I drove deeper and deeper into Los Padres. It had been raining on and off for about a week, and consequently, the hills were covered in lush green growth and fields of flowers. I had set out with the goal of finding and old mercury mine. It’s always a surreal experience for me to think about how many abandoned mines there are in these mountains. Initially, we may think of the California Gold Rush bringing the settlers across the country, and it was responsible for many of them. But in my opinion, the real cool places are those more obscure mines, searching for minerals that you may not think of.
This particular mine was responsible for a huge economic boom for about 100 years, being active as recently as the 1960’s. It has since collapsed into decay, being overtaken by the surrounding forest and becoming a haven for local graffiti artists. Broken down equipment is covered with rust, plants grow over the caverns with signs warning of imminent danger if entered. The mix of decaying industrial humanity, along with the hand of nature provides an aura unlike many other places and the area is full of nooks and crannies to explore.
Closes Supercharger San Luis Obispo
100 Madonna Rd, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405