Sunday, December 18, 2016

EASTERN & CENTRAL SIERRAS: Summer Vacation July 8, 2016 (Day 7: Twin Lakes Rd., Virginia Lakes, Lundy Canyon, Dog Town)

So day 7 of our Eastern Sierra trip this past July took us briefly back up Twin Lakes Road from Bridgeport to revisit the happy cows of California before heading south on Hwy. 395 to Virginia Lakes and Lundy Canyon for some wildflower viewing (at least for me, since Gil was frankly more interested in anything other than wildflower viewing). We left Bridgeport around 9:30am and it was a super pleasant 66F. When we arrived at Virginia Lakes around 10:30 am, it was slightly cooler at 64F, but still quite comfortable, except for the ubiquitous mini-swarm of mosquitoes that seemed to materialize over our heads whenever we were in the shade. Highlights of this trip were the cows in Bridgeport and what looked like a juvenile Red-tailed hawk perched on a pole off of Twin Lakes Road, our spur-of-the-moment off-road trip on Dunderberg Meadow Road (dirt track from Virginia Lakes Road) where we encountered the same couple in the white Range Rover that we came across on our trip to Green Creek, and the gorgeous, albeit somewhat sparser, blooms along Lundy Canyon Trail.


The happy cows of California, Twin Lakes Road, Bridgeport, Eastern Sierras, Mono County

Twin Lakes Road

Twin Lakes Road

Twin Lakes Road

Juvenile Red-tailed hawk? Twin Lakes Road


Twin Lakes Road

 Meadow Arnica (Arnica chamissonis), roadside near pastures
off Twin Lakes Road, Bridgeport

 Yellow Salsify or Goat's Beard (Tragopogon dubius), roadside near pastures
off Twin Lakes Road, Bridgeport

 Pastures off Twin Lakes Road adorned with the yellow blooms of Meadow Arnica (Arnica chamissonis), Bridgeport

Pastures off Twin Lakes Road, Bridgeport

 Pastures off Twin Lakes Road, Bridgeport

 Pastures off Twin Lakes Road, Bridgeport


 Twin Lakes Road


Twin Lakes Road


Twin Lakes Road


Our 4Runner parked off Twin Lakes Road

 Shining Peppergrass (Lepidium nitidum), roadside near pastures
 off Twin Lakes Road


 English Plantain (Plantago lanceolata), roadside near pastures 
off Twin Lakes Road

English Plantain, Twin Lakes Road


Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), roadside near pastures
off Twin Lakes Road
  
 Virginia Lakes Road

Virginia Lakes Road


 Virginia Lakes Road






 Virginia Lakes Trailhead

Virginia Lakes Trailhead

Virginia Lakes Trailhead


 Western Blue Flag (Iris missouriensis), Big Virginia Lake


 Western Blue Flag (Iris missouriensis), Big Virginia Lake


 Big Virginia Lake


 Big Virginia Lake


 Big Virginia Lake


 Jessica's Stickseed/Small-Flowered Stickseed (Hackelia micrantha)
Off banks of Virginia Creek, Big Virginia Lake


 Virginia Creek


 Trail near Virginia Creek


Virginia Creek


Rosy Pussytoes (Antennaria rosea), Virginia Lakes


 Shrubby Cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa), Virginia Lakes


 Sticky Cinquefoil (Drymocallis glandulosa), Virginia Lakes


 Meadow Penstemon (Penstemon rydbergi), near Virginia Creek


 Brewer's Mountain Heather (Phyllodoce breweri), along banks of Virginia Creek


Western Wallflower (Erysimum capitatum), Virginia Lakes


False Solomon's Seal (Maianthemum stellatum), Virginia Lakes   


 Mountain Monardella (Monardella odoratissima), Virginia Lakes


Timberline Phacelia (Phacelia hastata), Virginia Lakes


 California Dock (Rumex californicus), Virginia Lakes


Sulfur Buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum), Virginia Lakes


