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.