Camp Verde, AZ
May 31, 2010
From Ryal Canyon we traveled north on Salt Mine Road until we saw a huge mound of salt on our left.
We turned in to a dirt road that led to the pile, and drove as far as a gate. The GPS coordinates were 34 degrees 32” 42”N, -111 degrees 52’ 26”W. The gate bore a sign prohibiting motor vehicles past that point, so we parked and proceeded to the pile on foot. The pile appeared to be finely powdered salt, but on digging into it about 6 inches solid material was encountered. I collected a few pounds of this material and sealed it in a zip-lock bag. I haven’t opened the bag yet, since the humidity at my home (a few miles downwind from Lake Michigan) is quite high in the summer. Mindat.org reports a number of evaporite minerals which are water-soluble and hygroscopic.
While I was collecting material from the pile, Phil walked past the pile on its left, and reported that there are tunnels and open cuts.
It was getting late in the afternoon by this time, and we wanted to get home early, so I didn’t go back to that area. As it turned out, we got back a lot later than we had expected. Traffic was heavy on I-17 because of the holiday weekend, and the Forest Service was doing a controlled burn near the highway, backing up traffic for miles.