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The Gear Grinders became the first 4-wheel drive club to adopt Cerro Gordo Ghost Town in 1985. We won the CA4WDC State Conservation Award for our conservation efforts of the Cerro Gordo Ghost Town for the year 2009. However, it sadly was based on the death of the owner, Mike Patterson.
The owners of Cerro Gordo, Jody Stewart and Mike Patterson, had been warned about that “renegade” Jeep clubs. It was in 1984 when that first fateful encounter occurred, but with unexpected results.. Mike had seen the Gear Grinders as they rounded the corner on Chinese Hill and was prepared to defend his property by any means necessary. Upon meeting the club members, he realized the warning was unfounded. A long friendship was forged that day that lasted until both had passed away; Jody in 2001 and Mike in 2009. They are so missed, but their legacy continues as the Gear Grinders still support Cerro Gordo in many ways, helping the current caretakers, Robert & Sandy and the Patterson family. You can call Robert at 760-876-5030 to visit and make a reservation for a tour; recommended donation of $10/person for a tour helps with continued restoration projects.
We have cleared brush, stabilized the hotel, helped with the renovating of the hotel, built fences, helped repair and remodel the Bunk House and various other and ongoing projects.