Here is Dave coming up one of the grades. Both he and I felt the extra weight of our trailers on the steeper uphills.
We made a short stop just above Cerro Gordo, partly because I started a wrong turn at the split. Doh! The stop also provided a brief respite for Da Snork's spunky little diesel engine. Yeah, I planned that!
Before long we had completed the traverse of the shelf road. It is always a great road for inspiring first timers to practice clenching their seat with their posteriors and digging their nails into their rig's grab bars. We parked at a nice spot near our first hike which would take us along the old water line that supplied Cerro Gordo.
This hike is maybe a one mile traverse that ambles by a nicely constructed two room mountainside "residence" for the man who probably kept the pump house in order. Some interesting artifacts can be seen there too. Then we hiked on to the remains of the pumphouse and finally a horizontal mine shaft that bores straight in for a quarter mile.
I've made this hike before but as always when traveling with a lively group, I learned that someone else could be more observant and a better thinker than I had been. Sigh. On previous hikes on the trail I had seen some T-shaped metal bars sticking out of the ground and thought that they were supports for the water lines.
Way to go Kevin!
Here is a shot of one of the sketchier portions of the trail.
And here are some shots of one of the better preserved and reinforced portions of the pipeline trail
Men with black shirts and tan pants standing at the pumphouse. Very suspicious.....
|Thank you to Eric for this photo!|
Mexican Springs has long been on my list and I'm glad we took the time as I've driven by it so many times before. The exterior is nothing special but the details are fascinating. This and the previous hike's buildings may have been prefabricated based on some of the markings that we observed on the sheet metal.
The pump really was steam powered and the boiler designs are quite interesting. I don't know why there were so many of them on location, at least 3 so maybe they wore out? This pump house is said to be somehow connected to Mortimer Belshaw who built the "Yellow Grade" toll road from Keeler to Cerro Gordo.
There were interesting and cryptic pencilled notes on the walls.
Also lots of other cool but rusty machinery
Before we made the hike back up to our vehicles Linus seemed to be just absorbing what was left of the pumphouse, maybe imagining the noise and the clatter that surely echoed off of the canyon walls so many years ago.