Passage tour, June 5-6, 2004 (camping). Click
on image for details.
of Volcanoes tour, June 19-21, 2004 (motel or camp). Click
on image for details.
for information on all our 2004 tours.
and Day of Desert Exploration trips.
or on the photos.
Women of the Western Mojave Mining Camps
III: The Rose Behind the Yellow
Cecile Page Vargo
July 1895 - A
few months after the rich gold discoveries by prospectors, Charles
Burcham, John Singleton, and F. M. Mooers , Dr. Rose La Monte
Burcham packed up her personal belongings and medicines and headed for
. She left her home and practice in
she was known for delivering babies, and hopped on the train bound for
the dusty town of
. Her husband met her there with his wagon and team to take her on the
fifty mile long journey to
Rand Camp. Just after dark, they arrived in Cow Wells, and decided to
camp out for the night. The following morning, she was taken to a barren
hillside with two lonely tents. Her husband and partners lived in the
tents close to their diggings.
Dr. Rose arrived in camp in
true Gay Nineties fashion, with long skirts, and high-necked shirtwaist
with long mutton-let sleeves and pinched in heavily corseted waist.
Aware of rugged desert terrain, she brought good stout walking shoes,
and was prepared to work. As time went on, of course, she found it more
practical to wear khaki clothes when she went into the mines. At first,
however, she spent her time cooking and tiding up the camp, while the
men worked with pick, shovel, and wheelbarrow. She had grubstaked the
partners from the very beginning, and was now half owner of her
husband’s one/third share. Her business and financial savvy helped to
keep the mine, and the money it earned, intact so it could grow to
become the famous Yellow Aster Mine.
A Silver Lining For Every Retort Means a
Drink For Every Man
There was little money
among the partners. What little they did have was controlled by Dr.
Rose. When the first ore was ready to be sent down the steep
mountainside to the Garlock mill for processing, John Singleton went to
her for several silver half dollars. He proceeded to tell her that the
coins were needed to put in the retort so the amalgam wouldn’t stick.
As Rose reminded him their funds were running low, she reluctantly
handed him the coins he requested. A bit later, Singleton was back
saying that they needed more silver lining for the retort. It didn’t
take Dr. Rose long to figure out that the men had not traveled the 10
miles to Cow Wells, but had gone to the recently opened saloon in Rand
Camp to celebrate, instead. Needless to say, she verbally let the
partners have it for drinking their funds away. Luckily for the thirsty
partners, the first milling of the Yellow Aster Mine netted a nice
little fortune of a little over eight hundred dollars.
Joins Friends of Jawbone Canyon
joined Friends of Jawbone Canyon. The friends of Jawbone provides a
forum for users of public
lands in and around Jawbone Canyon to promote the preservation, multiple
use, and restoration of all public lands, local, state, and federal.
The Friends of Jawbone assist the BLM in operation of the Jawbone
Station visitor center and bookstore, present Moose Anderson
Days each April, and offer outreach and educational programs.
on Maggie's certificate below for membership information or visit www.jawbone.org.
State Budget Crisis Threatens Bodie
Since the passage of the California Desert Protection Act
(1984) an effort was made to create a coalition of agencies that would
pool their financial resources with the intent to purchase the
property which Galactic Resources, Ltd. had claim to (Bodie Bluff and
In the meantime, the California Department of Parks and
Recreation began an extensive, ongoing stabilization project in Bodie.
Prior to the start of each season the state architect, district
departmental supervisors and Bodie personnel (rangers and maintenance)
made an inspection of the structures in Bodie prioritizing the
stabilization effort according to the severity of the structures
The goal was to bring the buildings in Bodie back to their
appearance at the time of the original purchase of the townsite.
Guided by photographs of the town made in the early 1960’s, each
season from May to September workers came to Bodie to begin and
hopefully complete several “restorations”.
Our Tours with
Ecological 4-Wheeling Adventures
We're climbing into 2004!
here for our 2004 tour schedule.
Explore Historic California!
Not too many years ago, the family station wagon was the
magic carpet to adventure. Today, that family station wagon is likely to
be a four wheel drive sport utility vehicle or pick up truck. SUV's and
other 4x4's are one of the best selling classes of vehicles. Ironically,
industry statistics show that once purchased, few owners will dare to
drive their vehicles off the paved highway. Click your mouse through our
website and enjoy our armchair adventures and the histories behind them.
If you are interested in taking one of our guided tours with your
vehicle, please visit our ECOLOGICAL 4-WHEELING ADVENTURES.
Several years ago, we bought our first SUV. We went to a one-night class
at a local community college entitled "How to 4-Wheel Drive" by Harry Lewellyn.
The following weekend we attended the hands-on day tour. We liked what we were
doing so much that we began going out nearly every weekend and learned how to
negotiate a variety of dirt roads. Our spare time was spent doing research on
the history and ecology of our favorite areas. A one-day outing turned into 15
years of leading others on mini-vacations throughout Southern California and the
Our 4WD outings involve driving on easy to moderate dirt roads and are
ideally suited to novice and intermediate level drivers. All tours are suitable
for stock vehicles in good condition, although some tours do have vehicle size
Our tours are
operated under permits issued by the Bureau of Land Management, U.S.
Forest Service, and other authorities.
We share our knowledge of the backcountry over the CB radio with our
guests. We frequently stop to explore mining areas, old and new, and ponder the
rocks, plants and animals we may encounter. We'll occasionally visit an old
cabin or deserted mountain lookout.
California has a fascinating history, from geologic unrest and
prehistoric petroglyph scribes to the "Radium Queen of the Mojave" and the
"Human Mole of Black Mountain." Load up your 4X, fasten your seatbelts and get
ready to explore historic California.
Roger, Cecile and Marty