Architecture v2: Unaccompanied Miner’s Equipment

Second to last stop before catching the PCT. Camped out in an abandoned miner’s cabin, thatvhas since been refurbished for recreational use. The Map said it was a Tungsten Mine, and being on the side of Wolframite Mountain seems appropriate. There was quite a spread of old heavy machinery strewn about, I spent a couple hours photographing, and didn’t even check it all out! Deserves another trip honestly.

Eby’s Stamp Mill, across the river from Belden, CA and just along the roadside. Used to Process Gold from ore, now its mostly a nice place to have a roadside picnic. Complete with privy.

A saw measured for cutting square-set timbers, for the Comstock Lode in Virginia City, NV. I got to take a short side trip out there from South Lake Tahoe with one of the women who was also staying at the hostel there.

Saline Valley Salt Tram Crossover Station. This used to be the top of a system of Gondolas that could transport people and salt from Saline Valley (just west of Death Valley proper, and inside the National Park) to the Owens Valley, and thus the rest of California. In the brief research I did for this I feel like I should’ve poked around a bit more, I was in quite a hurry to badwater though. Will return here aswell.

Spring comes and goes on the South Shore

Freezes and thaws continued to define my way thru MI’s Upper Peninsula. Spring was trying its hardest, its success was somewhat limited to a near permanent overcast cloud cover, and the occasional flooded trail section. The swings between quality of trail maintenance in the UP is immense; from blazes marked on seemingly alternating trees, to unmarked sections where  I could never be quite sure I had just begun cross country travel. I certainly spent more milage of the UP moving cross country, sans trail, than any other bit the trip I have thus far. Both routing around flooded sections, finding stable ice or tree bridges for flooding creek crossings, or just having lost trail.

Hitting the beaches of Superior was one of my NCT high points. The massive lake really moderated the temperature nearby, and gave me my first clean view to the horizon since the endless farmlands of OH. The whole of the NCT as it keeps to Lake Superior’s perimeter is worth the hike in lieu of committing to a full thru-hike attempt. (Mile for mile it’d maybe be most rewarding to do Ely, MN to Lowell, MI)

In Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, I met my first backpacker on trail for the year. It was still a pretty isolated event, the next wouldn’t be for a month, till I had made it onto the Superior Hiking Trail in MN. Heading westward thru the UP also heralded a return of shelters, with some pretty interesting ones tucked about the woods. (Pictures of these may come later, as I seem to have about a month long gap in pictures onboard. Hopefully I backed them up at some point.) from the locked shelters in the Porcupine Mountains, to sitting alongside abandoned (historical) Old Victoria. Some must’ve been built recently, or atleast repaired, as they were permeated with the smell of fresh cut wood. A nice thing in the moment, but frequently serving to return my own smell to my consciousness upon my exit.

Gear Spawls v3: Unsprawled in Shelters (because thats rude.)

This week comes with some extra pictures, since I messed up last weeks post.

Benson Hut, just a little south of Donner Pass on the PCT. The shelters out west don’t get the love they do on the AT, but they are generally super nice. Combining unique construction and eclectic feature sets, I dunno why most thru-hikers out here aren’t super pysched on them…

A little old gem in the Pasayten Wilderness, I didn’t end up staying here, but despite the disrepair I could see myself doing so. Its got bunks, a dirt floor, and a tree on the roof, what’s not to like? Elmo was still keeping up with me fer this one, but the PCT and TK were almost in sight and I was getting a little over-excited to do high mileage.

Not the shelter I stayed at, but Lakenenland had a little adirondack shelter out back, complete with cots, a table, and full window exterior doors. This little picnic shelter makes a better picture what with the sculpture an all. Also I don’t seem to have a picture of the actual shelter…