Leadfield – It Was then It Wasn’t

Photograph of Geology in Death Valley National Park

Leadfield was a town, deep in the Grapevine Mountains in Death Valley National Park, that was born and went bust within a 12 month period in 1926. Peviously some copper ore and lead ore deposits had been discovered here, claims had been filed, but the quality of the ore was low and very remote, so nothing happened until 1924.

In 1924 there was increased interest in the lead deposits. Jack Salsberry formed a company called Western Lead Mines, he bought twelve of the claims and staked forty more for himself. Salsberry set two teams to work. One team dug prospect holes in the area and the other made the 20 mile road from Beatty through the Grapevine mountains – today this was a beautiful drive.

In 1926 Charles Julian took control of Western Lead Mine from Salsberry and had great plans for Leadfield. Knowing how to market and improve the value of his stock, he encouraged potential investors to visit Titus Canyon. The road from Beatty had been completed by then so some investors drove in, but most came on the fifteen coach special Southern Pacific train to Ludlow. Then an engine from the Tonopah & Tidewater railway brought them to Beatty where a filet of cars brought them to leadfield.

Having made this journey, they were welcomed by a band and sat down to a great lunch. Within weeks 330,000 shares had been bought in the company. The stock price rose from $1,57 to $3.30.

Leadfield was on the map. In April 1926 the town was mapped out with 1,749 lots in 93 blocks. A local paper, the Leadfield Chronicle started printing. Business startedup and advertised in the Chronicle. A post office opened on 25th June.

However some of the problems started taking effect. The nearest water supply was 2.5 miles away. Charles Julian was being investigated for securities irregularities. For the Western Lead Mine company, there was no lead!

The post office closed on 31st December that year.

There are some remnants of Leadfield’s hey day. This is an historic place, in the middle of nowhere in Death Valley National Park and it shouts to me “Black and White” – see below:

Cabin and Tailings
Mine Entrance and Tailings Leadfield
Exploratory Mine and Tailings
The Post Office
Miner’s Cabin
Mine Camp View

Equipment: Nikon Z 9, Nikkor Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S, Sony Digital Film, PhotoShop and Nik Plugins, Land Rover Defender for transportation.

#Z9 #NikonLove #MirrorLess #NikonCreators #DeathValleyNationalPark #Leadville #LandRoverDefender

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Can you spot the Differences?

This is our current rig set. How does it compare to the previous, familiar rig?

Current
previous

Yes, we know they are facing in different directions. We know one is in fertile Florida green land and the other in Arizona Desert. But what else?

Yes, Snowflake is dead – Long live LANDR!

The Demise of Snowflake.

Last March in Tucson we had been to shoot the very “out of place” Northern Jacana (Jacana spinosa) and were heading on I-10 to another birding spot and just before we exited “BANG” and I fought to keep control of Snowflake and pulled off onto the shoulder. We had been “rear-ended”. Needless to say Snowflake was a write-off.

Some pictures of the damage:

And as they say in films “You Should See The Other Guy”

A teenager driving his mother’s car at what must have been 90mph (we were doing 60) – his first words were “I didn’t see you”. Fortunately another car pulled up, said that he was weaving in and out of lanes at a very fast speed and gave us their phone number.

Then we discovered that we had a problem. We needed a new 4×4, HCV to replace Snowflake. We had 3 months before going to Britain for August and September and found out that we could not rent a car with a tow hitch receiver but we still needed to move the trailer separate from Tigger!

We visited the local Land Rover Dealer (previously used to service Snowflake). After agonizing over our situation, we test drove a new Discovery and were very impressed with its “off-road” capability. However there was nothing in the East coast or West Coast docks that came near to our requirements (Arizona Dealers do not tend to include Cold Weather packages) and we would be paying thousands for features we did not want. So we moved on to a Defender. Royal Land Rover said that they would have a Defender order spot in two weeks – so we spec’d our new car due for manufacture in August and delivery in September. In the mean time they suggested we purchase one of their traded in vehicles (a Toyota RAV4) and they guaranteed a buy back price at the end of July.

To keep the excitement going Royal sent a link to the ship transporting our Defender so that we could check progress. At first as it approached the Bahamas we thought an East Coast dock, but then we got to see it queue up for and pass through the Panama Canal. It was very cool!

THANK YOU ROYAL LAND ROVER.

So this is LANDR as specified and ordered by us.

LANDR and El Capitan
LANDR in Yosemite Valley
LANDR in Yosemite Valley
LANDR at Half Dome

We picked it up in Tucson on the 6th October – and just love it. The ride is phenomenal. Smooth, quiet, great acceleration and excellent cornering. So comfortable! So quiet!

We have booked ourselves the full day Land Rover driving experience in Carmel, CA in January and should be fully primed to use LANDR off-road.

So when we bump into you next (figuratively speaking) we can show you LANDR. We do plan a month or so in Death Valley NP in the New Year. Last time we were there with Snowflake, just before we left, we discovered a book in the visitors’ centre 40 Off Road and High Clearance Vehicle tours. We managed to squeeze in two tours. So we have a lot more to do.

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Our Plan for the rest of 2021

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Our Current Intentions for 2021

Updated 1st April 2021 NO JOKE!!!!

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Recent Photography Blog Post

Finding the Western Screech Owl

Photograph of Western Screetch-Owl Megascops kennicottii from San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, AZ

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