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I’m out at the White Wolf Mine this week, in the high country, trying to select a builder to construct the hovel and make improvements to the compound.

My daughter, Emilie, back from Florida, is traveling with me. She hasn’t seen the mine property before – though she is generally familiar with Northern Arizona. Even though Emilie can be a princess at times, she also likes driving the 4×4. Her first driving experience was in the bad lands between Camp Caddy and Needles. I think it was somewhere off the Kel-Baker Road. Anyway, she signed on for this trip in the hopes of some low-range driving.

Emilie, working a rock face, looking for fossils

I have my geo-pick and some sample bags with me because there are some outcroppings that I want to sample for silver content. There is gold but it’s present in trace amounts here and there, usually as an amalgam with silver.

I’d like to do is to get enough silver to refine and turn into belt buckles or even conchos for fancy vests and such (made from elk that I killed).  These sorts of projects take time and you can’t rush exploration. There is nothing new under the sun. The best places to look are often the paths that others have tread, without paying attention – or game trails. Riverbeds are always good and the washes near the mine are seldom trod by human boots.

Emilie’s claim to fame, such as it is, comes with fossil hunting.

In the photos (above and left), we are at the Latham Shale not far from Chambless, looking for Cambrian era fossils. The Latham Shale in the Marble Mountains is one of the most ancient formations in California and is a place to go if you’re looking for trilobites and the remnants of the ancient sea floor. It’s also quite remote.

There are Jurassic Era fossils in the area of the White Wolf Mine. (in the Clear Creek Canyon) I plan to work the area for fossils as well as looking for silver.

Fossil Creek Canyon is about 18 (+/-) miles from the mine (and more than 1,800 ft lower in elevation) (cliff jumping at Fossil Creek) in the Fossil Creek Wilderness – so named because there are fossils to be found there.

As an aside: Last week, two red-dot Indians named Patel – men in their 30’s – from San Jose, CA drowned in Fossil Creek near the basin pictured in the video above. Neither could swim. One went into deep water and the other jumped in to ‘save him’. I’ll reserve comments except to say that you shouldn’t go into unfamiliar water if you can’t swim. It inevitably leads to a “Darwin Award” – now back to the commentary –

Rocks in the canyon vary in age from the Precambrian through the Cenozoic (from shells and mollusks to mammals) so the range in fossils takes you through the age of the dinosaur into the realm of mammoths and sabertooth tigers. It’s a fun place to just hang even if you’re not hunting for fossils and silver. I have the Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan, just in case. I can swim so will not bring my water wings.

I spoke to a friend today who told me that there was nothing to do up on the Mogollon Rim. Keep in mind that he’s a city person and doesn’t understand the appeal of this sort of place.

22 thoughts on “Minerals

  1. Yeah, LL. As they say on 'Farmers Only.com', city folk just don't get it. My suggestion: save the 15% on the total build by doing the general contracting yourself. How hard could it be? One step at a time, go out and get three bids from foundation guys, plumbing contractors, electrical contractors, etc. Then have reputable contractors frame the hovel, wire and plumb it, drywall it, slap a roof on it, before you know it, it's done.

    Then it's time to install the defensive perimeter, you know, Claymores, 50-cal turrets, etc.

  2. It's well worth 15% to have a general use trusted subs. This is not the city and I don't know a soul. Really, it's remote.

    Defensive measures are something else all together. I can sharpen and crap on the pungee sticks myself.

  3. Being from the East Coast, I was unaware of the whole Mogollon Rim area until about 15 years ago. I was working with a guy from Arizona who had long ago bought a chunk of land to retire to out there. He retired about 10 years ago. I've since looked up info on it, and I'd like to do the same – except that I'm about 40 years behind him on buying land out there. Beautiful places, for sure, and, yeah, I'd spend my time looking for interesting fossils and minerals, too.

  4. The weather isn't all that bad – monsoons in August and light snow in winter. And if you get tired of winter, Scottsdale is 1 1/4 hours away down the hill.

    It's remote enough to be interesting to me but you can hang with people when you want to. There are some great places on the East Coast as well but you can't escape winter as easily.

  5. You'll find gold in the streams, copper in the hills, but you will always find silver under the Lone Ranger. What do you do with the fossils? Isn't there a law that says you have to turn them in to some government agency or museum? The wold look good framed and hanging on the bulkhead, though.

  6. I'm in Florida. What passes for winter here rarely gets the attention of folks farther north. We get a snow flurry every 30 years or so.

    We also have essentially zero interesting rocks, once you get past calcite.

    How are land prices?

  7. I am not convinced that your crap is toxic enough. Best to find some local Democrats to shit on your pungee sticks, for maximum toxicity.

  8. Fredd – First, there probably aren't any local Democrats near the WWM. Secondly, you need to be careful importing them for that purpose. They're not just toxic. You might need LSP to do an exorcism of the property afterward.

  9. "he's a city person and doesn't understand the appeal of this sort of place."

    And he probably never will….

  10. Hmmm, no local Democrats? That's not what I heard through David Muir at ABC News; word on the street is that loyal Beet Red Arizona has now gone Cobalt Blue. You can't swing a dead cat in AZ without hitting a Democrat or two. Or at least that's what David Muir says.

  11. Not up in Rim Country. I went out for a steak dinner and counted 8 open carry handguns out of about twenty people. But it's sparsely populated. There are far more liberals in the valley.

  12. You get what you pay for. If you want vistas, tall pines and land with a well, electricity and a phone line it will cost more than a square of desert land with no water, power or phone. Coming from California, I find the prices to be reasonable. They peaked in 2007 before the crash and haven't moved up since they bottomed out. I bought the White Wolf Mine property for 1/3 of what the buyer paid for it in 2006.

  13. At the present mansion, they are built into the decking of the pool. I don't know what I'll do at WWM, but I'd like to incorporate them into rocks on the fireplace and some stone on the entry way into the hovel.

  14. Keep your head down because there's been Hillariosaus sightings. Talk about a fossil, huh.

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