I finally had a chance to process all my photos taken in November from our trip to Nevada County. We only had a couple of days in the foothills, and much of the fall color had passed, but it was still a beautiful weekend. We started out on Highway 20, stumbling upon an eerie smoky forest scene with a controlled burn in process. Bear Valley had lost much of its color, but with the moon rising over the hills, it was still a lovely daytime vista. Coming back into Grass Valley around dusk, we caught the classic scene of the white church steeple amid the fall foliage and pine trees.
The next day we headed over to Empire State Historic Park. The Empire Mine is the site of the oldest, largest, and richest gold mine in California. From 1850 to its closing in 1956, it produced 5.8 million ounces of gold. The Park contains many of the original mine buildings, the owners cottage and the restored gardens and grounds as well as the entrance to 367 miles (the equivalent of a round trip from Grass Valley to San Jose) of abandoned and flooded shafts and tunnels. The park consists of 845 acres of forested back country and 12 miles of trails for hikers, bikers and horseback riders. As you'll see from my photos, the mine is located on a lovely piece of land, with photographic opportunities ranging from volunteer blacksmith docents to the main mine shaft to the colorful grounds. Enjoy!