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October 2006 Long Northern California Road Trip


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#11 Mark W. Ingalls

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 01:42 AM

D^2,

This was an inspiring post. Many thanks.

M
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#12 craig333

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 04:22 AM

I visit a lot of mines myself. Some real interesting stuff out in the forests. Speaking of gold mines, most shut down not for lack of gold, but because it became uneconomical to mine it. I don't remember the exact figure they bandy about, but its something like less than 10% of all the gold has been found. Of course theres not too much easy stuff left. A lot of people still go up after floods and earthquakes to see whats been unearthed.

I'm guessing you saw the hydraulic mining along hiway 299? I think its 299. Very destructive stuff. The hydraulic mining at Malakoff diggings brought about some of the first environmental laws. The gravel that was washed into the streams is still heading out to sea. I believe its something like another hundred years before it will washed out to sea (dont quote me on the figure).

It even affects how our rivers flood to this day. The Sacramento River was purposely constructed with very close in levees so the flow would run fast and deep and scour out the gravel.

Amazing some of the engineering they did back in the 1800's. If the captain the engineered the bypass hadn't done it back then, we'd be in alot of trouble. No way you could ever build something like that now.
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#13 DirtyDog

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 06:52 PM

I saw some of the Hydraulic damage on the roadsides but I didn't stop at any of them. I had a pretty tight schedule to keep to get the towns photographed.
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#14 Ted

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 07:17 PM

Here is a shot from Malakoff Diggins taken in May. The whole valley here was formed by washing the hillside away. As Craig said, they closed for environmental reasons, not for lack of gold. There were a lot of streams flowing through this washed out area. Got me to wondering about what might be in the streambeds???

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#15 DirtyDog

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Posted 27 November 2007 - 03:31 AM

Here is a shot from Malakoff Diggins taken in May. The whole valley here was formed by washing the hillside away. As Craig said, they closed for environmental reasons, not for lack of gold. There were a lot of streams flowing through this washed out area. Got me to wondering about what might be in the streambeds???


At over 800 an ounce it might be a good time to find out :)
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#16 buzzman

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Posted 27 November 2007 - 04:22 AM

DD,

Thanks for the great trip report and pictures. I wish I didn't live so far away from CA! This past summer I visited my first old mining/ghost town, Granite MT, near Philipsburg. But it won't be my last, especially since looking at your pictures of old mining towns on your other web site.

Buzzman
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#17 KngBee

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Posted 27 November 2007 - 04:37 AM

DirtyDog,

The trip narrative and photos made me homesick, particularly the far north/west and Downieville. Montana is great, but Northern Cal has some awesome spots, and the best swimming rivers I've ever found. Great photos; I can see how you make a living at this.

Thanks,
--KngBee
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#18 chnlisle

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Posted 27 November 2007 - 03:29 PM

Great trip Dawg. 49 is always a fun place to drive.
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#19 rich

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Posted 27 November 2007 - 08:36 PM

Hey Dirty Dog,

Glad to see you enjoyed my neck of the woods. I'm from Lotus, a little town that is really indistinguishable from Coloma, as you stated Coloma is mostly the park so anyone that lives down by the river actually lives in Lotus. A few history highlights you might find interesting. Lotus was originally called Uniontown during the gold rush days and you can still visit the old Union Town cemetary, a gold rush era cemtary on Bassi Road. During the civil war the town changed it's name to Lotus so as not to appear to have taken sides or be part of the war in any way. That is a local story, I have not confirmed it in the history books. It also used to be called Marshall but that fell by the wayside to uniontown. Although gold was discovered there it wasn't really the hub of the gold rush in the area. That prize belongs to the Middle Fork of the American River which produced the most gold in the area and was dotted with mining towns. The wagon trail that took you from New York to California dumped you into the North Fork of the Middle Fork and then eventually into the Middle Fork of the American River so most weary cross country gold seakers settled in that canyon. If you're ever in the area again and want a good local history guide check out the American River Book. A side note on the Cosmic Cafe's mine shaft is that the cieling is held up by a cross section of old wagon leaf springs and metal window shutters from the 1800's. I could go on but I'll spare you the mile by mile history of the Middle Fork. Suffice it to say that it is the birthplace of California and a great place for history and especially mining history buffs as well as a great place to raft and live.
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#20 DirtyDog

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 01:36 AM

Great stuff Rich! Wow you really do live OUT THERE! I loved that area.
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