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October 18, 2010 / Steve

Day 285 – Chinese Bath Tub

You may have noticed a break in the activity lately… For my birthday (the 42nd one happened on Oct. 13), Susan and I took a little vacation and went to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park in Utah. We decided to drive, so we broke up the trip with our first night’s stay in Las Vegas. On the way out, I found a ghost town attraction not far off our route to sin city, so we visited the old silver mining town of Calico, CA.

This scene is obviously a mix of old original structure and some that has been restored and/or recreated. The faded-photo look seemed to fit.

Calico boomed during the last 20 years of the 1800’s, and bustled with a population of 1200 people and 500 silver mines, making it the largest silver mining operation in California at the time. The price of silver dropped, and the town was sustained by borax mining for a bit longer, but by 1907 the town had become completely abandoned. About a third of the structures are original, but the rest have been carefully restored under the ownership of Water Knott, the guy behind Knott’s Berry Farm. Most of the restoration took place in the 50’s.

It was a cool little diversion along the way and a good see-once attraction. There are many more interesting pictures that will make it into my smugmug account in the coming days. Our trip spanned from Tuesday through Saturday, and with over 750 photos to go through from the trip, the pictures will gradually make their way onto the interwebs for you to see. As they become available, I will include links to them in the project posts as I get caught up.

Thanks to everyone who sent birthday wishes! It was a great one.

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