Friday, February 4, 2011

Picacho Mine

Crossing Imperial County – Stop #12

“I hate this road, I hate this road” the better half kept repeating as we made our way up the eighteen mile dirt road stretch to the Picacho Mine. To this statement the argument was made on my part that there is no nobler cause than setting an objective and reaching it, regardless of cost, but the 117 degree heat and being late for duties at home was making for a pitiful defense and the conversation evolved to “I hate this road” “We can’t turn back now” “I hate this road” “We can’t turn back now.” Upon arrival and a few photos one comes to the realization that the return trip  is also eighteen miles and it’s still 117.

In truth it is in fact a very drivable dirt road that eventually leads to the landmark located to the right of the fenced in and as of 2002, closed Picacho mine where modern day miners were ferried in 15 passenger vans to the site. However, when compared to the hunt for most other state landmarks and using diving metaphor, this would be an inward 1½ somersault with 2 Twists with a degree of difficulty of 3.1

Since the 1872 mining law that allowed open pit mining on federal lands there has been conflict with Native Americans who feel the land is sacred and the landscape their cathedral. Recent legislation has made the government more sensitive to the issue and future permits will be more difficult to obtain.

Plaque Inscription: State Historical Landmark No. 193 PICACHO MINES Opened by placer miners after 1852, the gold mines expanded into hard rock quarrying by 1872. Picacho employed 700 miners at its peak from 1895 to 1900. Mill accidents, low ore quality, and the loss of cheap river transport with the building of Laguna Dam led to numerous periods of inactivity. With ores far from worked out, the Picacho Mines, using modern techniques, again resumed operations in 1984.

Location:  On
Picacho Road
, 18.2 miles Nort of Winterhaven
Google maps: 32.966835,-114.636325
Pacacho Mine is 26 hang unto you hat, one way miles from Charley’s Lost Art

Here’s a link to a video sample of the song:


Oh I hate this road I hate this road
Please do not make me go
Everyday in this mining crew
Who made it I don't know

Eighteen miles from nowhere
And to nowhere it does wind
Eighteen miles of treachery
To reach Picacho mine

Chorus - So long goodbye a fond farewell, adios, I'll never miss you
Your all worn out and all closed down, you're no longer an issue
Two centuries been diggin here, it's over now this time
Toodle-loo  I won't miss you, goodbye Picacho mine

Oh I hate this road I hate this road
Please do not make me go
Ain't no good ore left out here
Value's gone too low

We've tried every trick there is
With drills and cyanide
No more to get from this open pit
Called Picacho mine

Oh I hate this road I hate this road
Please do not make me go
This is my last day workin' here
My last swing shift you know

Give back my tools when I get my check
From the Glamis company
They're closing you in 2002
A happy day for me

1 comment:

  1. I hate that road too John. You should try driving it with a 16 foot trailer. Took over two hours and had to use 4WD in one spot. We spent 10 days there and it was wonderful. We have been tempted to return because we heard the mine is opening back up and they are going to make at least the first 9 miles better. Have you ever been to the Trona Pinnacles? I think I am going to discuss it in the next blog.