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.
These were the best parts, large drop-offs, uneven track, huge pits and very steep, unstable grades stopped our progress
You can see the mountain we were trying to get over
On the way back, there was this ancient adobe building, likely from the early 1800’s before the gold rush
Some very sophisticated radar facility out here in the middle of nowhere
It became very arid as we headed back east towards the valley
But there was some life, I think this is a sage brush
A pink lupine, this area explodes in flowers each spring, but this year the drought really limited flowering plants.
But a few were living off the side of the road
Little blue ones, so cute
One area we stopped at had a ton of shells from people shooting on the BLM land
Some were really in there
We went up this ravine looking for fossils
Some old, red lichen
I split open the sandstone, but nothing inside
These cliff faces made me think it could have been an ancient shoreline
But we found nothing other than trash, plants and our sweat
Some yucca flowering on the ridge line
Clear creek should be running this time of year, but no dice. At least it keeps the toxic drainage in the area
I wish I knew what they did in that building, nothing really grown out here to dry
Further down towards the valley, we had to cross the creek. It was so rural there wasn’t a bridge, just these stone pavers
The Little Panoche Hills
Almost into the valley
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.
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