|The Oreana–Rochester exit from the north on I-80.|
|The I-80 underpass near Oreana.|
|Go straight ahead, under the underpass, do not turn left back onto the freeway, unless you'd prefer to go to Rye Patch or points north.|
|The junction of the Limerick Canyon and Rochester Canyon roads.|
|No trespassing sign.|
Rolands Canyon should be Rowlands Canyon, named after R. H. Rowland, who had some claims in the area of the Humboldt Queen Mine and Humboldt Queen Canyon back in the 1920's (NBMG Bull. 8, p. 10). Humboldt Queen Canyon is not named on topo maps of the area, but lies between Rolands Canyon and Limerick Canyon (MSRMaps location; USGS TNM Viewer topo).
A long time ago, on one of my first mineral collecting and mine visiting trips in Nevada, I went to a dumortierite prospect or old mine high on the western range front of the Humboldt Range up some long and narrow — and I thought rough — 4WD road. A long-time grad student with plenty of Nevada and 4WD experience was driving; he exhorted me to always drive with my thumbs on the outside of the steering wheel when traversing backcountry dirt roads.
Most 4WD trucks (all?) lacked power steering back then, and if you hit a rut or rock, the steering wheel could twist radically, and thumbs could get sprained, or worse. (Ford introduced power steering in trucks in 1959 (or 1954?); it became an option in their 4WD trucks in 1979 (or standard by 1977?).)
I still drive with my thumbs outside the wheel on dirt roads.
|View of the main Champion Mine workings from a very old road.|
When MOH and I walked up the part of the road that is now completely impassable, I thought the old road, now washed out and heavily overgrown, looked like it hadn't been used for at least 50 years. (But it's been quite a while since I actively knew the ages of old roads and had a lot of practice with road-age estimation.) And when I couldn't identify a road going right to the main dumps, I was became convinced that this wasn't the same dumortierite mine I went to back in '76. (Air photos do indicate a road going to the upper dump, coming in from the direction I remember, so it *is* possibly the same mine.)
|Current end of the road, as seen from some lower workings.|
To be continued...