Wednesday, July 31, 2013

THE Trip, THE Encore' :: Kennedy Gold Mine, Jackson, California.

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

April 27, 2013   As a reminder, Reflections is almost 3 months behind the real time visits.


We were in the heart of Gold Country California!  I could almost hear the crys, "there's gold in them thar hills".

Man has a second great-grand aunt (let's just say great aunt to keep it simple) whose hubby was infected by the Gold Rush fever, so, a visit to Gold Country had appeal to me.  The ability to combine history, our travels and my family research is such a WIN!

I have not written about this family or the Gold Rush or the effects on the family yet here on Reflections, some day, I must, write in detail, but, here is a quick and dirty summary.


From what I know about Benjamin Jaquis, I don't believe he worked for one of the big gold mining companies like Kennedy.  In 1853 he wrote back home to family living in McHenry County Illinois from "Oregon Gulch, Bute Co, California"  Family lore is that he mined a claim that an old and dying man told him about and gave him a map to.  Benjamin worked that claim, fighting dry conditions in the summer months (you need water for panning gold) and eventually sold the mine off to another miner.  The rest of Benjamin's story is tragic, in fact is somewhat a mystery, and is best left for another post.

Nevertheless, the pull of the tour of the Kennedy Gold Mine was strong for Man and for yours truly.  So, off to the Kennedy Mines we went.

The Kennedy Gold Mine is named for Andrew Kennedy, an Irish immigrant, who supposedly discovered an outcropping of quartz sometime in the late 1850's. The Kennedy Mining Company was formed in 1860 when digging of shafts began with Kennedy and 3 partners.

One very interesting out building was this one, the Oil Building. The building was used to store lubricating materials for various machines.  Seems no one is sure about the structure's shape as the architecture is a mystery. As you can see the volunteers that run this museum to Gold Mining are doing maintenance and repairs to this building.


Before work the miners would change from street clothes to work clothes. After work they were required to take a shower.  This shower opportunity and changing of clothes was to prevent “high grading” (stealing gold).  The Change House is now a museum where the well versed docents explain much of the process of getting gold out of rock and many other facets of the world of gold mining.  This was in the Change House museum, and no, I cannot really tell you what it is, other than some sort of furnace.  Big, and looks like it would do a significant job of heating things up.


This is the "Headframe".  It is 125 feet tall, was built in 1928.  It contains the skips (best I can figure that means containers) which  raise and lower everything in and out of the mine including removing about 70,000 gallons of  water  from the mine shaft each day. There are hoppers to store rock and there is a rock crushing machine.


Some more HUGE equipment, I am in awe, even if I don't understand what it all does.


This building is the office building, now a museum as well. Kennedy Mining and Milling Office was built in 1907, it is a three story concrete building, that contained assay offices, general offices, the payroll office, and in the time before the company shut down there were 4 small bedrooms on the third floor for visitors.


This is another oven/furnace, I don't remember if that was part of the assay office or part of the process to turn amalgam into solid gold ingots.


OK, someone who knows all about mining and gold, please tell me what this is??  I think it had something to do with the quality of gold?


These rooms were decorated by The Mother Lode Questors to reflect rooms in homes may have looked during the hey day of the mine.



The docent that gave us our tour was very well versed in the mine, the buildings, the procedures required to bring gold up from the mine shaft and how to get gold out of all that rock.  It gave Man and I a great appreciation of the times and the business.  The mine produced close to 34.3 million dollars (when gold was valued at $20.67 and $35.00 per ounce).  The mine closed in 1942 when the U.S. Government closed gold mines as they were not essential to the war effort.

If you are interested in learning more about the Kennedy Mine (for example, it is one of the deepest gold mines in the world at 5912 feet),  their web site is here.




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Friday, July 26, 2013

THE Trip, THE Encore' :: Groveland California to Jackson California

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

April 24, 2013, NOTE THE DATE! Reflections is almost 3 months behind the real time visits.

