| The Big
Four Mine is one of those places that's been on the list of mines to check
out, but not a high priority. After a good day of exploring we decided to
head over to the Big Four. The Big four is located out in my favorite
place; Panamint Valley.
The road (if you want to call it a road) has been washed away so many times that we had to get out and walk a few times just to find it. I guess that's why this mine gets very few visitors. Once we found a place to stop and set up camp, we were treated to an airshow by the boys from China Lake as I fixed a flat tire.
This area is known to be the home
of the dreaded Panamint Desert Bear aka "Hanaupah" to the local
indians, so the desert explorer must always be on the guard for this vicious
animal. When I went to the gun store
before our trip, I asked the gun shop owner what brand of .45 Cal. bullet
would be best against the Panamint Desert Bear, and he responded by suggesting
the CCI brand. I asked why the CCI brand? and he said that "it would
be the least painful when the Panamint Desert Bear takes it and shoves it
up your butt".
The Big Four was discovered in 1907, but little mining was done till it was relocated in 1940 (was it lost?). Most of the production here occurred between 1944 and 1952 when supergene lead (say what?) and zinc minerals were mined. The mine is located at a elevation of over 2600 feet and is quite a hike up the canyon wall to get to.
Let's Explore the Big Four Mine
|An old ore bucket we found in the canyon floor below the Big Four Mine. Boy, that sure would hold a lot of beer!|
Randi climbs up to the Big Four Mine on what used to be the road to the canyon floor.
|Upon hearing that a Panamint Desert Bear may be on the other side of the ridge, fearless desert explorer Guy quickly runs up the mountain to seek protection in a Big Four Mine adit.|
|The support beams are collapsing inside the Big Four Mine.|
This is a very dangerous tight squeeze that Randi and Guy crawled through.
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