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Old 04-06-2013, 06:24 PM   #826
Ronin ADV
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Today was my birthday

So I spent the day exploring some remnants of old power line roads up on Ralston ridge.





Some places up there look a bit like Scotland right now.

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Old 04-07-2013, 06:59 AM   #827
Nytro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronin ADV View Post
Today was my birthday
So I spent the day exploring some remnants of old power line roads up on Ralston ridge.
Looks like a great way to spend your B-day!
Nice looking scooter.
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:08 PM   #828
Idle
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Happy birthday!
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Old 04-15-2013, 02:36 PM   #829
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Gaston rd/Graniteville rd

Has anyone gone through there??? Forest Service says road open to the intersection but snow on Graniteville... Looking to go from Gaston down Graniteville...
Word,,,
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:19 PM   #830
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^ No intel on Gaston rd, I went up Chalk Bluff rd last sat. There are still some mud holes, that clay soil does not perc, the water is going to be there until the sun and wind evaporate it.

I'm going to do a recon to Plumbago/German bar road next sat to see if it's a) open and b) if I can handle the road on the KLR. I'll let you know what I run into on Graniteville rd.
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:40 PM   #831
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current conditions

Checked it out yesterday... Clear to the intersection of Granteville/Gaston... Rumor has it its is open all the way to Bowman via Washington store clerk... Conditions of Plumbago side for about 3 miles into it is,,,Baby head city... Better to come down from Alleghany side then up it till it gets graded a bit by somebody....Most likely miners take care of it... Right now it's the worst I've seen it... Chaulk Bluff is drying out quick... Easy to get around puddles....
Peace,,,
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:50 PM   #832
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Originally Posted by motofishman View Post
Wow charliefrench your up early. I also ride a weestrom and do pretty good offroad, I haven't gone the skidplate route yet, just avoid rocks.

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Yeah, the oil filter is too compromised for me not to invest in it. I like my forest roads

It's been a fantastic bike so far, though. Bought it in nov and have 9k on it and rising daily.
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:24 PM   #833
luv2lean
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Plumbago

Yep, Plumbago had some breadbox size rocks yesterday. Our group did it from the south end and the big GS advs were challenged... Then no burgers at Caseys! Next time we will call ahead.
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:52 PM   #834
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I'll probably give the Alleghany side a try in a couple of weeks. This weekend I'll do a recon on the south side and head on up to Graniteville and see if Bowman really is open to 20.

Seeing as this thread is such a font of info about the area (I'm from further south) I wonder if anyone knows if the Omega mine pit is open to motorcycle access. I went along Omega Road for 6-8 miles until it was obvious I was passing the pit and starting to head east. The two or three ungated roads I passed didn't appear to head down into the pit. So I'm guessing the access road is one of the several gated roads I passed.

Reason I'm curious is that the Zebright mine, on the south slope of Lowell Hill Road, supposedly has a 6000 foot adit connecting it with the Omega Pit. The Zebright mine property is gated and posted and I didn't want to get hassled by anybody that was down there, although I'ts been idle for years and might not have anybody on the property.

Also, I've heard a rumor that Caseys is going to offer overnight accomidations, two rooms upstairs and a cabin in back. Would be a good base for riders coming in to the area from a distance and looking to do some unhurried local exploring.
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Old 04-25-2013, 06:44 PM   #835
luv2lean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by St.Stan View Post
Reason I'm curious is that the Zebright mine, on the south slope of Lowell Hill Road, supposedly has a 6000 foot adit connecting it with the Omega Pit. The Zebright mine property is gated and posted and I didn't want to get hassled by anybody that was down there, although I'ts been idle for years and might not have anybody on the property.
Need a little help here .. What's an adit? and isnt Omega Rd on the north side of Hwy 20 while Lowell Hill Rd is on the south side? I am curious because I have been trying to find a (the rumored) connector from Lowell Hill Rd to Chalk Bluff Rd across Steep Hollow Creek east of Dutch Flat and west of Hwy 20, other than the Pioneer trail or the OHV trail out of the Chalk bluff staging area - and this may help.

luv2lean screwed with this post 04-25-2013 at 07:11 PM
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:28 PM   #836
SierraJeep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2lean View Post
Need a little help here .. What's an adit? and isnt Omega Rd on the north side of Hwy 20 while Lowell Hill Rd is on the south side? I am curious because I have been trying to find a (the rumored) connector from Lowell Hill Rd to Chalk Bluff Rd across Steep Hollow Creek east of Dutch Flat and west of Hwy 20 other than the Pioneer trail - and this may help.
An Adit is the access to a subsurface mine, but typically situated as a horizontal entrance (as opposed to a vertical or inclide shaft).

To my knowledge, there is no "easy" crossing between Lowell Hill and Chalk Bluff. I put easy in quotes because the one that is there requires the use of a cable and pullies after getting to the crossing via some tight twisty single track.

Quote:
Originally Posted by St.Stan View Post
Reason I'm curious is that the Zebright mine, on the south slope of Lowell Hill Road, supposedly has a 6000 foot adit connecting it with the Omega Pit. The Zebright mine property is gated and posted and I didn't want to get hassled by anybody that was down there, although I'ts been idle for years and might not have anybody on the property.
Yes and not really. The tunnel does in fact aim toward the Omega Diggins (east of the town of Washington) and if you look closely you'll even see the other "Zeibright Mine" shaft labeled on the USGS maps in/near the Omega Diggins. The story is both shafts aimed toward each other with the plan to meet in the middle. However, the northern Zeibright shaft (in Omega Diggins) didn't go that far before they abandoned that plan. The nothern entrance is completely back-filled and any signs of it are no more.

