Day 4 The Mine

The trail is pretty rough. It is hard to follow because of heavy spring growth and winter damage.

It is not a popular trail either. So, it gets very little attention from the Forest Service.

I begin to regret coming out here alone.  I reach down to my ankle holster for reassurance.

Yes, it is illegal to carry out here.

Yes, if caught I could lose my license.

But this is another instance of learning things the hard way. (I’ll save that story for another time)

I have my hopes up regarding a ghost town.  I want old-west-looking buildings, a dirt road, and creepy sounds.

Nope.

What I get instead is a whole lot of nothing. Just a lot of trees, shrubs, and rocks.

Oh, and mud. Lots and lots of mud.

The Granite Mountain Mine isn’t a mine, per se. It is a claim.  Intent to mine but no actual commercial mining ever occurred.

So, what is so interesting about the place that this couple is competing to study it?

I arrive at the coordinates from the maps in Dr. Nickels office. How anyone would even know they arrived is beyond me.

That’s when I catch a familiar whiff of stink.

My stomach begins to protest.

Something is definitely dead, and it is nearby.

I suppress a gag and let my nose hunt.

“Please be an animal, . . .. please be an animal. . .”

The scent takes me well off-trail. I think thirty feet or so.

There are traces of blood.

A trail of it leads deeper into underbrush. I have to use a long stick to move branches and fallen debris.

Bear scat. Oh, this is not good.

It’s dawn for hibernating bears.

My gun is in my hand.

The smell is overwhelming. I cover my nose and mouth.

A shoe.

“Oh shit. . .!”

Two human bodies.

“Mr. and Mrs. Nickels, I presume?”

NEXT- Day 4 A Whole New Case.