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  1. #16
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    Default Re: Nine Days In Mining Country

    Day 5

    It didn't start out well. A bear had visited our cooler at night



    He didn't get much. Two chocolate bars and some cheese. Left all the veggies and couldn't get the plastic bottle of Parmesan cheese open. Doesn't like nuts and berries I guess. I predict this one dies of a heart attack soon.



    My spare went flat overnight too. Went to pump it up and the AC compressor locked up. Oh well, I have a spare and that one did last ten years doing something it was not designed to do. Left in the pickup and went back to my shop to get a spare tie rod end and castle nut. Wouldn't you know it, grabbed the wrong size.



    I had to use the grinder to cut off the end of the old tie rod.



    Fortunately the tie rod flip insert was not hurt. But I still did not have a castle nut.
    Last edited by 4.3LXJ; 04-12-2017 at 08:55 PM.
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  2. #17
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    Default Re: Nine Days In Mining Country

    Day 6

    Spent most of the day looking for a castle nut locally. Couldn't find one within 50 miles. So I made one by taking the grinder to a lug nut. Worked like a charm and still on there.

    Got the flat repaired. It had Cedar needles in the bead. Good to go now.

    The day was not a total loss. We went to some local petroglyphs.







    This last one has a bear paw in it. This is usually attributed to more modern Indians like the ones that were here in the mining era.



    Last edited by 4.3LXJ; 04-12-2017 at 08:56 PM.
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  3. #18
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    Default Re: Nine Days In Mining Country

    Day 7

    We went to the Kentucky Mine and Museum. This is a really cool place. After most of the mining had died down, a couple of guys decided to go into mining after WWI. They had day jobs, but gold fever got to them so they scrounged around and built a new ore processing structure from bits and pieces they found for free on the original site of the Kentucky Mine. It was not a rich mine as mines go. Only 200K in gold was pulled out. But it was just around the corner from the Sierra Buttes Mine which pulled out 70 million in 40 years. They were close, they knew it.







    That water wheel ran this wee little compressor. Think it would fit under the hood? Our present day serpentine belts transfer about the same horsepower as that flat leather belt did

    Inside the building.





    A wee bull wheel coming off the water wheel

    The upper part of the stamp. Each vertical shaft is a stamp and weighs 1,000# This was a ten stamp mill. The Sierra Butte Mine had 40 that ran 24/7



    The cam shaft worked just like the one in the 4.0L. As it lifted the stamp, it spun it for even wear and to give it a grinding motion as it fell



    The business end of the stamp. Those cast iron shoes had to be replaced periodically and was the only reason the stamp was shut down, unless there was a body clogging it up



    This 8' water wheel ran the crusher and the stamps. These things are deceiving. They can generate a lot of horsepower. This one would probably go at least 80 hp. I turned it long enough to get a stamp to drop and make a lot of noise. It took about 60# of pull to operate one stamp. Each stamp operated at 75 cycles per minute.



    After the ore was pulverized, it passed through a tight meshed screen and out on to the table. Tin sheets were coated with mercury. The mercury dissolved the gold and let the rest pass down to eventually be discarded. These sheets were later scraped and the amalgam heated to 675 and the mercury that boiled off was collected in a still and reused.

    The gold fever tragedy here was that the two guys that built this mine were father and son. The father was 81 and worked the mill and the son did the mining. One day the son did not come home. He was found under rubble, the result of a blasting accident.

    I want to say a few things about these water wheels. In about 15 years, all the trees in any mining area had been cut down for lumber or fuel for the boilers. Something had to be done or the mining would have to stop. They held a contest to see who could make the best water wheel. Up to this time, water wheels were the paddle type you see back east. A guy named Pelton, a millwright at one of the mines won the contest. He made a paddle that resembled two spoons side by side. Water under pressure, at least 50# was shot into the double spoon. The effect was that the spoons reversed the direction of the water. It was found later that these were 90% efficient, compared to 40% for a flat paddle. He patented this and they are still used today in many applications such as power generation in dams. They were so popular, many uses were found



