There's nothing like waking up on a brisk desert morning to a colorful sunrise! Our little group of Dezdan, Boxcar Dan, Guy and Alysia and the Dzrtgrls are camped at the Ubehebe Talc Mine, which is located up in the hills east of Ulida Flat. Our plan for today is to explore this mine, also known as the Stone Pencil Mine, and then to check out the old Hunter Cabin site later in the day on our way home.
The Ubehebe was mined for steatite grade talc during World War II. This extremely high grade talc was used for cosmetics and high frequency electrical insulators. There are still considerable reserves of talc remaining in the surrounding hills, but the site's inaccessibility and narrow access road make further development unprofitable and it's been in a state of gradual decay since it was last worked around the 1950's. There's still a fair amount of mining equipment and old structures to see up at the mine and lots of interesting trash scattered below at the mine camp near where we spent the night. If our chief tunnel rats Dezdan and Guy feel that it's safe, there might even be some exploration of the main tunnel.
Even though everyone's still snuggled into the warmth of their sleeping bags at our 5,400' camp, the sunrise is just too beautiful to waste and the Dzrtgrls sneak up to the mine for a preview of the day to come. If you want to join us, then throw on a warm coat, grab your camera and click on the photo link below. The marvelous sunrise colors are too good to miss! Also, bring your headlamp in case we can get into the tunnel later! Breakfast can wait! This is too good to pass up!