Friday, December 24, 2010

Isn’t that always the way. First there is nothing to blog about and no photos. Next thing you know there are too many! Oh well, here goes.

Rain in the desert is somewhat of a novelty, but the few days of rain and cloud were not very photogenic, so it was nice to have some sunshine back in the area. I had been over in Quartzsite again, and made a few purchases to upgrade some of my wiring. I thought that having fuses in some of the major circuits would be a good idea! I put a very large fuse leading from the batteries to the inverter, and a smaller inline fuse to the solar panel. Then I added a battery cutout to my second pair of (suspect) batteries so that I can add them in the system or isolate them with the flick of a switch.

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I also knew that there was inadequate wire guage leading from my solar panel, so I incorporated two 30 amp plugs, so there is now 8 guage wire leading all the way from the panel to the controller. This should increase the total possible output from the panel. Since my panels are sitting on the ground, I need to disconnect then whenever moving.

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I also broke down and bought one of those fancy reclining lawn chairs – I am retired now and have to consider some serious relaxation some times.

Hailey checks out the new chair; indoors and out.

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I also did some shopping at the local Bouse new and used store.

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Hailey fascinated with the printer.

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And, her wide-eyed pre-attack stare!

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And she is ready to hit the road to check out Swansea ghost town, now that the weather has smartened up.CIMG2977

Swansea was a mine site and town that was developed over 100 years ago, about 25 miles north east of Bouse, AZ.

In the earliest times, ore was packed out on burros, but eventually they built a railroad spur to the mine, and it had both a copper smelter and a concentrator at one time.

Unlike some ghost towns, there is actually quite a lot to see here, and the area is being maintained and restored by both volunteers and the BLM. That means that there are information kiosks, outhouses, pamphlets, plaques, trails, and even a few free campsites, though the road in is a bit rough for most campers.

Some of the buildings are adobe, so part of the restoration is to put new roofs on them to keep the rain from causing further damage.

First view of the town and mine, coming over the pass

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There are many vertical shafts in the area, and the accessible ones have all been covered with metal grates and metal mesh. This means you can walk right over the vertical openings and look straight down into them. If you put the camera against the grate, you can take photos too!

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Accommodations for some of the mine workers. New roofs have been installed to protect them.CIMG2985

Another shaft with a huge covering.

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Slag, or molten waste rock from the smelter was dumped here. Sometimes it partially hardened in the buckets, and retains their shape!

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All these shafts are vertical, viewed from above!

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I drove for a ways down toward the Bill Williams river about 2 miles away. The mine pumped huge quantities of water from here to operate the mine, town and smelter.

A few quail and one of the road signs.

imageI thought that this pipe was an abandoned water line from the mine, but it turns out to be an active natural gas high pressure line!

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When I left Swansea, I took a different route, following the old railroad grade up the dry wash. It was dry now, but debris stuck on rocks above my head showed that it is not always dry!

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Once we got back to high ground, we stopped for a look around.

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If interested, here are some links to read more about Swansea, and look at some more good photos on these sites.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swansea,_Arizona

http://www.ghosttowngallery.com/htme/swansea.htm

http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/az/swansea.html

Merry Christmas!

11 comments:

  1. You have been busy! We had those recliner chairs for four years and they are good for relaxing but their size and weight finally got to me. They were still good, so we gave they away.

    Happy Holiday!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You have been busy! We had those recliner chairs for four years and they are good for relaxing but their size and weight finally got to me. They were still good, so we gave they away.

    Happy Holiday!

    ReplyDelete
  3. An interesting spot, I was in there in January of 09.

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  4. Merry Christmas to you. Good that your weather has improved for Christmas. Have a great time. Hailey sure is a good companion to you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Merry Christmas to you and Hailey.

    John
    http://relaxedrush.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Merry Christmas to you and Hailey.

    John
    http://relaxedrush.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey Ivan, nice red & green Christmas colors for the wiring on you batteries. Bet you did that just for Christmas. If we ever get up into that neck of the woods we'll have to have us a look at Swansea for sure......

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  8. Was up to Swansea today and it's great! Just bought a compact size Showtime rotissarie at Renee's the new and used shop you referred to. This is our second time in Bouse and we love it here. So nice you have a travelling companion, they are great.
    Don and Bonnie
    Oliver, B.C.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Was up to Swansea today and it's great! Just bought a compact size Showtime rotissarie at Renee's the new and used shop you referred to. This is our second time in Bouse and we love it here. So nice you have a travelling companion, they are great.
    Don and Bonnie
    Oliver, B.C.

    ReplyDelete