Moby Goes to “Wheelbarrow Mine”

While wandering around in Death Valley searching for water, we stumbled onto this old mine. Death Valley is full of small mining sites like these. During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, prospectors swarmed Death Valley looking for gold, silver, and other minerals. Most prospectors found little of value. A lucky few found rich strikes that petered out after a year or two. Because things change slowly in the desert, it often seems like the miners dropped their tools and walked away just yesterday.

Wheelbarrow Mine
Wheelbarrow Mine


Two-person hand crank, old bottle, and pulley found near the mine


What did they mine here? Does anyone know what mineral would be present in red rock like this?

Ignoring the wisdom that says you should stay out of abandoned mines, Fearless Larry headed on in.

Larry crawls on in while I mentally review his pension plan.


Larry leaves the mine with his life but no gold nugget.

This mine can’t be too old–note the rubber tire. Having no name that we know of, we dub this the Wheelbarrow Mine.

Old tools near the mine


Hand drill for dynamite


Born 100 years too late

These ambitious miners even built a road into their little mine. Part of it is still clearly visible.

Wheelbarrow mine road

2 thoughts

  1. The guidebooks these days seem to favor calling things “evocative.” Nonetheless, I still like “evocative,” and don’t want to see it disappear into cliche. So I’ll just say a bunch of these photos are really evocative for me. One branch of ancestors mined in Wales, then in Pennsylvania, and then in the Gold Rush in Sutter Creek, so maybe that’s why. Thanks, Janene!

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