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 Post subject: Our Adventures At Big Trees Grove & Iowa Hill California
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:45 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 10:38 am
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Location: Las Vegas, NV
Our Adventures At Big Trees Grove & Iowa Hill California On 9/12/15

As most of you are aware I spend allot of my time conducting paranormal field work and you cant do it just by sitting home. As a matter in fact very few people in this field have logged the amount of hours I have in it so definitely you have to be committed to the cause even if a place turns out not to have anything strange.

Our trips would take us to the top of the one steepest narrowest roads in California to a giant Sequoia forest known as Big Grove and to the semi ghost town of Iowa Hill nearby.Both places are above the North Fork of the American River. There is no river like the American in the country and this is an area I have been working with the past few months because I am finding that it holds some gems.

Our journey would take us into the Tahoe National Forest and the more I work with it the more addicting it becomes. Who would ever have known that there is a forest of giant trees north of Lake Tahoe or a ghost town that resides so high up within the Sierra Nevada's? So when you read these reports try to imagine that this expedition is a combination of history and beauty all rolled up into one.

Its so important that we try to visit as many locations as possible as with drought continuing places like this are burning down and they cant be replaced. I do not even care if they are haunted or have paranormal activity all I care is getting them eventually on our website so others can enjoy them. If I find anything strange I generally see it as a perk but not a necessity since during my long years of doing this I have had bigfoot, alien and ghost encounters literally eye to eye so I do not need further proof.

We would set off early in the morning before even the sun was to rise. When I plan these expeditions, adventures and events they start off very early in the morning. That is because for our viewers I try to jam pack them with other bonus locations and it shows in my photography. The more ground you cover the better its not a matter of just visiting one place its a matter of being thorough at all cost.

Speaking of fires when I had gotten towards Truckee another living ghost town we hit some really rough patches of smoke. I had no idea there was a massive fire in a couple counties over at the time I thought the fire was near Iowa Hill in the mountains above since the forest was barely visible. At the time I had no idea I just knew that once again we were losing more beloved wilderness areas in northern California.

There was a time when I was driving all the trucks and cars were pulled on over to the side of the road. Not me I kept going its a very odd trek because you get on the expressway in Truckee heading west below the very mountains where Iowa Hill is located and then you have to head south to the canyon and all the way back east again. It is to bad they did not make a few more logging roads or a few country routes up into this area of the sierras.

Eventually we would get to our turn off up in Colfax another living ghost town. Trust me folks when I say this but semi ghost towns are everywhere here out west and everyone of them holds many historic gems. Some of those gems are haunted or have some very intriguing history if you take the time to visit these locations.

Little did I know I was heading down the wrong road there are multiple canyon roads that head east most of them will lead you to the American River some of them are back ways into Iowa Hill area. As a matter in fact the entire Foresthill area is like this and with views of the Foresthill divide it is one of the most intense beautiful places in the range.

I ended up driving down this narrow dirt road for miles in this canyon or ravine. Along the way you follow this cliff below it is a tributary of the American River. I would take us all the way to the American River where you can drive over this suspension bridge high up. My family was not having it they were scared to drive over the bridge I was pretty excited about giving it a go its safe its just old is all.

The view in this area is very nice you have Devil's and Bunch Canyon along with Live Oak Ravine. The Canyon we were in is overgrown like a jungle. It looks like something out of a movie with the rapids below and heavy foliage. There really is nothing out here when you get to the river there is an old mining camp site although little remains there is a tunnel in the mountain that goes back for about 30' where mining transpired. They often called these camps bars that were located on the American River.

I was pretty limited to where I could go my jeep was in the shop being fixed and the car I was using was very sporty. Do not get me wrong I love driving sports cars also especially in the mountains its allot of fun but because of this my ability to explore some of these offbeat roads was impossible. Considering that past the bridge had a sign warning you not to take it unless you had 4WD I had to turn around and head out of the canyon. Supposedly this is not to far from the old Yankee Jim's mining camp which during its hey day was one of the largest in the region as boom towns were built overnight.

But I will say this I liked my time back here there was these pools below the bridge that were bright greenish blue where the water was very deep. I walked along the bridge and just admired the view it sure seems that the American River has some of the tallest bridges in the country. As a matter in fact the Foresthill Bridge is the highest deck bridge in California and the fourth highest in the US.

Eventually I had gotten back to where I had to go beginning to ascend through a place called Slaughter Ravine which in turn would take us to a mining camp known as Mineral Bar. The bridge was used by pioneers and miners back in the day its been reinforced however for foot traffic only. The new bridge however continues to take you across the North Fork Of The American River where you can head on up to Iowa Hill.

Once you cross the bridge the road becomes very steep at times its a single lane road and you should honk around corners because yes you can go right off the cliff. Before things get really hairy pay close attention up in a hill in the woods is a velociraptor although its fake it kind of catches you off guard lol. The road kind of follows the Foresthill Divide with the American River below. It climbs for a few thousand feet believe me when I say that but for me this road was nothing. I drive roads like this all the time and ill smoke a cigar while driving them.

