Another day in Spangler Hills. We'll be here for a few days and need to kill some time today. This nearly 89 square mile park is home to hundreds of abandoned mines. During the gold rush in the 1800's there were so many mines dug they couldn't keep track of them all. A large majority of them have either been fenced off or bulldozed shut for safety. It's a good thing too, because it is awfully tempting to climb down a mine shaft and look for remnants of the days gone by. Ironically it is I that has to keep a stable head around these inviting holes. Katie is ready to climb down and explore. I'm way too concerned of collapse and especially worried about the lack of oxygen or deadly gas that could be down there.
We climb back into the Shirley and keep driving around. Not all of the holes have been covered or fenced in. Accidents have been known to happen out here from people falling into the chasms. Eli is smart enough to give it a check, without getting too close. The old boy has been running around unleashed for a couple days now and is loving it. He's a big boy and can make his own decisions.
Prior to heading out I grabbed my metal detector. Gold in these hills still lures people into the hills. What the hell, I've got nothing to lose.
What I didn't count on was the rocks in the area to be laden with copper. My metal detector kept telling me there was something every 4 feet. After a few false hits I gave up.
No matter where we travel weird things are bound to show up. Why is this here? No clue. Just leave the boots alone it says. With the day getting long it's time to rustle up some firewood. One thing I've learned is that you can almost always find someone's left over firewood in established campsites.
Jackpot. Like a couple of vultures scrounging for a meal the wood gets loaded onto Shirley's back. Sierra Nevada pine will make for a fine campfire underneath the desert stars.
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I'm just a guy, with a wife, a dog, and three cats. Watch us travel the country.
Months of travel