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Adventure Kitty visits Burro Schmidt Tunnel

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Adventure Kitty, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. Adventure Kitty

    Adventure Kitty Tuna Gatita Blanca

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,281
    Location:
    A bolcano near you
    Ummm...hello. People liked my last post so I'll share another aventure. This was last winter. We go riding at a place in the Mojave Desert called Dove Springs. It is north of Red Rock Canyon park. Just so you know, I have never seen a dove, on springs or not. I don't know why they call it that.

    One weekend we got up and went for a long loop to go see a place I had heard about called "Donkey Smith's Cave" but that's not the name at all. It's called Burro Schmidt's Tunnel. A very nice man moved out to the desert with his wife. She started nagging him to paint the house. So he went in the backyard and decided to dig for gold instead.

    She kept nagging him and they didn't have TV or anyplace to go so to get away from her he kept digging. 30 years later, he dug all the way through the mountain and she said, "are you ever going to paint the house?" and then he died. That's not very nice!

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    This is the parking area outside of his tunnel. His house is just over the hill and around the corner to the right of the picture. That's the south end of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the background.

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    This is a better photo. That big rock out there in the flat part is called Robber's Roost. We've been there too. Bad people used to hide there and rob the stage coaches going through Walker Pass (to the right of the photo). That scared the ponies pulling the stage coach. Scaring ponies is not very nice! The wood sticking out of the hill next to my bike is where Mr Schmidt dumped the dirt that came out of the tunnel.

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    This is the entrance to the tunnel. The rails are for his cart and used to run out to the dumping spot in the previous photo.

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    This is the plaque outside the tunnel. If you go there, bring a flashlight. The tunnel is very dark and turns mid-way through. And don't EVER go there at night! The tunnel comes out near the ghost town of Goler Heights and at night, the ghosts might get you!:eek1

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    After leaving Mr Schmidt's tunnel, we stopped at the Old Dutch Cleanser mine. This is where they used to get cleanser from. The desert is amazing. You can just come out here and dig in the ground and cleanser comes out.

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    This is me in front of the mine. I heard that this is the cave where the Killer Rabbit used to live. Somebody named Tim told me that. You can't see it but I'm wearing my packpack that my friend Dora gave me! It's very nice!

    So that was my aventure to Burro Schmid'ts Tunnel. Oh well, BYE!
    Aventure Kitty
    #1
  2. VHRAM

    VHRAM Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2005
    Oddometer:
    178
    Location:
    ventura county,ca
    The el paso mountain range has alot of fun places to go to .Weve done alot of gold prospecting in that area over the years.:freaky
    #2
  3. Ignore Amos

    Ignore Amos bruised, dazed & confused

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Oddometer:
    984
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    familier...bet I who owns that kitty-
    #3
  4. VelvtRide

    VelvtRide i can haz a motrsykle?

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Oddometer:
    25,694
    Location:
    Central California
    Burro Schmidt's Mine is awesome! :thumb


    Why didntcha go 5 miles down the road, pay $3, and whack rocks for Opals at the Opal Mine?

    Oh wait. Sorry, Adventure Kitty. The hammer's too heavy, isn't it?


    My bad.



    :D
    #4
  5. Donkey Hotey

    Donkey Hotey De Jo Momma

    Joined:
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    14,992
    Location:
    20 Mule Team Trail (Palmdale, Ca)
    Yeah, but the hammer isn't too heavy for me. As soon as I go to bed and she gets back on here, she'll see this. Thanks a bunch, now I have to pack a hammer :D

    Where is the opal mine? I've never heard of it. There is so much in the El Paso Mountains that we're still discovering it all. We're always looking for diversions--especially for a few of the wives who are still learning. Dirt roads with a fun destination are a good choice for them.

    Most of my friends aren't street legal (limits road connectors) and their kids are under 16 (keeps us out of Red Rock Canyon). I think the rest of the El Paso trails are legal for under 16 years old. The kids and wives would probably enjoy an all day ride out there with opal mining as a half-way-point diversion. Adventure Kitty doesn't care as long as it's "a aventure."
    #5
  6. VelvtRide

    VelvtRide i can haz a motrsykle?

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    It's been awhile since I've been there, but I think it's about 5 miles north/west of the tunnel. I could be totally wrong, but that is what I remember. It's fun and a nice diversion.

    VR
    #6
  7. VelvtRide

    VelvtRide i can haz a motrsykle?

    Joined:
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    Here's a link to some trails... they are 4x4 trails, but still, there are lots to see around the Red Rock area. Beautiful, too. :thumb
    #7
  8. Donkey Hotey

    Donkey Hotey De Jo Momma

    Joined:
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    Thanks for the tip on the opal mine. I'm sure AK will spend most of the day researching it.

    The part Adventure Kitty didn't share from that weekend was the trip out to Dove Springs. We were riding in the motorhome up the 14 freeway when she started screaming, "MASHED MAMMALS, MASHED MAMMALS, THERE ARE NO MASHED MAMMALS"

    "What the heck are you talking about cat?"

    "PLEASE!" she shouted waving at the next off ramp. We were in Rosamond. She pointed to the nearest grocery store. It was during the grocery union strike and there were people picketing outside. She darted for the door and one of the people tried to discourage her from going inside.

