Monday, November 12, 2007

Saguaro Mine, A gem of a find!


What a surprising day this turned out to be. We've made several attempts to locate Saguaro Mine, so this morning we thought we'd give it another try. The road leading to the old mine is rocky, washed out, really bumpy and quite a challenge. We took A-Cross to FR267 and continued on FR267 as far as we could safely go in the Jeep. From there we decided since the temperatures were still cool, we'd attempt to make the hike up into the mountains. There were ATV tracks leading in, and we could see evidence of vehicle damage as they dragged over rocks. We were glad we parked and didn't attempt to drive it. It was quite a strenuous hike, uphill all the way, clambering over rocks and slippery sand. I wasn't crazy about the drop-offs along the narrow road, even walking, they challenged my fear of heights, but we made it. We could see evidence of some sort of mining having been done as we approached the top of the mountain. One area in particular caught my attention, it looked like a square vertical mine shaft had been filled in with rocks, sand and dirt. Ralph wanted to climb up to the mountain top so I stayed behind to catch my breath and explore the area of the filled mine. I was randomly digging in the loose sand, not looking for anything in particular when I saw something shining in the sand. It looked like an old pop-top from a can. I pulled it out of the shallow hole and much to my was a ring!  It's a very small-sized ladies white gold, diamond ring. It barely fits my pinkie and I've got fairly small fingers. The diamond looks to be about 1/4 karat and the ring itself is marked 18K with a very intricate filigree pattern. I called Ralph on the walkie-talkie and told him to come on down to see what I found! It looks to be pretty old, but it sparkled like new when we got it home and cleaned it. We can't imagine how it got to the old mining site...perhaps a lady miner lost it, or maybe a miner had it in his pocket as a gift for his lady? I wish we had some way of tracing the history, but I suppose we'll have to just speculate. Even though there aren't any remains of Saguaro Mine, the trip proved to be very worthwhile! We've metal detected all over the place since moving to Arizona, with little success. This is the first time we've found anything of real value and we didn't even bring the metal detector with us. We're glad to mark Saguaro Mine off of our places we want to find. It's disappointing there aren't any remains, but we do feel like someone had left a treasure for us to find.