During one of our morning walks this week, my friend Michelle mentioned an old abandoned mine up in Garner Valley that her kids love to go play around in. I was ALL over that, because Luke has a big fascination with mines and caves and such, so we decided to get together after school today, pile my two kids and her three into her SUV, and drive up there.
Just before we got to the mine we stopped at a rocky place where rain and snowmelt sometimes wash through, forming streams and waterfalls and little ponds. There wasn’t much water there this time of year, but the runoff has eroded the stones into fantastically beautiful shapes. The kids frolicked there for a while, scampering around the rocks like mountain goats.
Then we headed on to the mine itself. I don’t know what they were originally mining there, but my guess would be quartz; there’s a lot of that in these mountains. Nowadays it’s mostly full of bats.
It was satisfyingly dark and cavey, but rather small, with three entrances that met in the middle. Once they’d covered that, and amused themselves by harassing the bats for a while with a flashlight beam, Luke checked out the old pieces of machinery lying around while the other kids scrambled around the rocks and fallen trees.
After that we drove down to Lake Hemet to feed the ducks. Here’s a view of the lake from the road near the old mine:
In the seventeen years I’ve lived in Anza, I don’t think I’ve ever walked Lake Hemet’s shoreline before. I was surprised by how pretty it was.
Michelle had supplied two loaves of bread for the outing, but we could only find one lone duck to bestow them on. So the three boys decided to hike along the shore to check out a dam at the far end, and I went along as the designated grup.
The sun was setting as we left for home, and Luke was already negotiating plans for a return trip. I’d like to come back after a rain or snow, when the waterfalls are all running up in the rocks.
Michelle’s turning out to be quite the encyclopedic resource for knowing all the fun stuff to do with young kids around here. She keeps coming up with the best ideas, things I really need to find the time for. And I love how nicely my kids get along with hers!
And tomorrow I have a whole Saturday free with absolutely nothing planned, and the kids will be spending most of it with Steve. I could theoretically sleep in till noon and then eat bon bons in a bubble bath for a couple hours, and no one would care. Except the horses I guess, who might want to be fed. Selfish jerks.
Been a busy week. I’m looking forward to slowing down for a while.