Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Foie Gras And Vultures In The Desert

Come On! You didn't really think there was foie gras available in the desert, did ya? Come on! You know I meant to say "FROG ROCK." Frog Rock is THE place to dine in the Stanton vicinity. Not that I have done that. Not that I am saying the food at the cafe is great. maybe it is; maybe it ain't. I'll let you know if and when I get there. Located 5 miles from the LDMA Gold Camp (maybe a little shorter on your ATV if you know the back roads) the cafe more or less marks the road back to the camp and the Octave Mine.

We weren't out dining in the desert this day, we were off to visit the office of the Weaver Mining District which owns many of the claims surrounding the LDMA camp. There are many claims holders in the area, but the Weaver district claims are in very close proximity to the Octave vein and as such are very productive claims. We stopped in to pick up a claims map of the area so we have a better idea of whose land is whose, and, as the man with the shotgun would say, "Whose claim do you think you are on?" Just incidentally, mind you, the Weaver Office is adjacent guessed it, the Frog Rock Cafe.

Now about the Vultures. For sure there are plenty of vultures in the desert. Every old cowboy movie used to show them circling above as Hollywood part and parcel of the metaphor for the bad guying dying in the desert- with or without his boots on, depending on his last request. The vulture gets a bad rap. He is not the angel of death. He is simply part of "crime scene clean up." He gets rid of the "leftovers" and the smells that can accompany in the heat here. Gruesome, I know, lets move on. The Vulture referenced today is the Old Vulture Gold Mine just outside of Wickenburg, where we went to take the tour of the now "ghost town" that used to be the largest mining operation in Arizona. As an aside, I'll mention that it is currently for sale. Just in case any of you wish to go in with me on the 6.5 million asking price and go into business! ( I know they'll take less; I've seen the place) Why, you ask, would anyone want to buy an old mine? Well, there has been, more or less, 200 million in gold alone taken out of the mine. There is perhaps 2 or 3 times that much gold still in the mine. Proven fact! Problem is the ore worth taking is the support left in place for the shaft. Take out the ore, bring to ceiling down - it wouldn't be the first time and in fact it happened at this mine before. If we could just figure out how to get the gold- some 1500 feet down in a mine that is now flooded to the 600 foot level, without caving the place in and or drowning in the process we could get rich! Let me know if you have a plan. Gary Skaggs, what about you, buddy? Oh, and the buildings are going to need a bit of repair as you will notice in the slide show.

I put up just the one still shot from the mine. Strange how associations from the past visit us old codgers in the here and now. Walking across this desert sand to a part of the old mining town, I felt almost the same as I do walking up the front lawn to the Olsen place of Andrew Wyeth "Christina's World". Very different but somehow remotely the same. Maybe you'll see it, maybe you won't. Guess you had to be there.

1 comment:

Camille Carnell Pronovost said...

I'm struck by how well-preserved everything is. Must be the dry desert air.