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Friday, August 24, 2012

Checkerboard Cars

So today we have these checkerboard cars driving around town. Three of them are Range Rovers and one is a Jaguar. They are certainly heavily camouflaged, the Range Rovers even had there interiors covered. The windshield has both a Range Rover and a Ford label and a Death Valley " Car Test Pass". Maybe after the heat of Death Valley they wanted to try the cool weather high in the mountains. All had New Jersey plates. These test vehicles are said to have over 500 HP. Think if I talked nice they would let me take them over great local jeep trails? Come on, 500 Hp over Black Bear Pass.  Wasn't Jaguar and Rover sold to Tata Motors in India a few years ago? 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bus on Kendall Peak

Went back up Kendall Peak with some friends to check out this old bus. It was right outside a large mine shaft and must have been used to live in as someone had taken out all the seats and added wiring for 110 volts. In the brush nearby there was an old four cylinder generator that must have supplied the power. The jeep trail up here is a twisted, rocky, and steep so getting it up here was not easy. It must have been here a long time as the tires have been mostly chewed up by the Marmots. The roof has some rocks on it and is dented in apparently from avalanches.   

The bus itself is very interesting. The body is made of aluminum and was powered by a flathead  V8 Ford engine, the same engine that powered Ford cars until 1953. The frame, which you would expected to have heavy rust, was in great condition and appeared to galvanized to protect it from corrosion. The bumper appeared to be thin strips of nickle and the space between them and the body was taken up by thick pieces of oak. The radiator and dash were also framed in oak wood. On what would be the curb side you could still make out the words "Danville City Lines". There is no manufactures plate viable anywhere but it would be interesting to know the make and history of this bus.

 We have a big hot rod meet in Lake Havasu every fall and there are always a couple small old buses that have been turned into hot rod motor homes. While this one is beyond hope there must be others like it that could be turned into an interesting vintage Ford powered motor home. It would sure look cool.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Old 100 Boarding House

The old boarding house is thousands of feet above the mill below. Miners would live up here and work in the mine year round. The ruins in the foreground is a tram tower and the miners would ride the tram buckets up to the mine. Today it is a long and difficult hike to get there.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Stars above Kendall Peak

On a clear night the view of the stars from 9500 feet is great. I decided to try and photograph them from camp. It would have been better to get out to a dark canyon but it was cold so just took it from camp. An exposure longer than 30 seconds would have shown star trails even with the 16 mm lens used here so I turned up the ISO to get this. The light from town did show up in the northwest face of the mountain at 30 seconds.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Blown Safes

Safe one

Safe two
In the side and top of these two safes you can see where the outer wall was drilled through and dynamite was used to blow them open.

So after we used the last of our dynamite to blow the safes we collected the loot and headed to the Caribbean.  Just kidding, with all that loot you don't really think I'd really tell you where we are headed.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mill Truck

This International Truck sits outside the Mayflower Mill in Silverton. The mill has now been open to self guided tours after the Historical Society has restored it making it safe to walk through.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Living at a lake on the Colorado River I am always in sight of water even while living in the desert but here in the mountains you are really aware of water in the form of streams and waterfalls. Every trail takes you across streams and every gulch has numerous waterfalls. A real antidote to the dry desert.

Friday, August 10, 2012

California Gulch

Although the mine is in ruins the boiler is still in place. This mine is just below the 12900 feet summit of California Gulch.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Summit of Corkscrew Pass

Corkscrew pass goes from Silverton, the 4WD trail actually starts in Gladstone, and goes over to highway 550 outside Ouray. Just before the summit there is a side trail that goes to a small lake which can give a great reflection of Red Mountain. This 12 shot panorama was taken at the summit which has a good view of the Red Mountains. From the summit there are series of switchbacks going down to the highway about four miles and 2500 vertical feet away.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Morning Fog

In the Rail Yard

Box Cars

Museum and Courthouse


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Fog in the morning

Morning Sun through Fog

River Road in Fog

Animas River in Fog
Heavy rain in the evening extending into the night usually results in morning fog giving some great photo opportunities. This morning I drove along the river road then came back to town for some shots in town and at the rail yard.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012