The 2nd treasure expedition to the lost Spanish mine in Rhoades Canyon Utah did not start out well at all. I had contacted Steve our Canadian Projects Director and made arrangements to connect with him in the airport in Salt Lake City. I was flying in from Florida and he was coming from Canada.
My plane almost crashed in Phoenix, Arizona as another plane pulled in front of us as our pilot was just touching down. Our pilot had to pull back on the controls and accelerate and climb, climb, climb which scared the hell out of everyone on board once they realized how close we had all been to deaths door.
We also got delayed once the plane put down in Phoenix because our pilot had to wash his drawers. He was still arguing with the tower for their mistake.
Finally I reached Utah and connected with Steve. We rented an SUV and checked into a hotel to get some rest before our big day heading into the mountains.
The following day we found the Southern entrance to the lost mine Rhoades Canyon Utah and proceeded at about five miles per hour. The path, or trail, is strewn with large broken stone and it makes for very slow driving.
I was driving and Steve was very excited because all the way in the trail was covered with signs and symbols carved into the trees and stone cliffs that had the symbols showing the way to the lost mine we were looking for.
Steve spent several hours wandering through the Rhoades Canyon taking photos of what he considered important symbols. We finally bedded down for the night across from the boulder field in a small copse of trees.
As soon as we arrived at the boulder field the next day we began discussing our options. Steve went off to photograph several areas we were interested in looking at a little more carefully.
We spent the day sitting around our camp across from the boulder field in Rhoades Canyon and trying to figure out just where the entrance to the tunnel system of the lost mine in the trees behind our camp was actually located.
We had discussed the seal stone that was located on the side of the field in the area of trees in great detail. We were fairly sure we would not be able to enter from that area without the use of heavy equipment, so we decided we would have another look at a ledge on the edge of the field the next morning, and photograph the many symbols I had noticed and begin to decipher them.
The next morning we got up, and with our cameras went over to a ledge on the edge of the boulder field to get some photos.
I was up on the ledge taking pictures and Steve was down below me doing the same at that location when he called to me to come down and look at something.
I said “hold on a moment because I have a death trap symbol here that is very small and I want to get some photos of it from a better angle. I’ll move over to the other side.” As I began stepping around the stone the symbol was on, the next thing I knew I had my feet swept out from under me and I went falling over the ledge. I landed on my arm and banged my head against the big rocks on the side of the cliff.
Here I was lying in a hole with a broken wrist and my head all cut up – great fix to be in out in the middle of the bush on a mountain in Utah.
Steve was great as usual and crawled down and carried me out of there on his back, all the way to the campsite where we got everything together and got into the truck to head to the emergency room at the hospital in Salt Lake City.
They treated me great at that hospital and got me into a room right away. As the doctor started to work on me he and Steve were having a great time, laughing and talking about treasure and lost Gold and Silver mines in Utah. All the while the doc worked on fixing up my cuts and bruises and setting the bones in my wrist.
Steve asked the doctor if it was ok to take some photos and he said sure, as long as I did not mind, which I did not because I was just gritting my teeth and trying to get through it all.
Finally after a few hours of pulling and twisting the doc seemed satisfied that he had gotten the bones in the right place and began to put a cast on my wrist.
When that was all finished we shook his hand and thanked him for the wonderful job he had done. We left the hospital on the hunt for a good hotel.
We found a hotel, checked in, and got a good night sleep and then went shopping the next day to replace the shirt they had to cut off my body in the hospital.
We headed right back out to Rhoades Canyon and arrived there in the early afternoon of our third day and began plotting where we thought there would be an air vent on Lightning Ridge. I stayed in camp with the radio, sitting on a cooler watching Steve as he climbed all over Lightning Ridge, bitching most of the time because it was a very hot day and a really tough climb.
Steve was on his way down and I was guiding him on the radio when he started to work his way over on the South slope close to the bottom.
I finally heard him yelling into the radio that he had found the vent and it was just like air conditioning from the cool air escaping from the vent that was being blown in from the North.
After taking lots of photos and enjoying the cool air he finally made his way back to the camp. Needless to say we were very excited about the find and spent the night discussing it and trying to figure out how we could get up there and build a pad for a small machine so we could clean out all the back fill that had been put into the vent to prevent anyone from finding it.