To reach the upper trail head, we drove up the ridge, seen here on the left, overlooking xMine Creek from the north.
Looking back west as we set out for the base camp at dawn, the world below presents muted bands in which small hills float like clouds and the horizon is lost in the land.
Looking off to the southeast, the grove of trees sheltering the base camp can be seen on a high bench in the valley. It's a straight shot accross, but alas the trail is not quite so accommodating.
Looking down, we can see the lower trail on the south side of the creek.
It's a much longer treck ...
... and trends much more in the direction of up.
At last, the final ascent along the north (to the right) rim of the ravine that bites deeply into the bench where the base camp is situated.
Memories of the Champion Hilton just ahead ...
... and at last the reality just accross the ravine.
... at Black Eagle Camp, elevation 7550 feet.
And after a day on the mountain, no Hilton anywhere could be more welcome then this cozy room ...
... or company on the veranda.
The Sun, ruddy against the heights above, ...
... marches westward, setting her rosy banners high ...
... before breaching mountain passes midst smoke and fire. The end of a fine day and time for rest.
The camp, itself, has been the object of much artistic affection ...
... and again ...
... and yet again.
And a great deal more loving attention besides.
The morning finds us wending our way up the ridge in search of minerals.
Just below one of the lower mines, which is just around to the left ...
... the sun touches the heights above us.
Most go on to one of the upper mines, but some find the pickings too good to pass up. Here Zuberman, cleaverly disguised as a sombraro, bows low before the alter of the local God of the Mine, the most high, exaulted Woodhouseite.
An old photo in the little museum at the base camp shows how one of the upper mines looked in times past.
And here it is today ...
... just above the remains of the high camp.
Woodhousite on quartz. Upper mine. It's those unassuming cube-like crystals. Not much, you're thinking. Well, how much do you have in your collection?
More Woodhousite with quartz. This is a weathered specimen - hence the yellow tinge.
Rutil in pyrophyllite. The large xl is about the width of your little finger.