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Vagobond in Holcomb Valley

6/28/09

The old Belleville Cabin in Holcomb Valley. Hard to believe this is all that is left of what was once the largest southern california gold rush town. Belleville was nearly 25,000 people and had more than it’s fair share of prostitutes, miners, and desperados. The town was named for Belle, the first baby born in the community.

Well, the work hasn’t stopped here at the apartments. We are building bathrooms, tiling, trimming, and more. I finally figured out that a part of the reason I was so exhausted at first was because of suddenly being above 7000 feet and working my tail off.

None the less, I did have the chance to meet with a couple more old friends this weekend and rediscover the friendships that we had in the past.

My friend Beki was up on the hill (as we say) to visit with another old friend Leigh Anne Drake. We all met up for coffee on Friday and caught up on their kids and all of our new loves and then on Saturday, Beki and I ventured out into beautiful Holcomb Valley.

I had bought a camera to send to Hanane and thought I would try it out to see what kind of pictures it took. Unfortunately, the pictures were total crap and then to top it off, I put the camera in my pocket and it erased all the pictures I had taken! Needless to say, I will be returning this piece of crap to Walgreens and getting another.

Rumor always had it that this old Juniper tree was the hangman’s tree where all those desperados I mentioned before were sent to meet their maker. The story when I was a kid was that they would hang a man and then cut the limb off, hence all the cut limbs. The Discovery Center now claims this tree was not the hangman’s tree, but I don’t believe it. I think they just want to protect the tree from souvenir hunters….

Very much a bummer since we had stopped by the Big Bear Discovery Center to throw tomahawks with old mountain men and saw some really incredible scenery through the day. Luckily, I had brought my usual camera and thought to snap a couple of photos with it too. Sadly, I didn’t get any shots of the scores of Mormons who were on their annual trek dragging carts through the mountains while dressed up as old time pioneers, nor the tomahawks, nor much of anything else. What you see here, is all I got.

And another gorgeous view of the Lake from the Gold Rush Trail. The drive on this road was treacherous and made more so by dozens of dirt bikes that would come roaring at us from the opposite direction. I thought Beki was going to kill me for taking her on this stressful road, but it turns out she let me live after all.

It was certainly nice though to see old friends after more than 20 years and have the chance to catch up and remember old times too. Now, I have to get back to work!

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Vago Damitio

Damitio  (@vagodamitio) is the Editor-in-Chief for Vagobond. Life is good. You can also find him on Google+ and at Facebook

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