    This one was used to power a sewing machine. Others were used to power washing machines. So, in a mining town, you simply turned on the spigot to have your machine do your work, long before the electric versions were made
    Last edited by 4.3LXJ; 04-12-2017 at 08:57 PM.
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  4. #19
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    Default Re: Nine Days In Mining Country

    Day 8

    The mine took up more time than I thought, but well worth it. Since we spent the day at Sierra City, we thought we would take a little climb up Sierra Buttes. They are at 8600' elevation, about the tallest part of the Norther Sierras. There two ways to get up. We naturally took the 4WD road. It was a long 4000' climb in about 2 miles. That is steep, about a 40% grade. I had all the fans on and creeping slowly. Unfortunately, the camera seems to have lost some of the pics. But it was rocky, a bit off camber and narrow. There was for the most part nothing to stop you from going all the way to the bottom, thousands of feet below. Fortunately, the only people I met were three Land Rover Discoveries at the top near an intersection. They were nice enough to back up a hundred feed. The alternative was for me to back up at least a half mile to the next switchback. Once we got to that intersection, we were back in the trees. It was a grand view from up there, wish the pics survived
    Last edited by 4.3LXJ; 04-12-2017 at 08:58 PM.
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  5. #20
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    Default Re: Nine Days In Mining Country

    Day 9

    This was the last day for wheeling. My wife wanted to stumble around Downieville and visit the shops and stuff. I however was not without something to do.



    Downieville is friendly to tourism, its only source of income now. At one time it was the fifth largest city in CA and was only ten votes shy of being the capital. But, I don't think the growth potential was good in a town on a 100% slope at the bottom of a canyon. I found this sign within the city limits. So I headed off down another road marked 4WD







    This creek would have been diverted to run a water wheel in the mining days



    I found this foundation



    More evidence of mining



    Spotted this nice looking MJ at a miners camp

    After that, it was ice cream and back to camp and head home the next day
    Last edited by 4.3LXJ; 04-12-2017 at 08:58 PM.
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  6. #21
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    Default Re: Nine Days In Mining Country

    Quote Originally Posted by Pookapotamus View Post
    Looks like an amazing trip! What I wouldn't give to have been able to join you!


    Having 4WD means getting stuck in more inaccessible places!
    Next time, same time of year we will be going back there for what we missed.
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  7. #22
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    cantab27 is offline Level: Uber Jeep Cherokee Trailer Queen
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    Default Re: Nine Days In Mining Country

    way cool steve....kinda trip I like to do here now again
    keeping it red........

    I DRIVE A BARBIE JEEP

    Quote Originally Posted by XJ4IV
    .... lol Im a jerk tonight!
    Originally Posted by bigjim350 View Post
    Think I would go that crazy too if my Jeep turned white

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGg0C...eature=related


  8. #23
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    Default Re: Nine Days In Mining Country

    We will have to make across the water and visit each other so we can
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
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    And a bunch of other stuff

  9. #24
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    Default Re: Nine Days In Mining Country

    Sucks about the tie rod. Reminds me of the trails I ran on the quads in West Virginia a few years back. Wish I had the Jeep up there then but it was full of great sites and views just like your trip.

  10. #25
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    Default Re: Nine Days In Mining Country

    The tie rod just ended up being an inconvenience. It all worked out in the end
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  11. #26
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    Default Re: Nine Days In Mining Country

    Nice trip! Took me a while to get time to go through it all but glad I did. Now, we just have to find a way to fit another passenger...

    Sent via messenger pigeon. I talk, he types.

  12. #27
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    Default Re: Nine Days In Mining Country

    Quote Originally Posted by XJ Wheeler View Post
    Nice trip! Took me a while to get time to go through it all but glad I did. Now, we just have to find a way to fit another passenger...

    Sent via messenger pigeon. I talk, he types.
    Then we could call it The Shortbus?
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  13. #28
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    Default Re: Nine Days In Mining Country

    A history rich vacation. That looks like it was lots of fun Steve. Thanks for taking all the pictures and sharing them with us!

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