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Feb
11

Castle Dome and Big Eye Mine

An hour North of Yuma, Arizona lies the once bustling but now deserted area of Castle Dome.  We found another beautiful spot to camp under the towering rock formation from which Castle Dome takes its name.

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We camped in this spot for several days, exploring the area on foot and by vehicle.  In an epic trip we took the 4×4 only dirt road up in behind Castle Dome to visit one of the largest deserted mines in the area, Big Eye Mine.  The mine was only 25 miles from our campsite but it took us three hours to reach it.  My body still aches in remembrance of the bumpy, jarring but beautiful road.

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On the way up we stopped at an area that was full of mines.  We kept our children very close at hand as we explored the area as most of the mines have been abandoned without any care for the safety of others.  There were literally holes in the earth that went 150 feet straight down. If you fell in, you would not come out alive.

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Straight down into the earth.

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Once we reached the area of Big Eye Mine we made the easy climb to the base camp. There we saw the abandoned cabins the miners had used for accommodation.  We were able to peer into the mines that went into the side of the mountain and learn about the process for which they extracted the ore and sent it down the mountain to be taken by train to a smelter in Texas.

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It took us a further two hours to come down the mountain. Why is it always so much faster coming home?

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And we made it back just in time for this:

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