so...a couple weeks ago we decided to risk our lives and visit the fabled 12-seat outhouse again. we found it about 2 years ago on a hike, having been told about its mythical presence, but not knowing its exact whereabouts. we magically found it, albeit late in the day after a harrowing hike...yeah, i was doggedly determined. it was a dangerous enough venture that we venerated the area and told it we would respect it and not come back again anytime soon. well, 2 years later was soon enough.
the first part is easy-peasy; a typical hike up an old mine trail above the main mine buildings and workings...past old boilers and dumps of cans. then you make it to the upper reach; past a massive and frighteningly bulging timbered support above you, begging to give way ( now? , over a crumbling tailings pile with a vague trail set on a vertiginous slant hurtling downward a hundred feet and more. you reach the upper mine flats, look upwards and eastwards over that huge hump of rock, know the prize is waiting...and up you go. oh, please, yes, we can do this...we did it before. wait...does any of this look familiar? where are we? have we gone too high? should we start to aim east? is this really the way we went last time? or has the landscape altered...you know, the last few winters and all...rockslides...wait! this looks sort of familiar? ???
truly, this is a dangerous approach; sliding over and slipping down-and-then-up-again loose talus, navigating scree fields seemingly made of ball bearings and marbles, stumbling up steep rock-face scrabbles and oh-yeah-did-i-mention avoiding very deep open mine shafts all along the way. needless to say not for the faint of heart or, well, those who just plain don't wanna die today. several times along the approach i remarked, 'if we didn't know that what we were looking for was indeed up here, we wouldn't be doing this, would we?' there was evidence of rock climbers on the way up; looking to our right we're bordered on our north side by a sheer rock wall with belays and old-style chocks and nuts set in it. but we're not rock-climbers and there's no other way up to this madness (or down) for us other than the mad crazy way we've made it up before, and are doing again.
so, to explain:
this is an old mine compound we're bound for; a building multi-roomed and many-partitioned..seemingly randomly put together and incomprehensible in its architecture. it sits on the edge of a huge crumbling tailings pile on the equally crumbling edge of a gulch of which a creek tumbles far far below down steep slippery and sharp rock. don't even think about it; you can't get there from here. the east side of the building is long gone; collapsed into rubble whether by vandals or mother nature's inexorable destructive march due to gravity. but the outhouse, oh yes...the outhouse...sits to the west, so it is actually what you find first; the building is to be investigated after.
the outhouse is set in a bowl of ground; a moat if you will, accessed now only by a rotted single plank of 1" x 6" leading into the building. the boards on the south-side foundation have been removed long ago by treasure-seekers; coins, bottles, and even guns have been found in old outhouse pits. metal detectors are awesome tools to have for this sort of thing, but owing to the inaccessibility of this place, i wonder how/if anyone has been up there in recent times being able to carry such contraptions with them, but since the boards covering the foundation have been ripped away, i fear it has been long ago plundered. only pine needles and cones, and old dirt are left now.
and here we go...
the outside room with 2 holes all alone...the door was choked with pinecones and tree-bits and stuff so i couldn't open it.
too afraid to reach around the door to try and open it...there could be monsters back there!
the shake-shingled roof with cupola/vent on top. very decorative!
that little plank at the front leads into the outhouse. it's not necessarily a steep 'moat' but still a tough climb up; the outhouse is almost 2 feet above the 'moat' surrounding most of it. a tricky approach no matter what.
this is 5 of the 6 holes on the south side of the outhouse...my damned camera doesn't have a wide-enough angle to get all of them. these pix were taken in high sun so sadly i couldn't see any of them well until we were down. :(
and the 3 of 4 holes on the north side...again, same camera problem. between the instability of the floor of the structure, the door in the way, and my camera angle i couldn't get all the holes. the wall on the left is the wall separating the 2 discrete holes from the rest.
looking under the foundation of the outhouse.
looking up thru the holes under the foundation. what a strange feeling!
looking up thru the hole in the floor of the outhouse from underneath...yeah...weird. i'm not one of those creepy outhouse-peepers, really!
just seeing the old board-and-batten construction of the outhouse, and the foundation.
more of the shake-shingle roof, and 2 holes set by themselves. who for? foremen/important people? were there women at the mine, as cooks or laundresses who got to have their own private privy? don't know.
whoops! sideways! trying to show shake shingles and cupola on top.
3 out of 4 holes again, dammit.
only 5 out of 6 again, dammit!
showing hole in floor under foundation.
do i dare reach around the corner of the door to show the 2nd hole on the right? no! too afraid!
so here there are from underneath! ha! take that, monsters!
ok, here we are at the main buildings. a really beautiful porch and roof still standing there on the eastern side...the very far eastern buildings are rubble, as you'll see.
amazing rockwork on the north wall, and only roof timbers still remaining.
wonder if time or vandals caused that boulder to crash thru the roof? sadly i suspect the latter. :(
a view thru a window.
amazing carpentry...some very sturdy walls still standing strong, with a small room behind thru the high window.
mr grey looking thru the windows on the south-facing side with me inside the building.
just another random view of the walls while inside.
what was carved on the board nailed to the wall between the two windows two pictures back that mr grey is looking at. what does it mean?
the view far across the gulch. an ore chute that used to be part of this complex; accessible only by a long, long-ago collapsed trestle that ran across the gulch. i wanna get to this building *bad*. i can tell there are other buildings and machinery still remaining, as well as a *hole* that may still be open. but how to get across the gulch? we've looked from that side before...the way seems to have vanished in rockslides long ago. hmmmm...maybe someday we'll find a way.
the view across the gulch toward the xxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxx*. below it, on the flat area, is another building, nearly indistinguishable in this photo. hmmmm...ooooh...how to get to it??? another quest for another time, again.
back to the buildings again...a nice view of that porch roof...i was really amazed by how sturdy it was...so well-constructed. so much work put into one small detail, since the rest has all-but-collapsed.
the building to the left of the porch. sunlight messing up my pix. :(
once again across the gulch...my next (un)attainable goal?
rubble on the east side of the building. that twisted doorframe with its ornate scalloped top was rather poignant. such a pretty detail in such a rugged place.
another shot of that porch, showing how sturdy the design of the supports. to put so much into such a small detail...a porch roof that would last forever...
mr grey inspecting the rubble, and that scalloped doorframe to his right.
nearly down, and an amazing auspicious shot...as we gazed far across the gulch in the disappearing afternoon light, i noticed we were perfectly silhouetted on a rock on the other side. wave for the camera! we made it!
so, uh, yeah. that was our death-defying hike a couple weeks ago. obviously we made it down alive. i could have taken more pix of the way up, and/or down, but i didn't really think of it at the time, just trying to live thru it, and also, well......
i don't really want to let on where this is. those who know, already know, but i've done a google search and haven't found any widespread evidence of people finding this place, or knowing where it is.
*that's why there are all those x's up above.
hell-ooooo! this is a 12 seat outhouse at an old mine camp, and i don't know that there are too many of them left. this is pretty damned cool.
so, look at my random somewhat unsorted pix, and be amazed. 'k?