    "Hey, she's shouting something about 'mashed mammals' and you look like a mammal, I'd get out of her way."

    They stepped aside, as much by her boldness as for being challenged by a 10" tall bipedal, vociferous feline. Into the store she ran, her red bow bobbing back and forth as she turned the corner and disappeared. I wandered the store looking for her. Eventually I found her dragging two bags down the baking aisle.

    "Ahhh...MARSHMALLOWS...you wanted MARSHMALLOWS?"

    "THAT'S WHAT I SAID...MASHED MAMMALS!"

    For her, no adventure is complete without marshmallows. She was content the rest of the weekend. Yes, I shared this story around the campfire. You can imagine the responses.
    :huh :eek1 :patch :photog :confused :scratch :razor :loco

    I asked AK to back up the story but she was too busy stuffing her face. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it :D
    #8
  9. MotoMike

    MotoMike Washed Up Desert Racer For The 2nd Time

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
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    I love riding in the El Paso mountains! It's hard to imagine someone boring that tunnel by hand! As for Dove Springs, I rode there for many years, but not so much anymore. Too many freakin' idiots and rangers. And there is a spring, or at least there used to be. Probably used to be a few doves flying around at one time also :D
    #9
  10. jeff_in_rc

    jeff_in_rc A DRZ kind of guy

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Ridgecrest, CA
    Unfortunately the owners of the Opal mine died several years ago and the BLM flattened the place to keep people from "taking" the resources, go figure.

    That and Toni Seager who lived at Burro Schimdt's tunnel for years and years died 2 years ago, she is missed by a lot of people that have gone there over the years. I can remember going there in the 70's, it was always so much fun.

    The El Paso's are a lot of fun, have you found the waterfall you can ride down?? That's a tricky one for sure. See ya!
    #10
  11. ErrinV

    ErrinV D Boon!

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    Nice Report AK. Did you stop by Bickel's Camp when you where up there?

    Errin
    #11
  12. VelvtRide

    VelvtRide i can haz a motrsykle?

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    Wow! That's a bummer about the mine. It sure was fun!

    I had heard about Toni - I hope the BLM keeps up with the tunnel and doesn't let it go to hell. Do you know if someone else will take Toni's place?
    #12
  13. Mr. G

    Mr. G Normal Dude

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    You cross the #14 Hwy at Dove Springs Road and head north on the trail on the east side. The trail forks after a short distance (maybe 1/4 - 1/2 mile) and the right fork is signed for the Opal Mine. We've gone that way often but never found the mine. Lots of tailings but no mine. Eventually you can make your way to Last Chance Cyn. crossing Nightmare Gulch. All of that area is within the Red Rock Park boundary and Nightmare Gulch has some wierd closure restrictions.

    On another note, does anyone know how strictly they enforce the 16 y.o. operator age limit in Red Rock State Park? Do you get a fine, a slap on the hand, vehice impounded? We have been through there with underage ATV operators but never been stopped. I did ask a BLM ranger about age limits. He told me that outside of Red Rock Park, underage is okay on the marked trails, EP15, etc.
    #13
  14. Mr. G

    Mr. G Normal Dude

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    Kitty, you should have gone in the Dutch Cleanser Mine

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    Her boots still smell from that mud.

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    #14
  15. Stinez

    Stinez Rhymes with Heinz :D

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    That whole area is a green and yellow and purple pallet in March.
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    :D
    #15
  16. Mr. G

    Mr. G Normal Dude

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    #16
  17. Stinez

    Stinez Rhymes with Heinz :D

    Joined:
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    Nor Cal
    We use the 05 version of this map.
    [​IMG]

    My older one is marked up with GPS marks for some of the cool stuff we've found. The marks make for a fun GPS treasure hunt for the wives and the kids.:evil
    (Geocashing at it simplest.:nod)


    :D
    #17
  18. Anciano

    Anciano Bushpilot

    Joined:
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    Burro Schmidt's house was more or less a shack. It was lined with newspapers and magazines to keep out the wind. It was interesting looking though the wallpaper for old news. I was there last Feb or Mar. Toni's house was totally vandalized. Burro's shack was falling down. I am sure the BLM wants the property to return to its natural state (whatever that is). Wayne
    #18
  19. jeff_in_rc

    jeff_in_rc A DRZ kind of guy

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Ridgecrest, CA
    There is an ongoing ownership battle with the BLM and Toni's family and until that is settled there is nobody keeping an eye on the place. The BLM wants somebody there 24/7/365, they want them to hand out info., talk to the people, have them sign the logbook, give out flashlights, and they want them to do it FOR FREE!!! WTF are they thinking??? IMHO the BLM wants the place to go to ruin so they can take a bulldozer to the place.

    It is so sad to see a part of the history of our area go to hell-in-a-handbasket.

    STINEZ,

    Awesome pictures, are those from last year when we had all the rain? The wildflowers were everywhere last year, even in DV.
    #19
  20. Deano955

    Deano955 Insatiable

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    I was wondering if you might wanna go on a date sometime?
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    #20