The Kokoweef Cavern/Mine Complex

A fee dig today with the Southern Nevada Gem and Mineral Club to the Kokoweef Cavern Mine in the Mojave Desert.

Just a few photos now, more later. Much to write on. Travertine, onyx, and wonderful calcite cave popcorn, a stalactite which shows outstanding cleavage. eBay has specimens like the one pictured below made into cabs. Again, more later.

Members examining what to look for. The operator is donating this material to a school program.


A closer look at the material.

The tailing pile is steep and rocky but provides outstanding examples of this bubbly looking stalactite formation, much still clinging to its limestone host.

Some popcorn from the front.

And the same piece from the back, possibly cleaved when the cavern roof fell.

Well established buildings out of view, the result of former commercial zinc mining. This is not public land. This is private property as the result of a once patented mining claim.

The road in. Desert driving. At one fork a sign points to the right for the Kokoweef. Instead, one goes left.

Steven Bisyak documents everything about the area’s history and will gladly discuss same. I am trying to find a magazine article he referred to, “Uncharted Caverns of The Desert by Phillip Johnston.”

Steven Bisyak explaining the history of the cavern and the mine and his attempt to document its history.

Nice UV reaction on calcite under shortwave. The darker rock is limestone.

Visible light of same rock.

Faced with a bad stretch of road, a Jeep owner admitted to me that he didn’t have skid plates. This was my reaction.


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An upcoming road trip will take me to Boron, California to stop in at Desert Treasures, if they are open. On the outskirts of Boron, the Rio Tinto Borax Mine Visitor Center is next and then on to Barstow to visit the Desert Discovery Center to view The Old Woman Meteorite. Then over the Tehacapi Pass to Bakersfield.

Next day to Shark Tooth Hill and The Ernst Quarries, next to Randsburg, and then on to Ridgecrest to visit Minerals Unlimited.

North after that to Death Valley, then east to Beatty, and then a drop back down to Las Vegas. I will be posting photos along the way if I have cell coverage.

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The Southwest According To My Book

No agreed upon boundaries mark the American Southwest. For my book  I place its northern limit as the 38th parallel,  the United States’ border with Mexico its southern limit. This image shows the area I write about, in the main, with no Mexico or Texas coverage.