Saturday, April 24, 2010

April 2010: Brian and Alan visit the Summit

Salt Tram history is rapidly disappearing, and we are striving to rediscover the efforts of our forefathers in order to give proper recognition to their hopes, dreams and abundant sweat from an era that is rapidly fading from our memories. We are actively seeking out information about the mining of Salt in Saline Valley between 1903 and the 1950's, including: documents, photos, articles, stories, artifacts, etc. If you can help us out, please email us at the address above - Thank-you! --Tim and Brian Waag, the Waag brothers (aka E. Clampus Waagus).
Caution (PLEASE READ): Climbing around on the tramway is dangerous because its really old and defnitely unsafe, so don't even think about it. Shoot, just getting to it requires some perilous hiking, and if you don't believe me, just take a look at the Zig Zag Access Trail (or what's left of it). Plus, climbing on it weakens it and endangers your life. Also, the Saline Valley Salt Tram is on the National Register of Historic Places and should be treated with the respect that it deserves. What little remains is of great historic value, and should not be disturbed in any way. Heck, its probably against the law to move parts of the tram around, and certainly a crime to take home some of the few bits of it that remain (though you'd have to ask your friendly local BLM agent for details). So please treat it with the respect it deserves, so that future generations can enjoy whats left, without you messing it up. Really. Please. You can see its listing on the National Register of Historic Places at these web links:
National Register of Historic Places 1          National Register of Historic Places 2

One Saturday in April, Brian and Alan made a mad one-day dash for the Inyo Summit (don't ask why - I didn't). They went up the Swansea Grade and almost made it to the summit road at the Burgess Mine, but came up a couple hundred yards (or so - Tim wasn't there) short, and decided to hoof it to the Salt Tram Summit Station (5 miles - one way). There were in search of the so-called (by us!) elusive Go-Devil route. To find out about that portion of their one day adventure, see the link below:

Alan and Brian find 2 Beam Lumber Pile (scroll down) 
Use RETURN browser button to get back to this web page.

They found mostly dry, bare dirt at the Inyo Summit, interspersed with plenty of huge fluffy white snow drifts of varying sizes from 5 to 10 feet high. Enjoy the photos below, and note that since their trip, the Inyos got another round of snow, though of unknown depth. Note the location of the Summit Road relative to these snow drifts. Tim particularly enjoyed the photo of the Summit Station, as it reminded me of my skiing days on the chair lifts! (note that many tramway manufacturers went into the ski lift business, as they are remarkably similar devices). Click to enlarge:


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