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This morning we left behind our campsite in California, located off of American Girl Mine Road, and headed for the Arizona border. Immediately after crossing the state border the price of gasoline dropped 90¢ a gallon, so we exited the Interstate and filled ROVER's tank with nearly 30-gallons of reasonably cheap gas at $3.19 a gallon.

It's always a good day when I can fill the tank and keep the pump under $100.

After purchasing our gasoline we headed north on US-95 for about 40-miles, where we reached the turn off for Castle Dome Mine Road. Are you seeing a pattern here? We left American Girl Mine Road and are now driving on Castle Dome Mine Road.

All over the west there are numerous abandoned mines from the gold rush back in the 1870s that still have these gravel roads leading to the mine entrances.

Most of those roads are now located on (BLM) Bureau of Land Management property which is owned by the public, hence the FREE camping opportunities along the roadways.

I think we kind of got spoiled by our first visit to a dispersed camping area with American Girl Mine Road. Sure the road turned to gravel just as we left the highway, but it was rather smooth as compared to other gravel roads we have traveled on.

When we turned off of US-95 onto Castle Dome Mine Road today it was still paved and in pretty good shape. That lasted a whole 2-miles and then we saw the dreaded "Pavement Ends" sign up ahead, but we're still 6½-miles from the camping location.

When we got to the point where the pavement ends I expected to find a nice wide and tightly compacted gravel road like we had on American Girl Mine Road. Nope, not here!

What we found was a road that was 6-8 inches below the desert floor with rock piled up on both sides which made it impossible to leave the roadway to turn around. Once you leave the pavement towing a trailer, you're pretty much commited to going the full distance to the camping spots near the end of the road.

Rather than tightly compacted gravel, the road was made up of loose rocks about the size of baseballs, which were constantly kicking up under the truck. That forced us to travel at a modest 10MPH most of the way.

We took the first turn off we saw that had obviously been used for camping and found a spot to spend the night. We had planned to spend two nights here, but I think we'll leave tomorrow and find somewhere else to stay the night until our reservation starts on Thursday.

Oh well, you win some and you lose some!

That is Castle Dome in the center of the photo which the road is named after.

The rocks on the ground in this photo are similiar to what the roadway was made out of.

That line of rocks behind THE POD designates where the camping area boundary is.

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