November 15, 2009

Tin Mine Canyon

The family has been sick since Halloween, so it was great to get out for an early morning hike up Tin Mine Canyon. Andrew spent the night at a buddy's house, so it was just Sherry and I stretching our legs before breakfast.

This canyon is so representative of the Southern California Natural History. We climbed through three distinct habitats. The only downside of the early morning walk was that we really needed a small towel for the morning dew at the rest stops. It is going to be really pretty back there when we finally get some rains and we'll have four or five creek crossings along the hike.

We spent much more time exploring this trip. The first tin mine we encountered had been sealed shut with rocks. The second shaft was a deep horizontal shaft with a sharp right turn after about fifty feet. You can walk up to the portal, but the Forest Service has sealed it shut with heavy iron. The third shaft was way up on the side of a cliff, and like a fool, I risked life and limb climbing up the mine tailings and hugging the side of the cliff so I could get to the portal. Once I got out there, it was another deep horizontal tunnel protected by iron.

I'm hoping we won't tire of hiking in this canyon. It is only ten minutes from home, yet it feels like a million miles from work and the city.