Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Looking for Gold

For the past ten years, I've regularly paddled sections of the lower Colorado River, initially passing through the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, and in more recent years, launching from Walter's Camp, across the river from Cibola Lake. During all that time, I'd never visited Cibola on land. With a week scheduled in Quartzsite for the Fiberglass Gathering, it was time to do some exploring!

The Visitor Center for the Wildlife Refuge is located in Arizona, but accessed from Highway 78 south of Blythe, California. There's a nice drive around some of the area in the refuge,

and the drive is aptly named. There were LOTS of geese there when we visited and lots of other things that birders would recognize.

Continuing south from the Visitor Center to the stop sign at the end of the asphalt, we turned up the hill on Hart Mine road, entering BLM land. About 2 miles in, we found a boondockng spot with views that went forever. You can read more about the location on Campendium.
Back at the Cibola Lake Road, we headed further south to visit Cibola Lake. On the way, we ran across the remains of a cabin built by Carl Bishop in 1910.

There's a fair bit of sagging going on now. Makes me wonder how much longer the cottonwood logs are going to hold together!

From the corner of the cabin, you can spot the trailers at Walter's Camp. Between here and there is Cibola Lake and two channels of the Colorado River.

We didn't find any lost cities of gold, but we found the next best thing - rust! The Buick convertible was just the body - no engine, transmission, or axles.

Unlike most rust collections near old mines, this one didn't have any trucks, except for this right side fenders and running board assembly.

I wasn't able to identify this car. It was just down the hill from the Buick, and was also missing engine, transmission, and axles.

The view from the other end. I'm wondering if it's a Hudson, but if anyone can identify it, I'd sure like to hear from you.

Fair warning. The road to Cibola Lake from the intersection with Hart Mine road is dirt. It was fine when we were there, but obviously could have been a real mess during the rains the week before.

Next time we'll take the canoes or kayaks to drift around the edges of Cibola Lake where there should be lots of wildlife.

Cibola has been a popular blog subject recently. Just yesterday, Al & Kelley from The Bayfield Bunch posted about their stay at Cibola, apparently down the hill from the spot I like.

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