I recently wrote an article entitled “An Oasis in the Mojave” which ran in the December 2013 issue of RV Life magazine. While China Ranch was an enjoyable stop, the main reason for my wife and I being in the area was the Tecopa Mines located just up the road from the ranch. For the history buff and adventurous, the Tecopa Mines offer days of exploring. The Tecopa Mines consists of the Noonday, Columbia, War Eagle and others. The many ruins attest to the years of toil by the miners. You will find old mine workings*, hoists, head frames, mill works, cabins, can dumps, and the old mine camps where the miners once lived.
The Upper and Lower Noonday Camps were in use into the early 1970’s providing plenty of remnants for the ghost town aficionado. Off roaders will enjoy negotiating the many dirt roads that radiate throughout the area. Best of all is the availability of boondocking sites along the old (previously paved) road to the mining area. There are even a couple of old gnarly cottonwood trees along China Creek Wash that provide shady campsites in this otherwise barren, but beautiful, landscape. Boondocking among the ghosts of the mining past, one of the best adventures in RVing!
*Entering old mines can be dangerous and best left to experienced explorers.
Dave Helgeson’s many roles in the RV industry started before he even had a driver’s license. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership before the term “RV” had been coined, and Dave played a pivotal role in nearly every position of an RV dealership. He and his wife Cheri launched their own RV dealership in the Pacific Northwest. The duo also spent 29 years overseeing regional RV shows. Dave has also served as President of a local chapter of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), worked on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college, and served as a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. Dave’s reputation earned him the title of “The foremost expert on boondocking,” bestowed by RV industry icon, the late Gary Bunzer (The RV Doctor). When he’s not out boondocking, you’ll find Dave in the spotlight at RV shows across the country, giving seminars about all things RVing. He and Cheri currently roam in their fifth travel trailer, with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications to his own unit.
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