Big Four Mine, California

  The Big Four Mine is one of those places that's been on the list of mines to check out, but not a high priority. After a good day of exploring we decided to head over to the Big Four. The Big four is located out in my favorite place; Panamint Valley. 
  The road (if you want to call it a road) has been washed away so many times that we had to get out and walk a few times just to find it. I guess that's why this mine gets very few visitors. Once we found a place to stop and set up camp, we were treated to an airshow by the boys from China Lake as I fixed a flat tire.

  This area is known to be the home of the dreaded Panamint Desert Bear aka "Hanaupah" to the local indians, so the desert explorer must always be on the guard for this vicious animal. When I went to the gun store before our trip, I asked the gun shop owner what brand of .45 Cal. bullet would be best against the Panamint Desert Bear, and he responded by suggesting the CCI brand. I asked why the CCI brand? and he said that "it would be the least painful when the Panamint Desert Bear takes it and shoves it up your butt".

  While Guy and Randi explored inside the Big Four Mine I volunteered to remain outside and keep an eye out for the dangerous Panamint Desert Bear. Now I must state that I was not too scared to go into this extremely dangerous collapsing mine, no sir! But, somebody had to remain outside just in case of a cave-in or should the Panamint Desert Bear show up.

  The Big Four was discovered in 1907, but little mining was done till it was relocated in 1940 (was it lost?). Most of the production here occurred between 1944 and 1952 when supergene lead (say what?) and zinc minerals were mined. The mine is located at a elevation of over 2600 feet and is quite a hike up the canyon wall to get to.


Let's Explore the Big Four Mine

  An old ore bucket we found in the canyon floor below the Big Four Mine. Boy, that sure would hold a lot of beer!

  Randi climbs up to the Big Four Mine on what used to be the road to the canyon floor.

 Upon hearing that a Panamint Desert Bear may be on the other side of the ridge, fearless desert explorer Guy quickly runs up the mountain to seek protection in a Big Four Mine adit.
  The support beams are collapsing inside the Big Four Mine.

  This is a very dangerous tight squeeze that Randi and Guy crawled through.


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