08-Sep-2000 -- New Mexico State Hwy 53, near
Grants, runs along the west and north sides of the Malpais lava flow
before heading to the Arizona border. Many times through the past Mt.
Taylor, to the north has spewed out lava to create a set of flows that
are sharp, hot, and dangerous. Cinder cones dot the landscape and in the
darkness of collapsed lava tubes ice exists year 'round.
While on my way to Arizona for some rodeo, I detoured to locate 35°N
108°W. Some 20 miles south of Grants I pulled up to a gate in the barbed
wire fence and drove the truck through. USGS maps showed a dirt road
heading north and east up the slope. I hiked along the road and came to
the abandoned fluorite mines marked on the maps. Muy peligroso! Open
shafts and unstable perimeters make these a real hazard to the
confluence hunter. But....you just hike around 'em. Heading off through
the woods I encountered the remnants of the mining camp: a few collapsed
shacks, some debris, nothing of interest remains. Over hill and over
dale I hiked, always watching the GPS to stay on course. When I got to
the confluence area, I let the receiver average until it settled down.
780 counts was enough.
Took some pix and hiked out the way I came.