90 Photos - Feb 26, 2012
Photo: We came in in the dark of the night and decided to park in this area to spend the night (later, we found out it was private property, but the owner was cool about it)Photo: It was a somewhat hidden place, with lots of hills. These were on private property (which we later learned)Photo: As we didn't know the area, we tried to hide the vehicles as much as possible (without much success.)Photo: Nice hillsPhoto: The area where we parked was littered with spent ammunition casings of all types and colors. I got a few together and took this picture.Photo: Griswold Hills Recreation area. A parking place, bathroom and picnic table with access to BLM land.Photo: You can guess what's the favorite pastime around these parts...Photo: Bare mountains. Inside private property, unfortunately (for us)Photo: Photo: Photo: Farms in the distance. Most of this area is owned by BLM, as far as we could understand. They're also a shared grazing area.Photo: Home for two days.Photo: Our plans included a visit to the remote Joaquin Rocks. On our way to there, the road became impassable.Photo: Half a mile past the ghost town of New Idria.Photo: The crappy 2WD "Sports Utility Vehicle" was no match for a simple rut. We tried it a few times, but decided to abandon the endeavor after having a traction wheel stuck in the air for a few times.Photo: San Benito Mountain Natural Area?Photo: The ruts, in more detail. They're actually deeper than they look in the picture (one of your tires falling in them will ruin your entire day.)Photo: Ladies and Gentlemen: This car is a piece of crap. Don't buy one. Ever.Photo: Looking around the area. Again, we later discovered this was private property.Photo: We decided to go back to Griswold hills and took the opportunity to investigate abandoned houses in the ghost town of New Idria.Photo: New Idria.Photo: What was this?Photo: Eerie place. Not a single soul. Ominous warnings of Hanta Virus everywhere.Photo: Abandoned ore processing plant (mercury).Photo: Photo: Photo: The city doesn't look as bad in this shot (but it is.)Photo: Who's up for some hoops?Photo: The abandoned mine and some ore.Photo: Photo: Photo: OrePhoto: This is a scary place. There are warnings about asbestos, mercury (in the air and soil) and hanta virus contamination everywhere. Best not to spend so much time here...Photo: Population ME. Or rather, US.Photo: This appeared to be an old telephone station. Old equipment (circa 1990) was still inside.Photo: Photo: Another abandoned, crumbling buildingPhoto: Going back to Griswold Hills (new Idria above) we saw this. It appears that something came down on a landslide (houses?) Notice the lonely truck tire in the SE quadrant of the picture.Photo: Photo: Cairn by the road.Photo: Warning to the wise...Photo: Bucks Peak? Sampson Peak?Photo: A somewhat barren place.Photo: Photo: Ready to explore some of the BLM lands... (we found a stinky dead coyote down this gulch, eew!)Photo: Into the WildPhoto: The trail was rugged and not well maintained. This place was also littered with bullet casings.Photo: Griswold Hills Recreation Area, the RV and the car.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: For a moment, a truck with two people parked next to our cars. We were afraid they were going to use the cars for target practice. Fortunately, they didn't.Photo: It didn't take long for the trail to get even more rugged.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: A tractor toy, used for target practice (like everything else here.)Photo: Photo: Please close the gate (or we'll shoot you too). That seemed to be the implicit message here...Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: We found a geocache, completely by accident!Photo: Very rocky gullyPhoto: Lots of hills to explore, everywhere.Photo: We came as far as this. The trail disappeared completely from this point on.Photo: Interesting shadows in the afternoon Sun.Photo: Griswold Hills Recreation AreaPhoto: Photo: Please close the gate and please don't shoot the livestock.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Yes, BLM really wants their gates closed.Photo: What was this? An old mine? As with most things here, it became a target... :(Photo: Excellent star watching conditions at night.Photo: OrionPhoto: Photo: Testing with different lenses and exposure parametersPhoto: MeteoritePhoto: Me, RV and airplane in the night sky. It was a very cold night...Photo: Yeah!Photo: Amateur astronomer watching the night sky. Notice the meteorite and venus shining bright.Photo: Another picture, this time with an airplane and a wider swath of the flashlight.Photo: More silly night pictures under Venus and Jupiter.Photo: Panorama of the Griswold Hills Recreation Area