Four of my buddies and I headed out into the wildneress with not much direction on what the heck we were doing except to find the kiln. This lead us on the wrong trail and up and over a mountain (at this point no longer with a trail either). Heading down the mountain was not too easy and required walking through bushes but with the kiln in sight at least we knew where to walk.
The kiln was amazing and we had the brilliant idea of taking night shots of it during the new moon. Leaving at night though would mean we would have to find our way back home in the dark and since there was a new moon there was no light in the sky. The area is rumored to be haunted and has a history under its belt of a bloody battle between Native Americans and Western pioneers. After dealing with a pack of coyotes killing and celebrating nearby (which was freaky enough for me) soon the deep, rythmic drumming began. It sounded like native drumming and felt as if it was all around us, including beneath us. Considering we were out in the middle of nowhere, miles away from civilization, this truly creeped the heck out of all of us and was our cue to go home.
Still with no direction of the correct path, we made our way back up the mountain, except this time without being able to see what was in front of us. It was pretty darn scary and horrendously annoying. Navigating through shrub and trees, oftentimes going waaaay out of the way….to be honest I’m surprised we found our way back and still had our wits about it! My friend joked he was never coming out with us again and you know what? He hasn’t! 😛
Half Moon Tunnel
I can hear my friend laughing right now that this trip made it on my top 5 because he does tunnel trips regularly. I, on the other hand, had never gone all the way through a tunnel or anything even near going all the way through. This trip had not begun with intentions of going tunneling. We were actually planning on hiking in a canyon nearby but there it was, beckoning us to come in. We were going to go in a little ways but I guess exploring with someone who had already gone through it before and was also experienced put me at ease.
I had no clue that these tunnels open up into complete underworlds, just like out of a video game with multiple levels. I mean yes, I know there are super-cool tunnels in San Diego, but I didn’t realize that so many start off looking basic and then turn into this. We took so many cool photos too. Definitely deserves a spot in the top 5.
Gopher Mine & Migrant Camp
I am not a huge fan of mines because, well, they can collapse at any time and yeah…..so when I do go in them it’s kind of a big deal. I still end up in them several times a year it seems. I would say the Gopher Mine was my favorite this year because of the beautiful hike and all the cool (not) abandoned homes nearby. People DO live in those homes despite their state so if you head out here, please come with respect. This mine had multiple levels which I completely wussed out on but we did find old scrawlings from the miners on the first level that must date back almost 100 years. I love finding those kinds of things.
What makes a perfect trip to me is an unknown, mysterious location that I have never been to coupled with great company. That is what this trip was. Just the drive to the cave is an adventure enough. The views are breathtaking but man, one definitely got the feeling that we may tip backward. Our guide Coyote, the owner of Coyote’s UFO Repair Shop, made everything all the more special and entertaining. The wind caves were a lovely surprise that we were not expecting to find. Everything was perfect this day, including the first second of our drive when my meter hit 111,111 miles.
What made this trip so unique was that 95% of it was done at night. That and while exploring at night we encountered 5 rattlesnakes! This hike very quickly became like a survivalist movie. I had a blast though. We found an old exploratory mine, cistern, stone dam and had to cross a 10ft deep ravine connected by branches in order to get to it all.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us thus far. Here’s to an amazing 2016 with many new adventures!