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Day shot to a historic Mining District

As the year drew to a close, the Mine Explorers decided to squeeze in one more trip before the holidays were upon us. As is customary, we tried to keep the location within a fairly close distance so as to make the drive not too much of a chore.
 We ended up not too far from the urban sprawl of LA. Only a few hours out. We picked this location as it has a ton of mines indicated on the topos and was quite famous and historic. What would we find?

You don't find too many steel headframes!

Our first find was a sweet one. We were amazed to see the steel headframe, ladder and rigging. This mine was very recently worked and it showed. It's not often you get to climb steel ladders. The underground workings were not very extensive but they sure were interesting.
First off we found that the miners had constructed steel plates which held the support timbers in place. Each was custom welded. A very nice custom labor of love. All the stulls seemed brand new. There were electrical connection boxes with the price tags from a San Bernardino company still on them carefully nailed in place, although someone had taken all the wiring.
There was also a deep shaft with a non steel, rickety looking ladder. Maybe next time.
We stepped over a dead bunny as we explored deeper, finding an ingenious water tank buried just below the surface that supplied the drills with water.
All in all a very cool mine.

Next we headed up the main road past some very historic ruins and a marker sign left by the E. Clampus Vitus folks. We came upon a huge open pit mine and went down inside for a great view of  the workings. There were also some pretty crumbly areas with shafts and winzes that tempted us. Nah.

A steep climb out!

But there was still so much area to cover and at this time of year the light goes fast so we had to hurry.
We headed out only to find our way blocked by a huge berm. We figured a way around and scooted over to find a small tailings pile...humm...
What seemed from the surface to be pretty small turned into a nice little mine. It corkscrewed down into the mountain and had 3 levels. There was a windlass and some vintage bottles scattered through the mine to make it a nice little romp.

After that we 4WDed around the area a bit more, discovering a few more workings that looked interesting but then the light faded and we were treated to a fantastic sunset.
And bone chilling cold.
Time to go. We bounced our way back to the main drag and headed for the warmth of our homes with plans to return for a more lengthy stay already in the works.