Friday 2/5/16 was another beautiful morning with blue skies and no wind so we figured another road trip was in order and we jumped in the Jeep and headed towards the Castle Dome Mine Museum.
Castle Dome City was first settled as a transport depot and mining camp around 1863 in what was then the Arizona Territory.
When the first Americans reached the Castle Dome Mountains in the early 1860s, there were already signs of previous mining activity believed to be by the Native Americans.
As mineral deposits began to be discovered up and down the Colorado River in the early 1860s, numerous mining camps and steamboat ports grew into towns along the river. Heading north from Yuma, prospectors staked gold and silver claims along the river and in the surrounding mountains. The Castle Dome Mining Company, established in 1863 and owned by Conner and Jacob Snively, purchased many of these claims and planned out the site of Castle Dome Landing on the banks of the Colorado River to act as a shipping point for ore on its way to California for smelting. The Snively’s planned only to mine silver in the area, but in that same year, well-known geologist and mining engineer William P. Blake realized that the region’s copper-lead ores held great value, and lined up investors to develop mining operations in the area.
As with many mining boomtowns, mining activity diminished and the Castle Dome Landing post office closed down on June 16, 1884. The mines reopened in 1890, and the area became a significant source of lead for both World War I and World War II.
After World War II, the demand for lead decreased, and the town again went into decline though mining activity continued for some years in the area. The school was shut down in 1950, and the mines went into and out of use as the price of silver, still found in the area, rose and fell. By 1978, the mines were all shut down, and the last of the residents were gone.
The museum has over 50 restored and recreated buildings — seven original to the town, and the rest are period representations built mostly from locally scavenged materials. Each building is staged to look like it might have looked back in the day.
It was about 60 miles one way from our campsite to get to the mine and a few miles of it was on a somewhat washboard gravel road so it was a little longer road trip than we normally make from a campsite. But in this area if you don’t drive a ways to see some you just won’t see anything LOL!! And for the $10 entry fee each we felt it was worth a visit.
Saturday 2/6/16 a few of our friends camping nearby were planning a trip into Quartzsite to attend the Craft Fair that is held the first Saturday of each month at the QIA so we decided to tag along.
We were actually pretty surprised to see just how many vendors set up booths inside and out.
After the Craft Fair Diane and I just went for a little drive with no particular destination in mind and found ourselves back home before long and just chilled the rest of the day. The two previous days wore us out I guess.
Sunday 2/7/16 was Super Bowl Sunday of course. We just puttered around all day not really doing much of anything, reading, napping, cleaning, chatting with neighbors or did I mention napping, until game time.
Once game time came around we settled in our chairs outside and watched it. Neither of us had a team involved that we cared about but I was sort of rooting for Carolina mainly because Denver is in my team’s (Kansas City) division and always causes us grief every year LOL!
I will admit that part of me is happy that “The “Old Man” Patton pulled it off I guess. And I will be even happier for him if he decides to retire this year.
Monday 2/8/16 rolled around and I could tell it was getting about time to plan a move and get away from Quartzsite. All we could really think of to do was head into town and walk through a few rock and bead shops, well Diane mainly walked through them and I found myself kicking back on chairs out front of the shops people watching mainly LOL!!!
Later in the day about 4 we wondered over to Red & Pam’s for Happy Hour. Red & Pam tossed some hotdogs on the grill and the rest of us brought finger food to share.
Another nice evening with friends that lasted until the sun went down which was the sign that it was time to head home for the evening.
We haven’t had as many fires this last week it seems but that’s ok, even though sitting around the fire is always a great time it can catch up to you if you do it every night for weeks on end.
Once back home Diane and I talked about either sticking around Q for another week or leaving on Wednesday when our 2 week permit runs out here at the La Posa BLM area. The pros for staying were, we are camped with friends, there is a RC Fun Fly at the local airfield on Tuesday the 11th and our friends have a fish fry planned for Sunday the 14th (Valentine’s Day). The con’s, well we have been in Quartzsite for over 5 weeks and little over 4 of them have been boon-docking (camping off the grid with no hookups) and I think we are both about ready for a couple days with full hookups so we can do some laundry and deep cleaning on both the coach and US!! LOL!!
We have friends that stay out boon-docking much longer than the 4 weeks we just did but 4 weeks is about it for me before I start getting a bit restless and feel the need to make a move.
At this point we plan to lift our jacks on Wednesday and head to a small nothing little campground a bit southeast that has full hookups and spend 2 nights before going to another boon-docking location where we will spend anywhere from 3 to 7 nights depending on how we feel. We had heard about this upcoming spot to Boon-dock while sitting around a fire one night and planned to check it out and as luck would have it a few friends from the Class-Less group that we didn’t get a chance to visit with a few weeks back because of our commitment to the OOB Gathering (you might remember us talking about that a couple updates ago) are going to be there!! Another reason to make the move now so we can see them before everyone spreads out all over the country within the next month or so.
We will only have 130 miles to travel on Wednesday but the campground we are going to is a first come first serve place so we won’t kill too much time in the morning before taking off. Plus the sooner we get there the sooner we will get our chores done.