Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Hike to Lon Chaney's Cabin #1 of 4 (Halloween Haunts 2010)

(GPS: N37° 07.690 W118° 25.660)

Nightmare #2

First, happy 10/10/10! Here is one that I have wanted to do for a long time. It is one that I really enjoyed doing. The silent film actor, Lon Chaney, had a cabin built way back in the backcountry away from civilization. When you finally see the video I did, and some of the pictures, you will see why this really worked as the mood I like for a "Halloween Haunt." It is going to take four blog entries to cover it. Let's get to it...

This was on the way home back to So. Cal. It was really windy on HWY 395 and I was a little concerned I would not be able to do this because I figured the wind would be much worse at the higher elevations. It ended up not being too bad, but there was the threat of a possible rain or snow storm as I started hiking from the trail.

After driving to the town of Big Pine, CA I took Crocker St. to the west which turns into Glacier Lodge Rd. I had thought I had not been here before. After driving some way, I had remembered I was here before with a friend who was looking for some property to purchase. This was some twenty years ago. In any case, I was at the trail head looking into the mountains.
I knew the hike was not going to be too difficult. The destination was in the John Muir Wilderness in the back country and there would be some climbing elevation involved, but it would only take about an hour to do. So, I packed lightly with just the bare minimum involved. While the clouds looked benign, like I mentioned above, these types of situations can turn very cold and stormy quick. I started up the trail that goes diagonally up the mountainside.
Then looking to the left I had this. One of the Calfornia 14ers, the Middle Palisade is covered in clouds in the background. It kind of looks like Mt. Whitney in that it has some serrated spikey high points just to the left of it. This is one of those areas I just had to stop and let the video record for a few minutes. It really had that beautiful, moody, and maybe "haunted" look about it.
A little further I made the turn to the right to see a creeping cloud drifting over the mountainside of where I would be going. The destination is beyond all those trees you see in the left side of the picture. To get there the trail would go from the right and then eventually cut over to the left along the mountainside. Again, while I was experiencing this it was beautiful, but creepy in a sense too since I was not sure if the whole mountainside was going to be engulfed with foggy cloud conditions.
The following would be about the middle of the picture above. It is the rock stairway on the trail you encounter before making the right turn into the John Muir Wilderness.
This is looking back to where I was earlier. You can see a trail below, but that is not the one I took. There were a few other trails to different places that divert from the main trail.
At about this point, I entered the John Muir Wilderness. I will continue this one tomorrow. I will explain more about the cabin when I get to it.
The Lon Chaney Cabin (Youtube Version)
The Lon Chaney Cabin (Vimeo Version)