Ray, Arizona, photographs of how it is (or isn't) in 2001.
Title graphic: Ray-Sonora, Arizona

Sonora Exhibit at ASU

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.Ray-.Sonora: The Area Today

In spring, 2001, my family and I visited Arizona. As part of the trip we went past the .Ray Mine on state route 177 from .Kearny to .Superior, Arizona. This compressed air donkey engine, on display in .Kearny, was used in the underground mine to avoid carbon monoxide problems. It was still in use around 1945. On the way to .Superior, we stopped several times--the first where we could take pictures of flowers and the mine overburden.

Donkey engine from underground Ray Mine

We drove past tailings piles that seemed to be flat topped mountains. The old dirt road to .Ray followed the stream bed which I believe is just this side of the tailings pile in the next picture. As I recall, the railroad was on one side of the stream and the road on the other. And of course in the lower reaches of .Mineral Creek the water was rust colored from the leaching plant in .Ray. Now the huge tailings piles are the mountains.

Tailings pile -- overburden, south of Ray Mine

This view is from the west side of the pit looking west--near the observation area. This would be somewhere on the far side of .Sonora looking away from .Ray-.Sonora area. This springtime picture shows the results of a number of good rains.

Flowers to the west of the Ray Mine

And here is a view the opposite direction and across the road from the first picture. This was taken from the observation area that I understand is now closed.

Ray Mine from the observation station.

At the top of the picture you can see the .Dripping .Springs Mountains vegetation. To the right, downstream, were the large tailings piles.

The next picture shows .Ray .Mine from bottom to top; from the pool of water at the bottom to the untouched .Dripping .Springs .Mountains in the background.The untouched cliff (to the upper left) is probably part of the original surface. If it is the piece of land I believe it is, it was about a mile upstream from downtown .Ray and was a place I climbed and explored as a kid. A road ran at the foot of the talus and alongside .Mineral .Creek. A slice of this picture shows more detail (96kbyte jpeg).

Top to bottom view shows a bit of original land of 'the old days.'

And here is .Teapot Mountain again. It is still beautiful country. And given 40 years, I suspect the area will take on the aspect of an antique, a mark of how it used to be. "News": Mining concerns are trying for a land swap so they can mine from this hole toward the White Canyon Wilderness area which would remove the area from which these photos were taken. Also, I believe production has ceased except for leaching operations. Jan, 2003.

Teapot Mountain, spring 2001

A state wilderness area has an access just up the road from here just this side of the little eight house settlement near Battle Ax Road, AZ. You can visit (virtually) the .White Canyon Wilderness if you wish.

There are plenty of safety tips to keep in mind when driving in the desert, especially a wilderness area. Keeping extra water and gas in the car is an absolute necessity, and it is good advice to avoid desolate areas in the summer months when the heat is extreme. Even if you car has had a recent Title Max title loan appraisal, it is always a good idea to have a mechanic give it a look over before a desert excursion.

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Assembled by ovk. Last updated 9/27/2017.