Monday, July 26, 2010

What to do in Orogrande, NM, Population 65

First off, stop at the Outpost for all your refreshing drinks and munching supplies!
Let me tell you, there's no place like it in Orogrande as this is it, the one and only one stop shop for all your needs.  Be it a tale of local happenings or just a hot cup of Java or ice cold drink, this is the place.

A day in Orogrande can be full of history and tales of times gone by and things are not as austere  as they seem on the surface.  I was invited for a little prospecting with my metal detectors and a trip up to the Nannie Beaird mine that has so much history that is just minutes away in Jarilla Mountians just to the North West. 

We first went behind the U.S. Post Office with our detectors and found this water meter in the sand from when the area was a tent city during the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) days.  Credit goes to James for the find, yes, a very nice find indeed!

I've sent an email to the Niagara Meters Co. as it's called now and hope to post a response from them soon.

There was also an abundance of nails and tin cans  from the tent city that used to occupy the land where the meter is located.  Most of the meters have been looted that were made of brass for the salvage value.  Also most of the above ground steel pipe has been salvaged at one time or another.  This meter is made of cast iron.  And was about 6 inches deep in the sand.

Around mid Morning we had enough of the wet humid conditions (it rained the day before) and decided to go up to the famous Nannie Beaird Mine  and see what remains of this famous mine just around the mountain from historic mining town of Brice.  In 2001 the mine shafts were secured with covers so that the bats can fly in and out but keep folks out as the last person to die in the Jarilla's by falling down a mine shaft was as recenty as in 2000.

There's a a lot of tin (steel) cans at the Nannie Beaird mine site that were used in a catalytic leaching process to extract copper from the ore and as these photos show the cans still occupy the processing facility to this day!

Here's a peek through a crack in the wall of the office area now full of tin cans.

Just outside of the offices there's a ton of tin cans that have been left to fall victim to rust and it gets so hot from the Sun that not even a weed will grow.

Lunch was approaching so we went back down the mountain to Orogrande and took up the offer to have Brats and Fixn's at the old CCC school house that now serves as a Community Center for those living in Orogrande.  Last time that I was in the Jarilla Mountians was in 1963 with my father who was prospecting on behalf of my Grand Dad (who was always looking for that fortune) but in reality I think that it was the comradeship of the folks prospecting and a cool brew that kept him coming back for more of the Orogrande / Jarilla mining experience.

And that's what we did in Orogrande on the 4th of July 2010!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Where Bikes Boats And Border Meet

So you want to ride a bike while in Del Rio Texas well look no further than your LBS on Veterans Blvd. Yes you can rent, fix or buy from the folks at Lakeside Sports.

Coming from San Antonio turn right on Veterans Blvd. and look for the sign on your right up a few blocks, and coming from the North or West the shop is almost to the end of Veterans Blvd. (here's a map)

Don't let the sign fool you, the folks are friendly, knowledgeable, and have a comfortable bench in the store to rest your weary bones if need be.

For parts, service or just some friendly conversation stop by the shop on 601 Veterans Blvd. In Del Rio TX Tel: (830) 774-5288 TWO THUMBS UP rating.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Buggy now has Bounce

It was time for new shoes for the buggy as the Primo Comets (kevlar) were just a little hard riding and had zero loose soil traction.

The Specialized Rhythm Control tires for both front and back have directional roll / tread pattern and added knobs on the sides for traction in the loose sandy sections. The center tread pattern is flat as flat gets and makes for great quiet rolling on the street or trails.

Don't get me wrong, the Comets are fantastic durable near flat proof tires but the off road and comfort benefits are not there (this is my third set of Comets.) I've been exploring the smaller irrigation levies in the upper valley of West El Paso and was tired of getting stuck in the sandy sections.

With the new wide tires (2.25 front and 2.35 rear) there's not much that will stop me rolling right through or over it now. My last ride was 13 miles of Rio Grande levy and irrigation levy with Buick like comfort and a lot of it is shaded by trees!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Prospecting for the Illusive Treasure

After much research I decided on purchasing a set of Garrett ACE 250's with all the bells to go along with them. After getting a detector out of the box and putting it together I went out into the backyard and in no less than 10 minutes found my very first find, a 1964 penny!

Now for the local parks and old abandoned structures in the local area here we come!