Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Exploring old Mine Sites along Lake County Road 3

Sunday, May 31

In the morning, we headed into Leadville intending to fill up the spare gas can and get some more water as we'd used up the reserve 10 gallons I carry in the URRV.

Before that though, we decided to cruise on up 7th Street to the Matchless Mine to see about touring it, turns out they were closed, opening only Tuesday-Saturday.

No worries though, as we were on Lake County Road 3 at this point we kept on going east of town and would discover many old and apparently abandoned mines, structures and equipment!

This area is definitely a place to come by on Yagi, my TW200 to do more in depth exploration.  We stuck to Ural-able trails and found a rather unique looking wooden structure that was in pretty good shape, considering.

 What I called the front side, with its pool of water providing nice reflections

 The rear of the structure had a cool trestle pathway, where I'm
guessing water was somehow piped to the structure for mining purposes

 A look at the lattice work of logs which formed the base of the
structure and elevated it.

I realized that I could drive Fiona up the trail and pose her at the same location as the above picture....

We kept going on County Road 3, getting a sense of the many old abandoned mines.  We then came upon a hill which I didn't go fast enough at the start and Fiona's clutch got a bit of a workout.  I ended up  having Martha disembark, put Fiona into 2WD and slowly and barely made it to the top of the hill to what looked like a quarry:

Letting Fiona's clutch components cool down for about 15 minutes, I shot the below pic to show you all the mines visible in this particular valley:

As Fiona cooled down, I also noticed the road kept going at a pretty easy looking grade to an interesting tower of sorts, as shown in the picture below:

Martha elected to stay at the quarry location to read her book while I rode Fiona up the trail to see what we could see.  We didn't get very far, hitting snow and not being able to traverse it safely.  It's that time of the year apparently when it comes to high mountain trails!

While I worked to get Fiona turned around, this guy comes up jogging the trail hardly breathing hard!  We exchanged greetings and I returned to fetch Martha so we could start making our way back to town.

 The view before hitting the outskirts of Leadville

We made it to town with no issues, found the RV Dump site run by the County's Water Department.  It's run on the honor system, $5 to dump tanks and $2.50 for water.  Such a deal.  Got five gallons of water and then we headed over to the nearby gas station for 5 gallons of gasoline.

Returning to the RV, we decided to check out the picnic area I'd spotted open on Saturday while wandering about on Yagi.  The skies had gotten pretty overcast and it was a bit windy but we still negotiated our way to the "beach":

We didn't stay long and rode back to the URRV to relax the rest of the afternoon away.  The plan is to displace on Monday towards Lake City, CO and perhaps another attempt at Engineer Pass.....but this time using Yagi, the T-dub!


SonjaM said...

Ah, Dom. I surely envy you for these adventurous outings. Spectacular vistas. And almost no people (a jogger, eh?). Please say hi to Martha.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks SonjaM, and I shall. Looking forward to more of your European vistas