On a previous Salt Tram trip I had designed a sticker to share with the others.
Linus made enough for everyone and generously gave two to each person. Kevin was the first to apply his!
On the Rover Linus had a collection of similar stickers that inspired the updated 2010 design.
Soon we were off towards Manzanar where we'd turn eastward on the road that crosses a WW-2 era runway. Kevin told us how it had once been used by an autocross group that also helped with maintenance to keep the concrete free of weeds. Before long we were parked at the base of the canyon where a steep trail lead upwards, gaining some hard won altitude to reach the first structure.
Check out how high above the desert floor Kevin is as he enjoys a brief respite from the sun's steady blaze.
Here's Dave using some canyoneering techniques :) to stay upright on the loose steep trail.
Hey! Look how high we are now!
Simply put, the mines are unbelievable. Passageways, large fissures cleared of ore and kept open with a forest of huge timber beams, small railways for ore carts, fluttering bats, artifacts and more awaited us. Later on Alan told us how he knew where to drop numbered tennis balls down a shaft on this side of the mountain and then go to the mine on the other side to find some of the balls had made it into that mine!
Linus investigating the source of a breeze of cool fresh air in a side shaft
Kevin showing us his super human strength as he holds up the weight of the mountain.
Jodi called this part of the mine Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
We decided that this shaft was where the Morlocks were plotting the best way to come out and capture us for their next big meal......
Once back outside we enjoyed the warm sun for a bit before heading back down to our vehicles and driving to the other mine. We could easily see more high on the slopes that we could explore on subsequent trips.
The Reward Mine has an enormous pile of tailings near the entrance that make for an ideal camp spot. Once we had the vehicles situated we entered the enormous horizontal entrance shaft. You can find some YouTube videos of people actually driving their trucks in there but it stirs up far too much dust to be enjoyable. On our trek through the mine we saw a lot of new survey markings in orange paint. Maybe the current price of gold will be cause for working the mine again?
This crazy looking vertical shaft is the connector to the Brown Monster that allowed gold ore to be more easily transferred to trucks to haul it out. It is also where some of the tennis balls made their way down!
Purely by coincidence we headed out of the mine at 4:30 PM and there was Alan to greet us, exactly on time!
We took time to check out each other's rigs including Dave's sweet Adventure Trailer
Soon we were collaborating on dinner with flank steak, cold Newcastle Beer in a Keg and other great delights. Before long we were ready to turn in and I got to spend my first night in my new trailer's tent.