This is an amazing place. There is a lot to see here and it took us two trips to see it all. Since then, we’ve been back quite a few times. There are a few scattered cabins in the areas, but Duke’s Camp takes the cake. Duke must have been quite a character.
The main cabin has been fixed up, which is great, but someone also has cut open the gate on the adit and stolen the custom-built ore car. What a stupid thing to do. It doesn’t really have much value away from here. Some other items have been looted from the place. Some of the bottles have been shot up. That’s a shame. Save your history for your kids to enjoy at least.
On our way to another, nearby camp, we take a break. Recent snows have covered this normally dry desert.
We find an elaborate mine claim marker. We are puzzled by all the bottles. We will soon find out this is only the beginning.
We come across a small tin covered cabin.
This is the Old Tin Shack - 1965.
It is still furnished. It looks like the owner just walked away. Or could be looking in the rear window.
We surmise that a guy named Duke owned the place. Here is his old work shirt.
Not far away, we discover a whole abandoned camp!
There is quite an amazing amount of "stuff" out here.
Some equipment was useful, like this generator, but other items are just trash. Duke was quite a packrat.
And what Duke didn't have, he would just fabricate. This is a forge for re-tooling drill bits.
Inside the mine portal, we find home made side-dumping ore cars.
"When completed you can see daylight through this tunnel at a distance of 2200 feet. The road to Gold is long and cold, but few there are who mind it, come look for treasure while you may, for Gold is where you find it."
Even the outhouse has signs.
Out behind the cabins, we find all kinds of stuff.
There are piles and piles of bottles here.
Water tower with water gauge on the windmill pole. You might be able to spot the tiny little "Full" and "Half" signs.
We find a trail of bottles heading up the hill! We look at each other in disbelief.
A better view of the bottle trail.
We move on up the canyon.
Bike in the snow.
Old Sodium cyanide container.
Duke even saved all the bottle caps from those bottles.
These are all Imitation Grape Soda.
Bottles in the snow.
Duke labeled just about everything.
The water tower.
Another outhouse. This one with its own windmill.
The chimney of the main cabin has bottles cemented in to it.
Rain water collection system.
Front of the main cabin in camp.
This place looks like a small ghost town.
Some kind of dummy bombs above the door of the guest house.
Inside, the oldest date we can find is 1948.
The place has seen better days!
Vencom. When only the best Danish Mead will do.
Still some unopened cans of soda.
Pressed wildflowers have long faded and the hands have fallen off the clock.
Hardhats still wait for the miners to return.
Probably more than a few stories told around this fireplace.
Cups and bowls still on the shelves.
Red Devil Triple X Soot and Carbon Remover.
Old telephone batteries. Duke had a phone system out to the mine.
Back outside, we prowl around the scrapyard.
Duke even made a birdhouse for a woodpecker.
We spot some rails headed off around a hill.
Following the rails.
Rails go around the hill.
Believe it or not, almost every tie has Duke's name on it! And yep, there are bottle caps almost the whole way too.
We come upon a sign. 80 foot mark.
The rails head towards a workshop.
"Mark 80 Feet"
"Mark 75 Feet"
We still don't quite know what Duke was up to.
Dan at a culvert.
Rails head into another mine and there is a bridge with rails on it too!
Up on the bridge looking back towards camp. Duke has enough track for a narrow gauge railroad!
On the upper mine dump, looking at the bridge.
We scout around and find another adit. We'll check them both out.
Drift with rails.
Dan on the mine phone.
Drill jacks still in place at the working face of the mine. Canteen still hangs on a nail.
Dan at the mine entrance.
Wandering around the hills, we find more mine claim markers. Most of the bottles are etched.
We finally climb "Bottle Hill". Dan works on finishing the job.
While poking around the hills, we discover that Duke has been here too. He has a grove of named Joshua trees.
Isaiah. There are plenty more....
For some reason, there is a rock circle around these bottles.
We leave the mysteries of the hill and come back down into camp.
Boxcar gives an old floor polisher a try.
Fan and bottles.
Mine chalkboard for misfires.
Boxcar Dan takes a turn on the phone.
We find a shopping cart in the mine! Not much surprises us about this place anymore.
Old bottle in the adit.
Dan finds an old pick.
We find more adits. This one is extra deep.
Duke thought ahead on many things. Don't want to be too far away from the outhouse.
Boxcar checks out the homemade tensioner.
Above camp there is a high wire for, we assume, an antenna.
"Improve the desert, plant a Sierra Clubber!"
We found this old cabin. It looks to date from at least the Depression Era.
Inside the foyer looking into a storage room.
Dan is in the foyer and I'm in the main room. The stove is missing. This place could be fixed up.
"Watch for Rocks". Good advice in the desert.
I did some night photography at Duke's. Here is one of the many windmills in action.
Duke's at night.
Workshop at night.
Light down the tunnel.
The wind doesn't spin this one much.
The high windmill.
Stillness of the night.
On a return trip, the main cabin is looking a bit more trashed.
Last Updated on January 28, 2021 by
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