Way back in 2001, I went on a road trip through the Mojave Preserve, Death Valley, and parts of Arizona, but the first stop I make was the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. I have looked through my archives, and it seems that the only photos I have remaining from this trip are from the Bristlecones. As sad as it is to have lost all those photos, I am glad to have the Bristlecone series. My visit was a wonderful experience, and I have been meaning to go back ever since, but I just haven’t found the time.
Once again, I’m going through some old negatives and scanning them. This time, I came across photos from a hike that I did to Lundy Mine and ghost town, in the Eastern Sierra Nevada here in California. The date was sometime in the fall of 2003, either late September or early October. I was living and working in Yosemite National Park, and into ghost towns at the time, and someone told me about an abandoned mining town above Lundy lake.
Lundy lake is easy enough to find. Just North of Lee Vining on I395, there is a road that takes you straight to it. My girlfriend and I drove out there at some point in the summer with high hopes of finding a little-known ghost town, just a short drive away from the much more popular Bodie. But that first time, we went home mostly disappointed. There is a campground on the far side, and trails that lead up into the valley. We found the moldering remains of homes, rusted out cars, stoves, that kind of thing. We saw evidence of beavers living in the creek but no evidence of the mining town. The campground attendant didn’t seem to know anything about a mining town either. We assumed that if the ghost town existed, it was either much farther up the valley, or had simply decayed to nothing. As we drove away, we happened to spot a trail leading up the mountain on the other side of the lake, and we knew that was the trail we should have taken.
A month or so later, we came back, ready for a much harder hike. The first mile was the hardest; straight up with no tree cover at all. Then we came to a little wooded valley with a creek running through it, and the going got easier. It was about three miles of uphill hiking, though, before we reached the ghost town. There is not much left of Lundy ghost town anymore, but what is there is fascinating.
I took the above photos with a Nikon F series SLR. I remember that I did have a Lomo with me as well, so I might have more photos to publish in the future. As you can see from the pictures, the largest artifact remaining is the mine railway, and a tunnel going into the side of the mountain. We did see one other building down in the valley, but it was too far off of the trail, and we had gotten started too late in the day to investigate. Indeed, while we were there, the sun was beginning to set. We had just enough time to hike up to nearby Oneida Lake before heading back.
I had planned on returning to Lundy one day, and perhaps I will.
In the latest issue of Bay Nature magazine, there was a great article about Eden Landing Ecological Reserve. Eden Landing is on the San Francisco Bay Trail, and it is a section that I have been meaning to visit for a long time, but I just couldn’t get around to it. On a map, Eden Landing looks strange. I knew that it was a vast wetland area, but I really had no idea what to expect. But I am so glad that I went.
Eden Landing was formerly a settlement, founded in 1854. The location was bought a year later by Richard Barron, who changed the name to Barron’s Landing, and it seems that the name was later changed to Edendale later, but I can’t seem to find an exact date. In any case, I like the name Eden Landing.
The big industry here was salt. In the pictures below, you can see some of the ruins of the salt works that still remain.
Recently, my girlfriend and I took a trip to Seattle, and I will have plenty of photos to show you. I’m re-building my website right now, so it might take a while to get to all of them, but I wanted to start with this short abstract series that I did in Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island. Bloedel Reserve is an enchanting forest/botanical garden/wildlife preserve. When I was researching places to go near Seattle, I immediately knew we had to go there. Getting there without a car turned out to be easy. We just took the ferry over to Bainbridge Island, and there was a bus waiting for us at the ferry terminal.
As I said, I’ll tell you more about the gardens and forests in another post, but I wanted to share these abstracts. I go through fazes with abstract photography, but I think I’m getting better at it. In the image above, I wanted to show how the light falls into the cool and shady forest, and how it almost has weight. It took me several tries to get it right, of course, but I actually feel proud of this image. I no longer feel like I’m just waving my camera around and hoping for the best.
I have been living in the Bay Area for almost ten years now, and I see Alcatraz island all the time. I always knew that I would get around to visiting eventually. I have been to most of the touristy places in San Francisco, but Alcatraz is a little bit harder to get to. You have to buy tickets in advance and take a ferry. You can’t just go over there on a whim. Besides, it always looks so grim from a distance, did I really want to go there that badly?
Well, currently there is an installation art exhibition by the great artist and activist Ai Weiwei. The exhibit will end on April 26, 2015, so as of this writing, there is very little time left to go see it. For me, this was the perfect excuse to go and visit Alcatraz, and the infamous prison that is now such a popular tourist destination.