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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Adventures In The Marvelous Panamint Valley !

I was able to spend a few a few days in Panamint Valley and eventually meet up with a group of folks from the Underground Explorers at the location of a town called Ballarat.. 

I arrived a few days early and set up a full base camp in the Ballarat campground.

With the proximity to various military bases and also Rainbow canyon I often saw jets above which even included the USAF Thunderbirds running some practice routines.

As always, the F-35s were the kings of thunder!

Supposedly penned by Charles Manson, may he burn forever in Hell.

This 1959 inscription was left in the concrete slab of the shed.

I drove some of the high and narrow mining roads to  locate old underground mine complexes

Sometimes you have to work your way through narrow and overgrown canyons. The sound of branches pinstriping your vehicle's nice paint becomes a regular occurrence and less of a worry.

There are also places where the roads have almost disappeared and you'll weave a careful path through numerous rocks. One of many reasons to equip your vehicle with steel armor and a suspension lift.

The stories this old safe could tell!

Great views back down the canyon.

So many times a car would be stripped of its body, wheels and suspension and re-purposed to drive ore handling machinery.

A large ball mill used to pulverize ore.

 Interior shot of the ball mill

I love the old conical rivet work on the boilers!


I lost a nice Surefire flashlight somewhere near here.

Exploring some high, steep and delightfully sinuous mining roads

I am right here! High up in the canyons again,

And soon there were great underground adventures too.

A super-neat steel plate for ore carts to switch tracks at the crossing

A cool old stove left high and dry in the mountains

The ore bin to the right was part of a truly amazing gravity powered ore bucket tramway that started much higher up the canyon walls. Note the large idler wheel at the top of the bin.

There used to be two ore buckets but one was stolen! Please don't ask me for this or any other location.

Looking across and up the other side of the canyon at the location of the station where the ore buckets were filled.

I hope you enjoyed hanging out in the historic Panamint Valley with me! I've got new adventures coming up soon and will be sure to share those photos with you too.

Be safe on your own adventures. Until next time...