Do you like to take trips to places where you spent pleasant times in the past? Do you like to do nostalgia trips? My significant other likes to do that once in a while. I like to go along because he is so interested in where we're going. It's fun to see him get so absorbed. I also love to see things that make up part of his life.
He decided that in April we'd head from our home in southern Arizona to Lone Pine, California and the desert nearby. That's where his father had some mining claims (in the desert near Darwin, California). My SO remembers that his mother and father walked and wandered all over the hills near those mining claims. He went along for the trips as a young guy, so he remembers the trips, but he remembers that things were much bigger then than they are now. Sound familiar?
Anyway, we got his mother (who's in her mid-80's now) to go along with the idea of the trip to the mine and away we went.
Here is the Arizona desert near Gila Bend. Wildflowers!!
It's many mind numbing hours from southern Arizona to Lone Pine, California, but the stunning views of the eastern Sierra Nevada make up for the stiffness from sitting all those hours. Mount Whitney is in two of these photos below.
The morning after we arrived in Lone Pine, we headed east, away from the Eastern Sierra and into the desert. We drove to the old ghost town of Darwin and then back west into the hills nearby. We meandered around the desert and discussed where we were and where we should turn. We backed up and tried a different road. Then SO's mother said, "This looks familiar. I remember going past these tailings piles." Over the edges of a couple of ridges, across a small valley, then partway up the other side. We arrived!!
It doesn't look like much, you say? Oh, but wait. It was a place to work the land in hopes of finding gold and other minerals. It was a place where my SO's father spent many hours each year, digging, blasting, and improving as required by the mining laws. He escaped the big city where he lived. He got in touch with his roots and searched for gold as his grandfather did years ago in northern New Mexico.
My SO's mother got out of the truck with the help of a step stool, donned her son's hat, took my hiking stick, and proceeded to explore familiar territory which she hadn't visited in many years.
We found some spots of color near the diggings.
And marveled at the blossoms on the Joshua trees.
Here we are next to the monument marking part of the mining claim boundary. His mother sent us up here so she could take the photo!
The collapsed mine shaft that he worked so hard to dig and blast and reinforce.
The view from the main mine shaft back down the hill to our truck and the "driveway."
It was interesting and fun to wander around and look at the remains of the mine out here in the middle of nowhere. Truly! There were many artifacts and reminders of days gone by--rusted cans, weathered wood, piles of rocks. We wandered and explored and turned over rocks and tin cans. We sat in a chair we placed near the truck. We had a snack, a swallow of water, and a last look around.
Then it was time to go back to the truck and head back to the "big city" of Lone Pine.
We all enjoyed the visit to the old mine and hope to visit there again sometime in the not too distant future (but at least after summer!).
Make sure you get your own outdoor and nostalgia adventures while you can and while those who might enjoy it with you will go along!!