After the successes of yesterday there’s not much that can get better.  We begin day 2 at a rather leisurely pace at our roadside turnout.  With our primary objective conquered, we create a secondary plan consisting of vehicular and pedestrian assault.
Goldmine route in Alleghany, CA (day 2)
Day 2 begins from our base camp in Alleghany as we drive to within ¾ mile of Gold Star Mine.

Time: 9:35am
We parked in the downtown Alleghany parking area, nothing more than a wide section of Main Street with a “No Parking For More Than 12 Hours” sign across the street from the post office/museum and a jump from the bar.
Oh the sweet memories of a mobile BaseCamp as we head out for the day.  Parking here saved us the .6 mile trek through this booming metropolis.
Our initial goal was to stop by some of the mines we passed late last night.  But after heading slightly more than ½ mile and encountering the snow, remembering the holes in the boots and the dark GPSr nether regions of the previous night our objective changed to another set of mines.
Downtown Alleghany parking.jpg (300x225 pixels)
Gold Star exit.jpg (300x221 pixels)
Gold Star Mine
Time: 10:19am
elevation: 3,866ft
We park the mobile campsite at the nearest widening of the road, nearest the road that leads toward the mine.
The uphill trek begins.  It sure seems a lot more UP than the previous days traverse on no road at all.
Time: 11:03am
elevation 4,175ft
Hurray, not as exciting or arduous but a definite FIND!  No doubts here.
But wait, a sign says Exit and the gate is locked from the inside.  I wonder…
possible Gold Star entrance.jpg (300x225 pixels)
Yup, trekking uphill about 50ft yields a dangerous and exciting find.  A vertical shaft leading down into the mine.
Photograph taken, consider mine exploration completed and one more off the books.
Hub Mine
Time: 11:47am
One of two cabins visible from the only completely paved road into and out of Alleghany, CA.
Mobiling as far off the highway (and I use that term loosely) as we dare, we park and descend to cabin and mine location.
Hub mine lodging from Ridge Rd.jpg (300x225 pixels)
Hub mine house a fixer.jpg (150x112 pixels)Hub mine bachelor's pad.jpg (150x112 pixels)
A quick peek inside each of the cabin yields valuable information.
The cabin on the left has a bedroom, a bathroom, a living/dining/kitchen room.  The cabin on the right has one big room and old box spring coils in the middle of the room.  One of these miners must have had the civilization that a woman brings to the mix.
Hub mine.jpg (300x225 pixels)
The Hub Mine!
Bill sports the way.
Hub mine safety notice dtd 1938.jpg (150x316 pixels)Hub mine - 100yds in.jpg (200x267 pixels)
OK, we dared venture in!
Deteriorated safety notice dated 1938 was posted some 100 yards in.  Who’d have thunk OSHA could reach back in time.
Bill carefully inspects piping for unknown purpose – forced air?  which was paralleled by electrical wires deeper into the shaft.
We dared only traverse as far as an apparent cave-in area.
Even with that, safety was paramount, as no two of us ventured past a certain point together, leaving one behind to monitor conditions.  We each took turns and were quite satisfied with the discovery.
The initial shaft went straight into the hillside about 150yds, then sloped down about 20 degrees for a drop of 30ft over a 25yds distance.  It then went about 15yds further back where cave-in (or never cleaned out) rubble was almost blocking any apparent passage.  We’d love to find more history on this one.

Time: 1:00pm
Lunch in lawn chairs sitting on a barely roadside pullout.  Yum, yum.  Cans of tuna and pork and beans – doesn’t get better than that!
Next destination Kate-Hardy Mine and Omega Mine.

Time: 1:36pm
We visit the town of Forest, population: less.
A possible entry point for the Omega Mine but too far and too much snow to tromp through in our two hours remaining.  So on to plan B.

Plan B
Roman Mine and Blue Grouse Mine
Time: 1:48pm
elevaton: 4,006ft
Parked the minivan at entry point and set out on foot for the Roman Mine.

Time: 2:23pm
elevation: 3,788ft
Roman Mine
We arrive to within 1/10 mile of the Roman Mine encounter a no trespassing sign.  Desiring to honor property rights we collect our “evidence” in the form of digital photography and turn around.
Roman mine.jpg (300x221 pixels)

Alas, all good things must come to an end and it is now time to head back to the big city with the little stars in the sky.
This was a good trip, an awesome adventure and a must to repeat!
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3 Responses to “In Search of Gold Mines Day 2 (19-Dec-09)”

  1. gary gubitz Says:

    what a GREAT Experience. Thanks for the vicarious joy. loved it, loved it, loved it…. G

  2. Susie Says:

    David, I haven’t visit your website in awhile…looks like you have been busy. Your adventure looks awesome! Love your Sis, Susie

  3. Jerilyn Hinman Says:

    We’re a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your website offered us with valuable information to work on. You’ve done a formidable job and our entire community will be grateful to you.

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