The Big Eye Mine - Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, Arizonaphotos

Big Eye Mine cabinLook! There’s a Saguaro! You guessed it, the Desert Girls aren’t in California any more! A rare five day hiatus from work has allowed us to expand our range a bit and we’ve rolled along in the dark to witness the sunrise in Yuma and have now turned off of Highway 95 in Arizona to make our way into the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. This is a huge swath of land, some 664,300 acres to be exact, that was established in 1939 to preserve a pristine desert environment for many unique plants and animals. The name Kofa is actually a contraction of the major historic mine that once operated in the middle of this picturesque landscape, the King of Arizona. But it’s not that mine that we’re heading for today. Instead, we’ve got our sights set on the Big Eye Mine. It’s going to take us most of the day to get there but that’s partly because we also plan to stop along the way at the Colorado Mine, which has some old workings as well as four historic graves, and the Copper Cup, another old mine with some nice trash dumps. The Big Eye itself dates from about 1910 and was a gold, silver, copper, lead and zinc producer. Apparently, some of the original structures are still standing so we definitely want to check it out! If you’d like to join us for the cyber version of this first destination here in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, then grab a warm jacket and a sleeping bag ‘cause you’re going to be spending a virtual night out here with us! Jump in by clicking on the “Photos - Day 1” link as we’re just about to leave civilization behind! After spending the night below the trail up to the cabins and mine, you can find out what’s there by clicking on “Photos - Day 2” photo link. Let’s get goin’!