Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Quartzsite in December

We stopped at Quartzsite for a few days with our friends. Besides doing a little shopping in town, we took a couple of off-road trips.
On top of the hill overlooking the small mountains around Quartzsite.

Another trip was out to the Cinnabar Mine. This building was just down the hill from the mine.

It looks like this ole gal is the only one inhabiting the place nowadays.

What's left of the mine. The mine was discovered in the 1880s, but not actively mined until 1904 through 1914. Cinnabar was the primary mineral, although mercury was also mined here. The main shaft was 640 feet deep with 7 levels.

Cinnabar, or red mercury and sometimes called dragon's blood, is a common ore of mercury. It is found both as a granular, earthy form or as crystals, from bright scarlet to brick red in color.

Another trip took us out to another old mine located east of Quartzsite. But instead of a mine, we ran across this gravel pit. One of the workers was out grading the road and told us we could take a look around.

There was no equipment in the bottom to show a size, but that road is not a foot path, but a road for the large tractors used to dig out the gravel.

They dig and sort the gravel and every couple of months haul it all out.

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