Thursday, November 19, 2020

The Elusive Cow Trail

 ebird list

I know, I know, what kind of title is the elusive cow trail.  Well, it is what inspired our exploration.  We have long known that a cow trail exists for getting the cattle off the high country of the Coyote Plateau and down into Bishop.  We stumbled upon the upper part and found one of the cow camps in earlier hikes.  Our quest this trip was to figure out where the rest went.  We thought we had a pretty good idea, so it was time to check it out.  We had been a couple hundred yards up our target cow trail previously and thought it might go.  We soon found that we were not right.  In fact, no cowboy in the history of cowboys would ever try something so stupid with one cow, let alone a herd.  

Yes, this is the side hill we climbed up.

The side hill is prettier from a distance.

We ended up rock hopping on a sidehill talus nightmare as it was better than the brush alternative.  Bother.  Eventually, we were forced back in the brush and then I looked down and saw it.  A beautiful trail was below us.  Grrrr.  We debated heading down and hooking up with the trail, but hating to lose elevation we decided to press on and connect later.  And we did connect later, in fact, a mere five steps later we were on a nice trail, complete with rocked in corners.  It wasn't on any of our maps, and it wasn't a cow trail.  It was a mule trail.  Something used regularly to move materials up and down a mountain by someone who knew how to build a trail.  

A trail, a real trail.  Hallelujah!

So, up we went, to the Lindner Prospect.  Here is where I would normally give you a link to history of the Lindner Prospect.  Here is best and most complete information I found: "Mine(s) - a site where mineral ores are extracted from the ground by excavating surface pits and subterranean passages"  Right useful that was.  

The site was more interesting than what is on the internet.  We found several small prospect holes, some random mine junk, an old processing shed, and fabulous views.  This is a keeper hike.  Even better, we know how to turn it into a killer car shuttle.  Fun for next summer.

This is a rock lined cistern with an incoming water pipe.

Lindner Prospect is up there on top.

An ore loading chute at the prospect.

This is the bit of the plateau we haven't explored yet.

We would be hooking our new found trail up with our hike up to the Grunion Plateau.  We have about a 2-3 mile section that we have never walked before which looks to be a fun series of ridges with views.

Below are a few photos of the Grunion Plateau portion of our soon to be car shuttle route.

The mushroom cloud is smoke from the Creek Fire.  It looks like a back burn.

The white dot in front of the mushroom cloud is the Lindner Prospect Ridge.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Fall Color

We arrived back from Utah at the peak of leaf peeping season in the Eastern Sierra.  Unfortunately, there were many days when we couldn't go out due to the smoke.  Then again there were days when we did enjoy the changing of the seasons, and I wanted to share our highlights from this fall.  I hope you enjoy.