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Category : Lonesome Miner Trail

Living at Frenchies: Getting There

Between August 22 and September 6 I lived deep in the Inyo Mountains in an old mining cabin near the ghost town of Beveridge. This was an experiment in backpacking vs. thru-hiking. I’d realized that thru-hiking was a bit of a rat race, and decided to try an extreme version of backpacking. The difference? Backpackers tend to walk much shorter distances and often spend more time at camps. Backpackers had time to draw and read and sit around; thru-hikers do not. I wanted what they had. My plan was to hike in 12 miles to an extremely remote ghost town, and spend at least two weeks holed up at that cabin. I actually started my backpacking trip on the 22st,… continue reading

french spring trail flowers

Lonesome Miner Trail

I finished a solo tour of old mines in the Inyo mountain range of central California west of Death Valley. The “Lonesome Miner Trail” — what the late Wendell Moyer* called it — is 40-50 miles of rough, hard-to-follow disused trail involving somewhere near 17,000 vertical feet of elevation gain/loss. Because I didn’t have shuttles arranged, I added about 50 bonus miles (and 14k more vertical feet) to the route: I walked thru Death Valley to the Hunter Cyn trailhead. That was 18 miles with 7.5 liters of water on my back, only to experience torrential rain the first night in San Lucas Canyon. Ugh! I didn’t have to carry all that water! To avoid what was pretty heavy snow… continue reading

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