Day 10: The Big Mine and the Long Road

Again we planned an early start but when we woke it took us 30 mins to want to leave our warm bed and hit the cold morning. We did do better than yesterday and got hiking by 6:30 just as the sun was rising. 

Deadmans Gulch


First highway walk

What the?


 Deadman’s gulch was very pretty and we even had a small creek that appeared and disappeared along the gulch floor as we hiked lower. 

We hit Tyrone road and started the first part of a 16 mile road walk. Tyrone road runs along the back of Tyrone mine, a massive open cut copper mine. We walked for about 4 miles next to the mountain of over burden that they had dug up since the mine reopened in 1969. It is the biggest overburden mountain I have ever seen. Their idea of reclamation is to simply stabilise the dirt piles with water drains running the hundreds of meters from top to bottom of the mountains. It reminded me of the mines in the back of Queensland that I had worked at many years ago, just on a much bigger scale. 

When we were going to sleep last night Yeti thought she heard something in the bush near our tent. She looked out and could not see anything so we forgot about it. In the morning as we hiked down the gulch we saw some spots where something had been digging and Yeti commented it looked like pigs. Sure enough as we walked past the mine we saw about 10 wild javelinas eating along side the road. Unfortunately as soon as they heard us they took off before I could get a photo. 

By 9 we had made it to highway 90 for the last 13 miles of road walking into town. Road walking is hard but highway road walking seems just bizarre. I had this crazy notion that it would be an achievement to complete the entire distance. I said to Yeti that she could hitch in but I wanted to walk. Of course this meant she now would not hitch, even if I went with her, she can be a little stubborn at times.

Yeti’s back was hurting her a lot and so I thought that maybe some music may distract her from all the aches and pains. I had loaded the play lists “It’s a lazy day”  by Apple Americana and “Drinking sings” Apple country. I figured these might contain some  songs Yeti may know from her young wild days.

It worked and as soon as we started playing the music we both felt the walking get easier. It did not make the distance get any shorter but it seemed like less time.

We climbed several long hills that the motorist whizzing past would probable have thought was flat. Something I learnt a long time ago bicycle riding is never ask a car drive for distance or road conditions. When you do they will tell you it is a few minutes down a flat road. You head off only to hit a hill and take an hour. Walking only magnifies this problem. When we reached the outskirts of town we stopped at the gas station for a foot and food break. Several people stopped to talk to us and each said we where in town and the main streets was only a minute down the hill. Of course it took us 15 minutes of hobbling to get into town. 

After a quick stop at the post office we headed to the Palace hotel to check in and take a much desired shower. 

As we walked to the hotel we ran into Bumerang and organised to go out to dinner together.  

That night we went to the Toad brewery ad met some more Hikers, Tinker and Sling shot. Uber dude, Popeye and Jenny where also there and had been since about 3. We had a great night talking to everyone and got home before hiker midnight, 10pm.