The transition from the MOJAVE DESERT to the ROCKY MOUNTAINS is sudden and dramatic. From flat sandy terrain we have climbed a couple thousand feet to a truly "ROCKY" topography. Not only that, we have entered a world where complete mountains are disappearing at the hands of Man.
150 years, I am told, Copper Miners gravitated on a regular basis from the deep underground mines to The TOP OF THE WORLD...a place where pleasures of the isolated Wild West were to be found...fondly still remembered and recognized as The Top Of The World...sans Pleasures.
Please say HELLO to KEN, owner of the Treasure Store named TOP OF THE WORLD. KEN was born and raised in these parts...his Dad and Grandad both Copper Miners.
Ken tells me that there a many Copper Mines in these local mountains...many underground operations, but also many "Open Pit" mines. Regrettably, many of the mines are now owned by Foreign Corporations, resulting in $$ escaping the local economy.
KEN also explained a bit more about the "RESOLUTION" Mine, which has been in existance for many years. The question today is that the locals want an "Open Pit" mine, whereas the indigenous natives (American Indians) say NO, as the land is ancient burial ground, and must be mined without disturbing the sacred land.
Certainly, there many such stories...one for each of the many mines.
One of KEN's treasures...an excellent photograph of one of Clair Chenault's P-40 FLYING TIGER aircraft flown by USA Voluntary Pilots before December 07, 1941, in defense of China, fighting Japanese forces in the SHANGHAI area...a delightful place I recently enjoyed.
As an historical note...this aircraft was the ONLY US fighter aircraft to confront the Japanese attacking airplanes at Pearl Harbor...and was successful in downing some of the attackers.
The following images show a good reason these mountains are called "Rocky" Mountains.
A series of "Open Pit" Copper mines are in this photograph taken from US 60 a few miles from TOP OF THE WORLD.
Made three walks on US 60 today between the towns of SUPERIOR and GLOBE. The entire 25 - or so - miles between the two are one continuous series of COPPER MINES.
This region may well be the largest concentration of COPPER in the USA.
Whole Mountains have been cut away, leaving vast areas of flat land consisting of "Tailings" (Tailings: the soil left behind after the Copper, Gold, Silver...and a number of lesser minerals...have been removed.)
KEN explained that in the 1950s, Unionization came to the Copper mines, resulting in greatly improved conditions for the miners. However, in the 1960s, continuous "strikes" resulted in the US Government turning to the vast Copper Mines in PERU (South America). This essentially resulted in many local mines shutting down.
The significant rise in $$ value of Copper in recent years resulted in re-opening and expansion of local mines.
At least 5 separate mining sites are in the above image.
It does seem like the TOP of the world up here.
This is the only sign of any "residences" up here.
We now approach the cities of MIAMI and GLOBE. Complete mountains are being mined from miles away right into the center of both towns...which have actually grown into one very large modern city, complete with the Big Box Stores, magnificent homes with magnificent views.
...this image is a continuation of the preceding pictured Copper Mine; and, the same project continues for great distance into the surrounding hills.
From US 60 in the center of MIAMI are two - of many - underground Copper Mines.
Please say HELLO to WES and MITZIE, heading into the Arizona playground north of ROOSEVELT Lake, where they will be camping in the mountain tops above 8,000 feet elevation.
Roosevelt Lake is one of four (?) man-made lakes along the course of the SALT RIVER from which much of the water for PHOENIX comes.
From the parking lot at SUBWAY, a mountain top is no longer...
...a continuation of the mine shown in the above open pit mine above MIAMI.
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From McDONALDS in GLOBE, another Blog update is nearing completion.
From where I sit, US Highway 60 takes a turn to the East toward the next sizeable town of SHOW LOW, Arizona, some 80 miles distant. SPIA-2 will be very welcome to provide security and logistics for this stretch of US 60...a roadway I have never before visited.