Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I Hope You Don't Mine

I hope you don't mine if I post another quick trip report. I feel that Silversand is snoozing due to the lack of reports lately. Hi Silver!

This time I've driven to Yorba Linda, California to pick up my little Brother, Pat, so we can re-do another trip from about 25 years ago.This makes the tc a time machine, since we're going back in time to have some fun. We're heading out to the Mojave Desert, specifically Cuddeback Dry Lake. Cuddeback was used as an emergency landing field for the X-15 back in the day, and in fact an X-15 did crash in the area killing the poor pilot. And there is also an old bombing range just up the road.

We used to camp here and run sand rails and dirt bikes on the dry lake and the surrounding hills, and occasionally there would be bombing practice in the evening giving us a nice show viewed from the top of a hill. The real reason for us to go back is to find an old mine shaft we used to climb into and run around in like mineieacs.

Driving north of Kramer Junction I was in a reflective mood as we stopped to check out the solar array of mirrors used to produce electricity.

It is the largest solar electric generating facility in the world and this picture is borrowed from Wikipedia. I'll return it when I'm through...

Heading up into the foothills we are looking for the mine. I've always wondered why they call them foothills, is there really a foot there? You decide...

For a better vantage point we head for the top of a small hill.

Cuddeback is not a dry lake at the moment, having collected water from the deluge that Southern California suffered a few weeks ago. Where's my canoe when I want it?

A different camera at a different exposure. Funny how that works.

Down one hill...

And up another.

Then back down again as we seem to have lost our mines.

Finally, that's right Brother, we've hit the Mother Lode.

In lieu of the fact we're near a bombing range I've decided to call this the Ol Bomba Mine. I know I know. Now I can't remember how deep it is so we throw our loose change down the shaft, never hearing it hit bottom. And maybe it was just me, or the stale air moving around in the passages below, but I'd swear it said "More, more". Who knows, maybe it was a government mine to begin with.

Climbing down is not as dangerous as it looks. Merely an issue of mine over matter. And if you don't mine it don't matter. Kids, don't try this at home, you might get your Fanny Mae in trouble with no one to bail you out.

Once in the mine we were haunted by the question of what they were digging for, could it have been uranium? Not knowing we decided to glow for it anyway.

As the shafts kept going, so did we.

Soon I had the feeling I was coming down with Alzminers. How did I know you might ask? Well because when I turned out the light my mine went blank.

Feeling like we're negotiating for a modified mortgage with many different twists and turns we don't know which way to go. But being out of rope we can no longer go any deeper, so we went sideways.

No Brother, the Ol Bomba Mine wants your money, not your body.

Soon I find what they must have been after when digging these holes, yellowcake

Yes, I see you've found some too. Let's eat a little to see if it compares to Mom's yellow cake.

Soon after eating the yellowcake Pat is acting like Robert Lansing in "4D Man" as he walks through walls.

Back out in the open, it's time to goof around some. Watch that first step Bro. After crawling around in a mine all day we don't need you to break a leg coming out of a camper.

I've said it before and will say it again, the skies are always awesome over my Outfitter.

Fresh out of the can, no not me the picture. No touch-up at all, it always amazes me what a little flash and different exposure can do for a picture.

Having listened to coyotes howling in the night I wanted to run with the pack, so I did. It was a short run, not being the alpha male I once was.

A desert road takes us to the Ol Bomba Range. It seems from reading the sign that many of the policies, I mean bombs, were unexploded ordinance, otherwise called duds.

Reading the sign left me a little bit... lost in space.

We soon tired of our little trip...

In fact we're two tired to go farther and pulled into the entry of my new re-tire-ment community. I call it Green Acres.

Coming back into the Inland Empire it was a rare day for So Cal. Looking across the valley it seemed as if you could reach out and touch Mt. San Jacinto, a mere 50 miles away.

And Mt. Baldy from the 215 Fwy. Usually a person can be a mile away and not know the mountains are there. What a great weekend it is.

Dropping my Brother off and heading east over Banning Pass I am always amazed at the ever-growing number of these giants. They seem to just stand there milling about, in the wind, milling. And I have a thought about making cereal with them. A guy could scare a flock of birds through the spinning propellers and have instant cereal. And what kind of cereal would that be? Of course, Shredded Tweet.

Thanks for reading,
Dave Rogers

PS. I am chronologically challenged at the moment, that means I'm short of time to respond to any replies that may come my way. So I'll just say hello and sorry to be back so soon. I have a couple more reports to come this spring and I'll be done for awhile to sit back and enjoy reports by others. Have a great weekend, and I hope that spring will be here soon for all you snowbounders.

Originally posted on rv.net 2/03/11

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