Some time ago, I can’t remember when, I heard about some remnants of a mining company that used to be located in Trabuco Canyon. I completely forgot about it. Then some time later, I can’t even remember when, perhaps a month ago, maybe 6, while driving through Trabuco Canyon, I caught a glimpse of stone ruins in the canyon wall. Perhaps I was in a hurry, probably having just finished up a run. I don’t recall. But I never saw the ruins again. Not that I looked for them. I kind of thought I didn’t really see them. I actually wondered if perhaps, I was dreaming, and no such ruins existed.
Now it may seem odd that I might not be clear on whether something was a dream. Believe me. I have a vivid dream life. I dream every night, and recall lots. Often I need to think twice whether something was real or a dream. Still, this morning, I decided to go for a run in search of the mining company. Imaginary or real ruins, I wanted to know.
I drove the first three miles into the canyon. I parked next to another parked car and set off up the canyon road with a warm wind blowing against my face. I really had no idea where these ruins would stand, except for the fact that I knew they were after the 3 mile mark. At least they were in my dream.
My eyes scoured the canyon wall to my left, and when I reached the Holy Jim Fire Department, I knew that I had either missed them, or the ruins did not exist. In the Holy Jim lot, I ran down to the creek to wash my hands. The creek was still, like a dark piece of glass reflecting the barren winter forest:
Off through the trees, I spied the two cabins that I read recently had burned to the ground. It was a sad sight. And it still smelled of smoldering fire:
Exploring the fire remains renewed my interest in searching out the mining company. Careful to kick out the back and not drag my feet, I concentrated even harder on the canyon walls on my trip back. I stopped for anything that looked unusual. I did spot something deep within the trees. After some bushwhacking and heavy stomping through foot deep leaf litter, I came upon this tree house:
Yes, I considered climbing up into this tree house, but moved onward instead, keeping on track with my original plans. The brush grew thicker and the scratches on my legs multiplied when I decided to cross the creek back to the canyon road.
I tromped through more brush and leaf litter when I eventually came upon a small foot path. I ran that for a bit. It took me up into a clearing, and off to the side, there they were! The retaining walls of what looked like a three story building. I worked up a good sweat confirming that these ruins were real and that I did not see them in my dreams.
I LOVE it when I search out something in the wilderness and find it. Turns out I found the remains of The Santa Ana Tin Mining Company (incorporated in 1901). Funny thing, I located a road right out of there directly to the canyon road when I left. Even funnier, directly across the creek, standing on the canyon road, I could not see even a hint of these ruins.
Fun day running. (4.75 miles logged)