Did some more extensive exploring in regions I’ve visited before and turned up some really interesting finds! The first was this mining claim for Talc Queen No. 3, dated August 15, 1940. Did a little digging (no pun intended) and ran across these entries in a 1940 census:
George W. Koest (miner), 46, born in Pennsylvania
Edith Lockhart (owner), 50, born in Sweden
The tin was tucked in a cairn. I documented it, replaced it and covered it better to shield it from the weather and vandals.
In order to stake a claim, they had to do it literally, by demarcating the borders of the claim with claim markers, such as the one above. The note was stored in the tin cans nailed to the top of the post. Ingenious, really.
Below are images of some of the mines in the area. The headframe for one was still intact and standing. Standing over an open shaft. Actually two of the mines I visited on this trip had open vertical mine shafts. Not a place you’d want to be staggering around in the dark when nature calls…
And the final discovery for this trip really cooked my noodle for a bit. Could not figure out what the heck it was. I came across it on a canyon side while following a game trail. It was obviously not natural and on a steep slope. Who in their right mind would build something like this in the middle of nowhere?
Then it hit me: it was a Coso hunting blind, built anywhere from 300-1000 years ago. Pretty awesome.