TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Real or a Dream?

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. Winking smile 

I ran up the lonely canyon road, hair blowing in my face:

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. 

Continuing to run, I found another spot to cross the creek:

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.  

Passage way from first floor to second:

Looking down from third floor:

View from 3rd floor:

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)

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