 Mountain Snowberry (Symphoricarpos rotundifolius), Virginia Lakes


 Cute little squirrel (unidentified), off parking lot at Virginia Lakes


Turnoff from Virginia Lake Road to Dunderburg Meadow Road


Dunderburg Meadow Road


Dunderburg Meadow Road


Dunderburg Meadow Road


Dunderburg Meadow Road


Dunderburg Meadow Road


Sierra Angelica (Angelica lineariloba), Dunderburg Meadow Road


Hoary Aster (Machaeranthera canescens), Dunderburg Meadow Road


Dusty Maidens (Chaenactis douglasii var. douglasii), Dunderburg Meadow Road


Mountain Monardella (Monardella odoratissima), Dunderburg Meadow Road


Sulphur Buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum), Dunderburg Meadow Road


Lupine species, Dunderburg Meadow Road


Showy/Royal Penstemon (Penstemon speciosus), Dunderburg Meadow Road


Bridge's Penstemon (Penstemon rostriflorus), Dunderburg Meadow Road


Rayless Daisy (Erigeron aphanactis), Dunderburg Meadow Road


Turnoff from Dunderburg Meadow Road back to Virginia Lakes Road


Virginia Lakes Road


 Shining Pepper Grass (Lepidium nitidum), Virginia Lakes Road


 Hoary Aster (Machaeranthera canescens), Virginia Lakes Road


 Mule Ears (Wyethia mollis), Virginia Lakes Road


 Leichtlin's Mariposa Lily (Calochortus leichtlinii), Virginia Lakes Road
 
 Mule Deer, Virginia Lakes Road


Virginia Lakes Road


 Wyoming Paintbrush (Castilleja linariifolia), Virginia Lakes Road


Brewer's Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja applegatei ssp. pallida),
Virginia Lakes Road


 Brewer's Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja applegatei ssp. pallida) and Leichtlin's Mariposa Lily (Calochortus leichtlinii), Virginia Lakes Road


 Burn area of the June 2016 Marina Fire near Lee Vining off Hwy. 395


 Mono Lake


 Mono Lake


Beautiful log cabin home for sale off Lundy Lake Road


  Lundy Lake


 Beaver dams in Mill Creek off Lundy Canyon Trail


 Beaver dams in Mill Creek off Lundy Canyon Trail


 Common Horsetail (Equisetum arvense), Lundy Canyon Trail


 Water Buttercup (Ranunculus aquatilis), Mill Creek, Lundy Canyon Trail


Large Mountain/Tiling's Monkeyflower (Mimulus tilingii) next to Mill Creek, 
Lundy Canyon Trail

 Naked Buckwheat (Eriogonum nudum var. deductum), Lundy Canyon Trail


Wood's Rose (Rosa woodsii var. ultramontane), Lundy Canyon Trail


 Leichtlin's Mariposa Lily (Calorchortus leicthtlinii), Lundy Canyon Trail
 
 Giant Red Paintbrush (Castilleja miniata), Lundy Canyon Trail


 Tobacco Brush (Ceanothus velutinus), Lundy Canyon Trail


 Bush Chinquapin/Sierra Chinquapin (Chrysolepis sempervirens), Lundy Canyon Trail
 
 Anderson's Thistle (Cirsium andersonii), Lundy Canyon Trail

 Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolius), Lundy Canyon Trail

 Richardson's Geranium (Geranium richardsonii), Lundy Canyon Trail


 Sierra Tiger Lily (Lilium parvum), Lundy Canyon Trail


Mill Creek off Lundy Canyon Trail


 Mill Creek


 Mill Creek


 Beaver dams in Mill Creek


 Mill Creek


 Beaver dams in Mill Creek


 Beaver dams in Mill Creek




 Mill Creek


 Northern Goldenrod (Solidago multiradiata), Lundy Canyon Trail

 Rangers Buttons (Sphenosciadium capitellatum), along Mill Creek off Lundy Canyon Trail


