About 12 years ago, my friend Tom recommended I find this ghost town called “New Idria” in the middle of California. It’s an abandoned quicksilver mining town about 160 miles southeast of San Francisco. It certainly piqued my interest, and I have looked for it many times. Before the age of Google maps and smart phones and GPS, all I had were some paper charts that were very hazy in that region of the state, so I failed in my attempts. Finally, though, this last weekend, I succeeded in finding my white whale.
It was pretty much a perfect day - the temperature couldn’t have been more than 85F, apparently a little cooler than it had been around there recently. Hardly any wind to speak of, and there was no traffic on the important parts.
I was very pleased with my photos–nice colors and textures in some of them. My little shockproof and waterproof Fujifilm Finepix XP really came through for me. You can see that there was a fire there recently–I guess around 3 weeks earlier, some kids torched a few of the buildings. Damn kids. Also hanging around the place was some squatter named “Castro”. I guess he comes around on his Quadrunner and shoots his hunting rifle to scare people (I didn’t see the guy personally, but these other riders I ran into there filled me in about him). Somebody was shooting guns all over the place though, despite the “No Hunting” signs posted all over the place. This area really does feel like it’s outside of anyone’s jurisdiction; the road becomes unmaintained for the last two miles into the town.