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Ajax Mine area exploring, AZ
mini location map2014-11-16
30 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Ajax Mine area exploring, AZ 
Ajax Mine area exploring, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 16 2014
Hiking1.90 Miles 728 AEG
Hiking1.90 Miles   1 Hour   31 Mns   1.25 mph
728 ft AEG15 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
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As mentioned in yesterday's AZT#17 triplog the deep base beat we heard until at least 3 am Sunday morning appeared to be the folks camping in the wash below the AZT#17 a mile or so south of Telegraph Canyon Road, but north of our campsite. Well, since we seriously doubted it was the AZT clean-up gang camped at Telegraph Canyon Road that provided the bass-blast, it pretty much had to be the folks between our campsites. So we made sure to provide them a courtesy air-horn wake-up call as we drove past the likely offender's campsite about 8:45 am Sunday.
But that part came before the biggest challenge of the weekend... the drive back to FR4 from the AZT#17 TH. As bad as the drive through the wash heading to AZT#17 TH was yesterday, going in the wash against-the-grain on the drive back out was decidedly more challenging. But that still wasn't the worst of it... driving back up the steepest hill took three attempts with both front & rear diffs locked before we made it over a step almost four feet high.

After two failed attempts Tracey wondered aloud if we should get the winch out, to which I replied, only problem with that is there is no immovable object within range to hook it to. The third attempt had to be successful so I never let off the gas but kept turning the wheels back and forth until we were almost sideways before something grabbed enough traction to get over the step. Upon later inspection a few tires lost some big chunks of tread, but we made it!
So... whether I ever decide to drive back out to AZT#17 or not, Tracey stated pretty forcefully should wouldn't be along for the ride.

Come to think of it... I did notice her pulling the racing harness belts as tight as she possibly could before the last attempt. When I asked her about it later she said she wanted to be belted in tight when we rolled over. No, she didn't say, if... but when!

After that step (along with a deep washout just above the step), everything else was mere child's play. Once back to FR4 we set our sights on the Ajax Mine. Although an area I've been out to many times over the last 3-4 years, Tracey had been along only a few times so it was time to do some 'splorin'.

After perusing the Ajax Mine mill complex, we wandered to wherever we saw mine tailings. Some were deeper than others, but nothing deeper than maybe 15 feet, so it appeared most had been filled in.

When Tracey pointed out a track going up a hill north of Ajax Mine Trail, knowing she wouldn't be too happy if we drove up it (it was pretty bad when I drove it in the Samurai 3 years ago) I suggested we hike it. On the way up we saw a pile of tailings I hadn't been aware of before so we took a jaunt over to check it out. Upon closer inspection it appeared the deepest of anything yet encountered, but neither of us was about to look over the loose scree edge to find out. Dropping rocks gave me the idea of maybe 25-30 feet down, but I believe the shaft angled farther down so we really had no idea how deep it went.

Not wanting to hike back down the steep trail, we continued long the ridge until catching a game-trail that would loop us back down, covering new ground on the way. By doing so we spotted another tailing pile, only to find a simple depression... it had been filled in already. I know BLM has been reasonably active over the last few years filling in many of the unused mines for public safety... which is probably a good thing in most cases. (Brings back memories of my Columbia and Silver Bell mine explorations back in early 2012.)

Again, not much for distance, but then it wasn't so much a hike as it was soaking up the ambiance of the old mining area, enjoying time away from the sights, sounds and stresses of daily life.

No video, just photos, including a few very similar to each other, which I took for comparison as the cloud cover was changing quickly... one moment in the sun, the next in the dark.
Named place
Named place
Ajax Mine Picketpost Mountain
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