Sadly, we are leaving Yosemite behind.  Excitedly, we are heading to Jackson California for a Montana Rally.  We will be visiting gold mining country, there are Sequoias to see and we will even make a LONG day trip to Lake Tahoe.

Today's ride is about signs (every time we get in the mountains, signs become very important), some small quaint towns, water, and, barns.

Have to say when I see the truck (represented by that blue vehicle) going sideways, I have to take a second gander.  NO, we were not going sideways, we were fine.  It is just an allusion created by the GPS and the scale shown.  Need to adjust that scale.


Barns and an old weather worn tree.


Jolly and Tana were a snug fit through this charming town, Sonora.  Man did a great job of weaving us through this quaint town.  Sadly, we did not have the opportunity to come back and explore.  Has been added to the bucket list.


This bridge is near Robinson's Ferry, State Highway 49 at Stanislaus River, South of Angels Camp.  There is a huge pull off area on the north side (where I am standing to take this photo).  We stopped stretched our legs and, let the fur kids have a potty break.  Nice place for a break.  Beauty and a bit of really cool history, double win.


Another barn, or storage shed of some type, and a cell tower in the background.  The old and the new.


House boat ready to party, grill and all. Currently land locked just a bit. Looks like it is fairly well cared for, painted and all.


The ultimate warning sign system, a 270 degree turn per the signs, 30 MPH.  If you don't see the first sign on the right side of the road, they have repeated it on the left side a bit further along.  Yes, it was a long slow curve.


We will spend the next week at the Jackson Rancheria with our MOC friends.


The roses were gorgeous, and in the middle of April!


And, unusual rigs are always so much fun to see, lots of truck and small trailer, great combo.


We have much to see here and friends to visit with.  This week will just FLY by!



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Thursday, July 25, 2013

THE Trip, THE Encore' :: Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

April 22, 2013 NOTE THE DATE! Reflections is almost 3 months behind the real time visits.

Today we would drive to the heart of Yosemite, the Yosemite Valley, home of the Bridal Veil Falls, the Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls, El Capitan and more!

On the way in we stopped a few times for photos.   I did not record exactly where this was.


I of course spied water.  Really, I did. See what Sony Too found, yes, standing in the same place, zoom.  Water fall(s)!  Win!


How's this for a really cool piece of history??  President Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and a campfire.


This is Bridal Veil Falls, there is a pathway to the falls that takes you up very close and yes, you get wet!  All that mist makes for an interesting effect.  Indeed, almost as if it were a bride's veil.


As you turn to go back down the path, if the sun is just right, you may catch a rainbow low to the ground, do you see it?  JUST over the rocks.


From another vantage point, the Bridal Veil Falls.


Zoom, from the same vantage point.  Note how the water comes down in different ways, in this photo the falls split higher.  Fascinating, right??  I thought so.


This is El Capitan to the far right and left of that is a water fall.  Look about 1/3rd from the far left of the photo, yes, there it is, a thin fall, I believe it is "Ribbon Fall".  If I have that right, you can really see why it is named thusly.


At one stop for photos we ran into (almost walked into) MOC friends John and Betsy and Dave.  You know, it really is a small world.  They were parked south of the park, and we knew they would be in the Valley area sometime during the same day.  But, to actually meet up with them was so much fun.  We all had lunch together and had a nice visit.

The Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls.  Taken from the vicinity of the Visitor's Center.


A close up (zoom) of the Upper Falls through the trees.


Close up (via Sony Too zoom) of the Lower Falls, and you can see there are several falls here, a series of falls the way I see it.


As we left the park one last view of a fall, I believe it is the Bridal Veil Falls, once again.


