Saturday, September 11, 2010

Miners Delight and an Extra Day in Lander

A strong cold front was forecast, with winds in excess of 45 miles per hour, so we decided to spend another day at Lander. As we like the area, the extra day would allow us to check out the gold fields of Atlantic City and visit the Fremont County Museum.
Letting it warm up a bit we headed up the pass and fought strong winds that buffeted the truck. Near the abandoned Atlantic City Taconite Mine, we turned onto the road to Atlantic City and South Pass. Our goal was to find the ghost town called Miners Delight.
The directions from Google were clear, go 2.5 miles and then turn left for 1/2 mile and then park in a lot for a 1/4 mile hike to the ghost town. So we turned left after 2.5 miles and didn't see anything that resembled a lot, only four wheel drive roads and old prospect pits scattered everywhere. We did drive further and discovered the Big Atlantic Gulch BLM Campground and a nice place to boondock near working gold claims.
The campground only costs six bucks and had quite a few spaces large enough for us to fit, an unusual thing for a small campground in a pine forest. We drove further on a nice four wheel drive road, with gold claim posts.
The road was so good that we wouldn't hesitate to take our fifth wheel there and we are particular about clearances and rocks. The spot was obviously used by gold prospectors and we looked down several shallow prospect pits lined with quartz veins that had promised to be the mother load.
Now Miners Delight only has a few buildings left standing and ten old mines that are no longer worked so one would think it would be easy to find. However there were patches of forest everywhere and it became clear that the old town was in a patch or hidden by a patch of trees, so we never did find it.
Renita did spot another campground sign, Atlantic City BLM campground, and we did check it out but most of the spots were too small or too crowded with trees for us to fit in. We decided to drive to the old antique store where we had purchased some rocks last year but it was closed as was much of the towns of Atlantic City and South Pass. Tourist season is over.
Returning to Lander we found the Fremont County Museum to be housed in a Large new building and the curator was pleased to see us as he welcomed us in! We were only one of two couples there and so we looked and enjoyed the exhibits. There were some really nice articles of Araphoe and Shoshonee clothes and a nice but small exhibit of local bright green jade, much nicer then any we have ever been able to purchase(Allthough we do have some beautiful apple green and emerald jade)! We both liked the sheep herders wagon, it looked comfy and even had places to store rocks!
We returned home, planning to return next year and find Miners Delight. It was obvious that I would need to do some better research, but that is a good lesson for me, proper planning prevents piss poor performance, the rule of the six p's. Clear skies.

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