California is full of mercury producing areas.
One of the more surprising areas is the south santa clara county, San Jose. The place was built on mercury mines, and its reflected in the names of
the area,ie the San Jose mercury, and quick silver park.
Lexington resevior south of Los Gatos is extremely contaminated from mercury.
Another area is the Clear Creek managment area in the central coast range, its a mineral and gem bonanza.
The used to mine cinnabar and uranium, and gem stones.
People still find gem quality rubys and saphire and Benitoite a gem stone found only in the area.
The wiki page on New Idra,
New Idra is one creepy ass place, It was a working mine until the '70's, after it was closed, the town became a drug rehab "commune", even
Its all abandoned now, and has a very hockey mask and banjo pickin feel about it.
I used to have a bunch of pictures of the place, but I lost them when my last lap top was stolen.
There also some other wierd stuff going on out there, a friend of mine used to work for a company that serviced telecom towers.
He was working on a very remote mtn top tower, when a white 4wd truck with no plates showed up and a couple of armed military looking guys in civies
My buddy thought it was wierd that they appeared out of no where, at the top of the mountain.
They told them they were tresspassing, and wanted ID's from the tower workers and what were they doing? who did they work for? and stuff.
The weirdest part about it, my friend said, was that they did an id check in just a couple of minutes.
My friend, who is now a LEO, thought it was odd that private security would be able to verify identity so quickly by cell phone, in those days.
After they verified the workers identity they stayed there while they did the tower service.
At one point my friend asked one of the guys what was with all of 007 stuff, and he told them they were security for a uranium mine.
After my buddy told me this story i started thinking about it, I know the area pretty well and where they were was at the end of about 40 miles of 4wd
trail. Theres no roads big enough, to handle the kind of truck traffic that would be required to operate a profitable uranium mine, and you certainly
couldnt do it hard rock tunnel mining, there are no large pits in the area.
I have a couple of thoughts, the more mundane one is that the uranium mine story is a cover. They arent mining uranium, but are mining gem quality
rubies and sapphires instead. That could be done profitably without huge equipment needing huge roads like a uranium mine.
The other involves the nearly 40 year battle to close the clear creek managment area to the public, because of public health safety concerns.
The EPA wants the area closed because of asbestos in the rocks.
It was closed and likely for good last year.
Talk about a good cover for the contsruction of a DUMB, an remote mountainous area with a history of mining.
O couple of times while riding mountain bikes in the area, I would get shadowed by a white truck on an opposite ridge.
The truck would drive slowly along as I rode, stopping evry once and a while and the driver would get out and look at me with binoculars. it wierded
me out and i would drop back down into the canyons and leave.
It ade me stop riding out there by myself, and 2 years ago I was riding my motorcycle through the area, late on a sunday evening.
I stopped along a deserted stretch of road with no houses, ranches or anything for at least 5 miles, to change from dark goggles to clear lenses.
I hadnt been stopped but 30 seconds, when a truck lit me up with high beams from only 50' away on the other side of the fence.
It freaked me out, and I took off with my goggles and backpack hanging from my handlebars.
They had to have already bee sitting there when I pulled up.