March is a lovely time to be in the high desert. For this one day trip we decided to head up toward the abandoned Grandview gold mine off of Camp Rock Road in Lucerne Valley. We had been up to this mine several times and hunted the area for the unique orbicular rhyolite that can be found there. This time, however, we wanted to explore the Ford Mine to the west and the Ord Belt Mine to the east of the Grandview and to see if any wildflowers were blooming. In the afternoon we would head over to the abandoned Sidewinder Quarry to look for more of the prized tri-color marble that was found there. Although the roads to the general area of both of these spots are fine for the family sedan, the approach roads to the sites themselves are best done in a high clearance four wheel drive. Directions can be found in the expanded and revised edition of James Mitchell's Gem Trails of Southern California, pages 98-101. As always, it looks simple on paper, but once you're out there the number of side roads is daunting. It takes time or past experience to find the right combination. You can check out the areas in the pictures by clicking the link below.