The Zeibright Mine site (at the end of Zeibright Mine Road in Bear Valley) has a year-round caretaker and the mine facility is actually used (in the summer) as a camp for groups. There are a lot of buildings there associated with the old mine operation including the dormatory (complete with common rooms, a small bar, and a dinning area), several shop buildings, and of course the head frame and various tunnels.

As for going into the tunnels, most of them are not blocked but you cannot get very far before you run into water (they're all flooded) and tons of mosquitos!

Unfortunately, it is not open to visitors for touring or sight seeing. Heck, I am not even sure how they can pull off having a camp there because of all the potential hazards. (It must be a massive liability and I'd hate to pay for the insurance on the site.) I have been lucky enough to visit the site on several occations because of my (now former) girlfriend's family is close friends with the caretaker and they own property near the mine. I also happen to work (somewhat) in/with the mining industry and have visited the northern Zeibright Mine access last year with the USFS.

So now you know.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:29 PM   #837
live2ridetahoe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJeep View Post
An Adit is the access to a subsurface mine, but typically situated as a horizontal entrance (as opposed to a vertical or inclide shaft).

To my knowledge, there is no "easy" crossing between Lowell Hill and Chalk Bluff. I put easy in quotes because the one that is there requires the use of a cable and pullies after getting to the crossing via some tight twisty single track.



Yes and not really. The tunnel does in fact aim toward the Omega Diggins (east of the town of Washington) and if you look closely you'll even see the other "Zeibright Mine" shaft labeled on the USGS maps in/near the Omega Diggins. The story is both shafts aimed toward each other with the plan to meet in the middle. However, the northern Zeibright shaft (in Omega Diggins) didn't go that far before they abandoned that plan. The nothern entrance is completely back-filled and any signs of it are no more.

The Zeibright Mine site (at the end of Zeibright Mine Road in Bear Valley) has a year-round caretaker and the mine facility is actually used (in the summer) as a camp for groups. There are a lot of buildings there associated with the old mine operation including the dormatory (complete with common rooms, a small bar, and a dinning area), several shop buildings, and of course the head frame and various tunnels.

As for going into the tunnels, most of them are not blocked but you cannot get very far before you run into water (they're all flooded) and tons of mosquitos!

Unfortunately, it is not open to visitors for touring or sight seeing. Heck, I am not even sure how they can pull off having a camp there because of all the potential hazards. (It must be a massive liability and I'd hate to pay for the insurance on the site.) I have been lucky enough to visit the site on several occations because of my (now former) girlfriend's family is close friends with the caretaker and they own property near the mine. I also happen to work (somewhat) in/with the mining industry and have visited the northern Zeibright Mine access last year with the USFS.

So now you know.
This stuff sounds awesome. Count me in on a tour of all of these!! I'm def in for an overnighter and some beers.

JG
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:39 AM   #838
St.Stan
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Thanks for the detailed answer. As you can guess, I use my bike for backcountry "exploring" more than racy, enduro type riding. I wouldn't consider myself a ghost towner, but I usually plan my rides around finding something historical.

I got the info I did have about the Z mine from a site I found that I didn't bookmark, It's info may have been based on old plans the mine had at one point.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:06 AM   #839
SierraJeep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by St.Stan View Post
Thanks for the detailed answer. As you can guess, I use my bike for backcountry "exploring" more than racy, enduro type riding. I wouldn't consider myself a ghost towner, but I usually plan my rides around finding something historical.

I got the info I did have about the Z mine from a site I found that I didn't bookmark, It's info may have been based on old plans the mine had at one point.
I suspect what you found on the web was likely a report by a mining company who has been trying to re-open the Zeibright Mine. I met with them several months back (in a meeting with the USFS) and they had this big plan to do some exploratory drilling from above the missing area between the two tunnels. Their idea was to maybe drop down from above and access the prior workings from the middle rather than from the camp site.

Like many of these sorts of "mining proposals" the true gold is in the pockets of the investors and not the ground. So you find these reports on line touting the extrodinary values and history of the mine (to make it sound like it's there for the taking).

Having said all of that, they did have this cool 3D model on their laptop that showed how the old Zeibright workings drifted northwesterly from the camp and southeasterly from the Omega site. And for complete disclosure, this is where I got much of my information above on what was in between those two tunnels. (That and the maps on the walls of the Zeibright mining camp dorm building.)

If you want to find more mine tunnels and features, go north out of Washington and explore up off the Spanish Mine Road (off the Gaston Grade). Last weekend StevefrmGV and I went up there on our small bikes (KTM 450s) and found a few mines. Too bad we didn't have our scuba gear to get further inside them!
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:05 AM   #840
SierraJeep
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Zeibright Mine Photos

Thought I'd toss up some photos of what it is you cannot normally get to see...

Here's looking into one of the adits that was discussed above. This type of flooding is very common in most any subsurface mine. (The flash highlights the water dripping down from the roof, showing up as those fuzzy spots in the photo.)



This is looking down a vertical shaft (located below the headframe)



Although you cannot see much looking down, this is how one would get down there back in the day. (This is the man car you could stand and ride in.)



And what runs the lifts up and down...



According to the note on the back of the door, it was last serviced in 1936, should be good to go!



This is from down on the road looking up at the headframe...


And to give the above photo some scale, this photo was taken from the very top of the headframe looking back down toward the road. If you look closely between the wheel and the steel you'll see people standing down on the road. (Insert one of those "don't try this at home" disclaimers here.)
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