Thursday we were rolling out of North Ranch, one of 26 ATVs, heading for a spot called Reserve Bank Mine on the northwest side of Vulture Peak. We aren’t fans of rides with big groups but wanted to find our way to this hard scrabble copper mine—so off we went in a big trail of dust!
It took us a little over two hours to make the trip. This copper mine was discovered in about 1900 but the claim hadn’t been active for years and years until the current owners came across the abandoned mine in the late 1990’s. And hard scrabble it is—all the digging is done by hand, the tunnels are accessed by a series of ladders. The sorting is done by hand—all this work is done by the couple who now own the mining claim—no employees, no electricity except by generator, no water except what is hauled in. They have a tiny little smelter and make copper and bead jewelry—very reasonably priced jewelry—and when a gang as large as the one Thursday shows up, they do make some money.
The mine owner gave tours down the ladders into the mine—several of the group went—Michael and I stayed above ground! After lunch the large group split into two groups for the return trip and it was much more manageable going home.
Today is Larry’s birthday and we had a wonderful dinner here at our house—prime rib, garlic mashed potatoes and green beans. The rest of our gang joined us for ice cream and chocolate cupcakes—we are stuffed but it’s a good stuffed!! Happy Birthday Larry!!
Life is good!