Cupule Cave

“Cupule Cave”

While out on a trip with Roger Mitchell, we stopped to visit a little boulder cave out in the Mojave Desert. The cave is only a few feet long, but in the center is a large, flat granite boulder. Its surface is covered with cupules and edges polished smooth by touch of many hands over a long period of time. It is amazing to think of how many hands must have touched this rock to get it this smooth.

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Fort Independence Soldier Camp

Fort Independence Soldiers Camp

Back in 1862, Owens Valley was not quite as peaceful as it is today. White settlers were just moving in and starting up ranches. Prospectors were combing the hills in search of that elusive next big strike. The Paiute, Shoshone and Kawaiisu people who lived here didn’t appreciate being forced off their lands and losing access to water and springs because of cattle. They led raids and ambushes against the newcomers to try and force them out. People were being murdered on both sides. The situation escalated and turned into what was later called the Paiute War.

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2013 misc photos

So after I posted the misc photos for 2014, I realized there was a lot of photographs from 2013 that never made it on the site; way more than half. I was pretty busy in 2013. Highlights for me include a trip to the Mt Wilson Observatory and hiking over 70 miles in Joshua Tree NP (in one week). I was out for an amazing 77 days in 2013. I did quite a few trips.

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Poinsettia mine camp


Poinsettia was once a cinnabar mine. Reportedly, the mine was worked from 1929 to WWII, but information is hard to find on it and no production was recorded. It is doubtful much cinnabar was ever mined here. Cinnabar is a primary ore for mercury, which is important in the gold recovery process.

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Harrisburg Flat Cabin

Harrisburg Flat Cabin, DVNP

Back on a cool April day, Dan and I hiked out to a little cabin ruin out near Harrisburg Flat in the Death Valley backcountry. Harrisburg Flat is on the way to the old townsite of Skidoo. These days nothing much remains of that town, or its former rival, Harrisburg, but the Skidoo stamp mill is worth a visit.

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