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The Gunsight Mine, Tecopa, CA

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The Gunsight is an old mine located outside Tecopa, CA, which is southeast of Death Valley. People have died in this mine, some of whose bodies were never recovered; so we were especially careful to follow the cardinal rule of mine exploration: never go anywhere you can't easily walk in and out of. Such caution makes the vast majority of the mine inaccessible. The Gunsight has numerous levels; we explored three of them through three separate entrances. We went a short ways into a fourth, but it was way too hairy.

And, just for fun, view this video of a "gravitational anomaly" we found inside the mine...

Click any picture for a closer view.

We camped outside the night before we went in, and this is a timed exposure I took of the incredible moonlight.

Our Intrepid Heroes posing for their farewell photograph. Me on the right; famous Lucasfilm Ltd. pilot John Countryman on the left.

The view from the top of Gunsight Peak. Tecopa off in the distance. The sharp of eye can spot our Jeep parked near the base.

A natural chasm inside the mountain; regular mine tunnels leading in and out.

A long row of chutes coming from different levels above, for dropping ore into carts.

One of my favorite pictures I've ever taken - this is a timed exposure while we shined our flashlights down the tunnel.

Some places just aren't worth going into. This is about 50 yards into the second level entrance.

This is actually looking down at a sharp angle (note the ladder). It's not hard to see why some of the bodies of accident victims are never recovered from these mines.

The whole top of the mountain is held up only by these ancient timbers on the topmost level, which has completely gutted the peak of the mountain.