New Idria Mine – Exotic Geology in Central California 3

And now our last installment from the panoche area of central california (we previously went on a scenic drive and then saw an abandoned mine and town called New Idria). This post focuses mostly on the few flowers I saw and some more geology.

I should have gotten some better shots of the terrible dirt road my father and I were driving on. We couldn’t get up the mountain to our mining destination in his pickup.

 

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These were the best parts, large drop-offs, uneven track, huge pits and very steep, unstable grades stopped our progress

 

 

 

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You can see the mountain we were trying to get over

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On the way back, there was this ancient adobe building, likely from the early 1800’s before the gold rush

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Some very sophisticated radar facility out here in the middle of nowhere

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It became very arid as we headed back east towards the valley

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But there was some life, I think this is a sage brush

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A pink lupine, this area explodes in flowers each spring, but this year the drought really limited flowering plants.

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But a few were living off the side of the road

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Little blue ones, so cute

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One area we stopped at had a ton of shells from people shooting on the BLM land

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Some were really in there

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We went up this ravine looking for fossils

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Some old, red lichen

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I split open the sandstone, but nothing inside

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These cliff faces made me think it could have been an ancient shoreline

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But we found nothing other than trash, plants and our sweat

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Some yucca flowering on the ridge line

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Clear creek should be running this time of year, but no dice. At least it keeps the toxic drainage in the area

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Empty rangeland

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I wish I knew what they did in that building, nothing really grown out here to dry

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Further down towards the valley, we had to cross the creek. It was so rural there wasn’t a bridge, just these stone pavers

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The Little Panoche Hills

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Almost into the valley

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And then there was a turnout near that white hill. We stopped and I ran up to find a very large fossil and mineral field. I found a variety of crystals and minerals, along with a trove of fossilized shells.

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We ended up finding our sought-after treasure, just not where we were headed to

Next up: Tons of beauty from a stormy Colorado spring

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