I am going to end this post on Yosemite by showing you my favorite photo of the day, and actually, of the entire visit to Yosemite, The Upper Yosemite Falls as viewed through a Pacific Dogwood with spectacularly perfect blooms.  This was taken from the area between Yosemite Village and the Visitor Parking lot.  We were tired, had a LONG drive back to Groveland to the campground, Man was setting a brisk pace walking back to Jolly.  But, I saw these dogwoods, and the blooms were low(er) to the ground, just begging me to try some captures.  So, I stopped and shot off several fast photos.  There is another photo over at Flora and Fauna.  (I am posting the link before the photo and post are actually published, sure hope this works!)


We left Yosemite with much left to see and do.  Many of the roads were still closed due to snow.  Therefore, Yosemite remains on our bucket list.  Not a bad place to visit on a re-do, eh?




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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

THE Trip, THE Encore' :: Iron Door Saloon, Groveland California, Where You Go AFTER Hetch Hetchy!

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

April 21, 2013 NOTE THE DATE! Reflections is almost 3 months behind the real time visits.


After our exciting visit and drive in and out of Hetch Hetchy we headed back to Groveland.  The Iron Door Saloon came highly recommended, as in, YOU MUST NOT LEAVE the area before you visit!

Operating since 1852?  Yep, that is what the menu says.  You can read what they have to say about their history, here.


Ceilings can be fascinating, this bellows is huge!!


Sitting at the table waiting for our burger, I shot a photo of the ceiling.  Yep, that is money up there.  The process involves thumb tacks and bills all crumpled and wadded up and tossed hard.  Every now and then, they take all the money off the ceiling and donate it to charity.


Look close, I'll bet you can figure out why I took this photo.  I do so love West Virginia.  I have deep roots there, well, at least back to 1863, eh?? Before that, my roots were in Virginia.


Love this explanation of the name, blatantly borrowed from the web site of the Iron Door's web site.

"The establishment was renamed "The Iron Door Saloon" after the hefty iron doors which had been hauled in on mule back across the Tuolumne River by way of Wards Ferry. These iron doors were manufactured in England and broung around the tip of South America by sailing ship and sold to the saloon as a fire protection device. The idea was that if the town was burning, you just shut the doors and waited it out."

Here is one of the doors.


Oh, and the burger was outta this world, and the beer was pretty good too.



*  The disclaimer, the Iron Door did not ask us to review them.  We were a paying customer.  We had a great burger, a few brews and a nice time.  See my disclaimer page at the top of the blog.

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Monday, July 22, 2013

THE Trip, THE Encore' :: A Few Reasons Why You Don't Drive Tana Into Yosemite National Park

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

The official park position on vehicle lengths can be found here.

After taking Jolly (sans Tana, she stayed at the campground) into the Yosemite several times, I can tell you there is NO way in the world we would ever take a Montana in there no matter what the official statements may say..

For the route on 140 arriving from the east heading towards El Portal, we are too long, if the signs of 45 foot TOTAL are to be believed as well as the $270.00 fine if you decide to try it and get caught.  Yep, Tana and Jolly are too long, almost 53 foot when hooked up and running. However, if you study the official position, it seems you can pull 60 foot combined?


There are tunnels that are less than 11 foot at the inner edge, so, try that and it will be good bye Montana roof.  Check out that height warning sign, nope, Tana is not 10 foot 4 inches at the side.


A couple of rocks protrude OVER the roads, they have most of those cut back to about 13 foot 6 inches. Tana actually would fit under this, but, why??


That stone is so hard, I shudder to think at the roof damage, ewww.  Tana would technically fit, but, just looking at this gives me the heebeejeebees.


This is Arch Rock Entrance on 140 east of El Portal at the park entrance.  I drove Jolly through there and it was, mmm, interesting.  I had a hard time finding measurements for this entrance on the internet.  I finally did find one reference that indicated it was 14 foot tall.  Since Jolly fit through, width wise, Tana would have as well.  Generally speaking, if Jolly and the big butt fit through, Tana will fit through, in the WIDTH.  That said, we could not get here due to the length limitation of 45 feet (noted above).


So, that's my story and I am sticking to it, as they say.  We will keep parking/camping with Tana outside the national parks for now.  Thanks anyway - -