66
Gold Road Mine
Route 66 is a wonderful historic stretch of road.
The section with the illustrious Gold Road mine is the longest stretch of Route 66 still in use today.
EVERYWHERE are staggering vistas
You really loose track of how far away and how big things are. Those are cloud shadows on those MOUNTAINS. The farthest ones here are 71 miles away !
This is one staggering journey. Worth the trip all by itself.
The old stage coach trail is evident. Stunning that anyone could traverse this with a wagon.
At the top of Site Graves Pass was a crazy set of very old stairs.
At the top of those stairs was a crazier still site..
A Natural spring !. Someone, no one knows who or why, created this complete with steps. In fact it did indeed have a few goldfish in it ! Maybe it was for the stage coaches and wagons for water ? There is no one that knows.
There are many route 66 wonders along the way
Evidence of mining is everywhere.
Capped Off shafts that look REAL serious. This one was so deep you didn't hear the rock hit bottom.
We are in fact after the largest gold producing mine in arizona history. The Gold Road Mine. Google produces vast information on these mines. Geologic info can be found here. The mine produced over $ 7 million in gold in 1920 dollars. It has a large number of shafts that are 800-2000 feet deep with many levels and vast distances of tunnels.
We are here because the mine offers underground tours !
Or WAIT... Maybe not
This was a bad moment. And it got worse. The shafts we could get to were very well guarded and extremely secure. We checked several and debated a bolt cutter. But there was also surveillance and modern security complete with a guy patrolling on a ATV.
There were signs of old mining everywhere. Mining on a VAST scale. We knew there were more mines.
BUT Dave and I are undaunted. We can find mines. Sure enough,,, we did. Completely undocumented in fact.
In the middle of nowhere too. That's route 66 in the far background.
You see,,,, Dave can Smell mines. Its a biological wonder.
Here we see Dave using his Smell-A-Graph and locating a mine.
Not just one, but a cluster..
One of them was a keeper. Untouched and damn dangerous. The red shows where the top of a elevator and a deep vertical shaft is. Step on this spot wrong and you have a long fall ahead. The wood is rotted completely and 4"x4" beams you can break by hand. THIS is what the AZ Mining Commission talks about as being DANGEROUS and almost invisible. We will of course be going back with a chain saw to cut away the wood and explore the depths.
We did find other shafts and there was evidence of collapse
Everywhere in Oatman are Burros. These are all direct descendants of the burros used in the mines. In the town of Oatman you can feed the wild ones. The are a big tourist attraction. These below we found a long way from town however in the middle of Route 66.
Yes the burros are just wandering route 66
Video of this
It was a fun trip. One we are going to repeat. I am not including GPS coords because we want to keep things secret.
As with all our Mine trips, I got some great rocks that may contain gold.