|Calamity Jane at Skull Rock in the KofA National Wildlife Refuge|
|Lewis & Clark, Calamity Jane, Alex's Jeep and Duner's FJ|
in April of 2014 at the entrance to the KofA
|KofA National Wildlife Refuge|
|One of the Cabins at our first stop|
|Old flathead 6 Chrysler Industrial engine|
Paul loves to tinker - and he will dig around and explore even more than I will - he will go places I won't go - but he always knows when I'm going to regret not seeing something - so he climbed steep and rickety stairs, came back and got me, made sure I went up to see all the "things," and when we exited the main mill/processing building, he went up to look at another shed, and came back to get me because he knew I wasn't going to want to miss it - the actual mine adit. He was right - every single thing I saw just continued to amaze me! I don't think either Paul or I have been to a site so perfect since back in 2014 when we visited another amazing mining site in the middle of the state with Bailey and my brother. We spent several hours at this mining complex - and we plan to go back soon.
|O'Keefe Merritt Stove/Oven combo|
|Calamity Jane in front of Signal Peak|
Now Paul was the one that knew about Skull Rock - and we plan to go back. It's a VERY cool rock formation - it wasn't difficult to get to although you are in a wash for more than half the drive (so be careful if you go during a storm). Here, though, the scenery was amazing. Beyond amazing. Stunning is a better word for it. We kept stopping to take photos of the mountains. Well, and of my truck. Because hey - she has new shocks, a lift and new bump stops (all thanks to Paul). She didn't bottom out once - and the ride is so much smoother than it was. And hey - she looks awesome 3 inches taller! Paul and I both noticed a big difference in the comfort of the ride on washboard and just bouncing around. Best improvement in a long time!
|Box Canyon on tbe way to De La Osa Well|
This next trail was a bit rougher in a few spots - but we never once hit my BudBuilt skid plates! And we bounced along for quite a long ways all while looking for the De La Osa Ranch cabin. Well - we were in for a surprise. Apparently, a watershed covering and a cabin look exactly the same to me on Google Earth. So I repeatedly said to Paul (who is driving) "who the heck puts a ranch cabin all the way out here and the road is so bad?"
|De La Osa Windmill|
This route was long, and while not terribly rough, there were a TON of washes as we crossed through the KofA Wildlife area on designated roads (you aren't allowed to be on roads that are not designated roads). The washes were generally the kind of washes that you "drop" down in to, and then climb out of on the other side. Lots of sand and dirt, and by this time, it is pushing 4 p.m. We wanted to be done looking at all of the "things" no later than 5, because we knew once we were done at the Kofa Cabin we had about an hour drive out, and we weren't sure the quality of the El Paso Natural Gas Company Access Road we were going to follow out.
The desert was beautiful, and just as we popped out of the last wash and I mentioned that GaiaGPS (our number one choice for off road mapping and navigation) showed us close, we could see the Kofa Cabin! Now the Kofa Cabin was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps ("CCC"). The CCC was made up primarily of young Native Americans from the Colorado Indian Tribes Reservation, and they built not only this cabin, but several earthen and rock reservoirs in the KofA area, including the Four Peaks Dam in the late 1930's. This cabin is exceptionally well constructed of basalt stone, and is open to the public for camping on a first come, first serve basis.