 White Clover (Trifolium repens), Lundy Canyon Trail


 Cow's Clover (Trifolium wormskioldii), Lundy Canyon Trail
  
 Sierra Larkspur (Delphinium glaucum), Lundy Canyon Trail
    
 Coulter's Daisy/Large Mountain Fleabane (Erigeron coulteri),
Lundy Canyon Trail


 Lundy Canyon Trail
   
Mill Creek off Lundy Canyon Trail 


Mill Creek off Lundy Canyon Trail 


Mill Creek off Lundy Canyon Trail 


Mill Creek off Lundy Canyon Trail 


 Mill Creek off Lundy Canyon Trail

Mill Creek off Lundy Canyon Trail 


 Mill Creek off Lundy Canyon Trail


Mill Creek off Lundy Canyon Trail 


Mill Creek off Lundy Canyon Trail 


 Mountain Monardella (Monardella odoratissima), Lundy Canyon Trail


Bridge's Penstemon (Penstemon rostriflorus), Lundy Canyon Trail 


 Sierra Rhein Orchid (Platanthera leucostachys), Lundy Canyon Trail

 American Brooklime (Veronica americana), Lundy Canyon Trail
  

Cabin off Lundy Lake Road 


 Descending Lundy Lake Road, with view of Mono Lake in the foreground


 Dog Town marker off Hwy. 395, seven miles south of Bridgeport. Nothing much left of this gold mining town of yore except for the marker. Here's a blurb from Wiki on Dog Town's history:

History[edit]

The town was established in approximately 1857 by Carl Norst as a placer mining camp.[4] By 1859, a group of Mormons had arrived as miners at the site and a mining camp arose.[3] Dog Town became the site of the first gold rush to the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada. Prospectors rushed here after hearing rumors of gold being washed out near Mono Lake. A small camp and trading center sprung up immediately. Dogtown did attract attention to the area as a whole, including the subsequent discoveries of much richer gold deposits in nearby areas such as BodieAurora and Masonic.

Town name[edit]

The name "Dogtown" was often applied by miners to camps where living conditions were miserable.[3] It was derived from a popular miner’s term for camps made of huts. A cemetery and ruins of the makeshift dwellings that once formed part of the “diggings” here are all that remain of this rugged, yet historically significant town; making the name "Dogtown Diggings."
It was also said that the town got its name from the amount of dogs there actually were in the town. According to passed down history, a woman had come to the town with her three dogs which began breeding. Then as she found that the male miners felt alone without their families, she sold them the puppies for pinches of gold. This then led to even more puppies being born and populating the town, hence the name Dog Town.

Mining success[edit]

Dog Town was said to have produced the largest gold nugget ever found on the Sierra’s eastern slope. However, its overall gold production was not extensive. Within a couple years of its establishment, the town was abandoned as miners left in search of more profitable strikes. Nearby, the more appealing and profitable town of Monoville was booming, eventually expanding to a population of 700 pioneers.
In its prime from 1849 to the turn of the century, Dog Town was also one of the biggest hydraulic mining camps in California. Hundreds of men operating giant hoses equipped with rotating nozzles washed down vast mountain slopes in search of gold.

Today[edit]

As of 2005, the surviving remnants of Dogtown are the walls of several stone huts, a few roof timbers, and a single gravesite. The ruins have been mildly vandalized. All that remains of old Dogtown are scattered building foundations and a few wooden structures on the verge of collapse. Surrounding ranches and three homes of relatively recent vintage along French Gulch Creek occupy what once was a riotous mining camp.
People today still continue to search for gold in Dog Town. While the older miners gave up on striking riches there, prospectors insist that not all the gold was taken and some still remains in those hills and old diggings.
The site is registered as California Historical Landmark.[2] A landmark plaque by the side of nearby U.S. Highway 395 marks the location.
Dog Town’s ruins and its commemorative plaque is located on Highway 395 at post mile 69.5 (7 miles south of Bridgeport.)


Dog Town 


 Dog Town 

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