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.