September 19, 2012

Holcomb Valley

I was going to write up a whole long post on the history of Holcomb Valley. I was going to tell you all about how when I went as a kid I thought it was the most magical place ever. I was even going to talk about how it was a pain dragging my family up there because they were all convinced I was romanticizing the place. But I don't think you need that many words. It is still magical and romantic and even the most negative nelly had a marvelous time climbing into old mine shafts and amid the ruins of pioneer cabins. If you get a chance, I do recommend reading the history of the place, and if you ever find yourself in Big Bear it is well worth the 10 mile drive. It's the kind of place that leaves you with more questions than answers about the few remains of what was once a boom town, but in the best kind of way. I can guarantee you will fall asleep dreaming of log cabins, gold prospecting, mysterious graves, and the yet to be found Mother-load. (It may also leave you with a strange desire for chili and cornbread and fiddle music, but that might just be me...)

"Guys I'm a statue of a Minder!"

There were two of these signs for different sites that were misspelled. This should be Belleville.

"Hey guys, I'm gonna yell down this thing okay!"

A small hike takes you to one of the old mines. There are two tunnels inside the cave, one is blocked off fairly close to the entrance, but the other goes back pretty far. We've all decided we need to go again and bring a proper flashlight so we can see just how far it does go.

The ghost of a long gone "Minder" child.

This is as far back as we went without a real flashlight.

"hey look the 150 year old mine shaft is falling apart."
"Let's climb it!"

"So uh, now that I am out here, this is actually really scary."

It wasn't scary enough to keep him from doing this though. 
Which is good, because what a view!

There is a second mine (from a later period) that was sealed off a few years back because some kid got hurt. This is all that is left of the entrance. I remember as a kid being able to go inside but the last time I was here was 15 years ago. 

Thanks name twin for leaving this!

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