While sitting around the house one morning and looking at all the cleaning and straightening up that needed to be done, I got in my Cherokee and decided to go explore some dirt roads in my area. The morning light was gone and there were no clouds in the sky so I did not expect to capture any good images. The Portland Mine area was to be my destination. Portland Mine is located on the Lake Mead Recreation area which skirts the Colorado River south from Lake Mead to almost Bullhead City, Arizona.
To get there from Vock Canyon is a pain in the rear-end. You have to drive south to Kingman and then north on Arizona Highway 93. The Cerbat mountains behind Vock Canyon get in the way. Turning left on Cottonwood Road off 93 you take an unnamed Jeep trail to the Portland mine area. After getting on this road you drive south across the bajada where the dominate vegetation is the Creosote Bush found in all the deserts of the American Southwest. The road then heads down through some canyons. It is not much of a four-wheel drive challenge but us men need to drop her down into 4WD whenever we encounter a dirt road.
Unamed Road to Portland Mine
Descending into the canyon the road becomes a little more rocky and is some places sandy. There is evidence of cattle raising in this area as you pass by a couple water tanks and a functioning windmill. After traveling for more than an hour, I arrived at the junction of Jeep Cove Trail. Turning west you basically are driving thru a wash. In fact is is named Jeep Cove Wash.
View Along Jeep Cove Trail
The road down to Jeep Cove was also not very challenging. The sign at the head of the trail says that 4WD is required but the slope is gradual and not too sandy. A two wheel vehicle with high clearance could probably make it, at least if it was in the same condition as when I was there. As you see in the image above, the trail even looked as if it had been scraped lately. The mountains in the background are in Nevada, across the Colorado River. Driving back up Jeep Cove Trail there was a group of wild burros.
Wild Burros on Jeep Cove Trail
After arriving at the river and Lake Mojave, I ate some sweet and salty nut bars and took in the silence for awhile. The only way out was to backtrack. When I got to the junction of the unmanned trail and Jeep Cove trail, I turned south to visit Portland Mine. There were a lot of mining trails and roads at the mine and I got sort of confused as to my location was but knowing that north was the direction out that is the way I went. I did make a couple of wrong turns that dead ended but finally found my way back to the unnamed road which would lead back to my starting point. I have a GPS unit but have not learned how it works yet and I had no map - bad idea.
Heading back up through the canyon, the good old Cherokee gained a few degrees of engine temperature but that was expected as the road is sandy in places. No big deal.
Below is a 11 minute video of a portion of the trip. It is only 4X speed so it is not quite as disconcerting as the video in my previous post.
What a time I am having.