I read on allot of sites how treacherous the road is and steep. But I know of some roads that are far more deadly then Iowa Hill I mean technically most of the road is narrow but yet two cars can pass one another and although there are some hairpin turns most curves are not to sharp. It is steep but not steep enough where you cant take a car I had no issues climbing to the top of the sierras.

When the climb levels off that is when you are in the living ghost town of Iowa Hill. I stopped at this what appeared to be an abandoned house as you enter town. There was no vehicles there but it had a new grill so I did not go inside. The thing about living ghost towns is even if it looks abandoned allot of times folks will live in these places so you have to make good judgement calls. I figured id come back later to Iowa Hill to check things out further I set my eyes on Big Trees Grove. When I passed through Iowa Hill downtown I seen a guy who looked like Santa Claus I waved guess I kind of caught him off guard lol. I heard this is a friendly place but Tammy said she was creeped out here.

Big Trees Grove

Once you get pass Iowa Hill you drive over the Sugar Pine Reservoir dam from that point on you begin to hit all sorts of dirt roads. Its very easy to get lost back here trust me you have to pay attention as you drive over ridges, mountains and through heavily forested roads. The thing about the Iowa Hill area is that your in the national forest and there are no amenities up here.

The drive is quite long its about 22 miles of dirt roads through two areas that have been ravaged by Forest Fires. Although there were forested areas there was other areas the trees were burnt and stripped of any foliage for what appeared to be miles. If there was bigfoot up here he is not there anymore as there is nowhere to hide. I seen a pile of logs at least 40' high because the forestry is trying to clean it up then replant trees.

As we traveled across these large valleys the road actually reaches a low point but again begins to climb when you head over this mosquito ridge to Big Trees Grove. I was getting a little worried there was so much smoke in the air visibility was poor and you could smell burning wood everywhere. I was also a bit disappointed because normally I take allot of scenic photos for our fans but not this time. You could not see any scenery from afar the smoke cut down the visibility next to none.

Eventually we would get out of the burnt down forest and begin taking some more narrow logging roads. I was amazed at how many new roads were being integrated up here.It appears in a couple years this is going to be a much more larger outdoor recreation Mecca with campgrounds, hiking trails etc etc and when it does ill be there will bells on.

The road was getting a bit to rough for the car but I took it anyway's those that know me also know ill risk it all and sometimes it pays off. There were some men logging and at the same time I drove by a massive tree was falling. All of sudden this huge dust cloud hit the road and I drove right through it. I wish I had my cam operating I just shut it off then the tree came down and I drove through it. The whole earth shook when it came down but I guess new logging roads and areas are being integrated into this area hence why they have lumberman back here.

I passed by this road that supposedly led to some ruins of some kind of general store. I never did get to see it the car was just not good enough to get back here. I also passed by a few other sites that were mining camps such as Italian Bar. These bars seem to be found along the dirt road I took up to Big Grove. Although nothing really remains at one time these sites had miners, tents and maybe some other structures as well. Today not much exist at these locations maybe you might find some piles of wood or some nails metal detecting but that is about it. I also seen the road that leads up to the ghost town of Deadwood and some of you may remember that journey we took a few years ago so I been up in this region before. Last time I was here we did investigations at Last Chance and Michigan Bluff two semi ghost towns similar to Iowa Hill.

I finally had reached the side road which took me into Big Grove. You can park there then hit the trails there are two of them I definitely wanted to take both to enjoy the forest to the max here. Although there is only six massive big trees left all named at WWI heroes there are many other trees that grow here that are not far behind from becoming gigantic if the area remains protected from fires and human activity. The fires that transpired in the region were knocking at this locations doorstep in the past.

We grabbed our pack then headed down the forest trail where we ran into a herd of cattle running throughout the woods. I kind of found it a bit strange to see cows running around with there bells ringing as they were running all over the place scared shitless. I never seen cattle in the woods till I moved up this way and now its very common but still weird. These cattle were running up the steep mountain side in the woods and grazing up in a woodsy hillside ridge.

This forest has a mystical feeling about it kind of reminds me of something you might see in some Lord Of The Rings movie or all of sudden see wizards, fairies and dwarves lol. The sky was kind of hazy we could smell wood burning but the fire was nowhere nearly as bad here as the Mosquito Ridge area. Many of the trees we passed by were large at first I did not know if they were the giant sequoias because some of them in the grove are not to far behind in height and girth.

I forgot to grab a pamphlet in the beginning of the trail because I went around the box straight to the trail therefore I was not to sure about some of the sites which had numbers in front of them. But eventually when we came over this hill hiking we seen the Pershing Tree which is 12' in diameter. Although nearby the Joffre Tree is 25' taller. There are little bridges that cross over seasonal creeks and in the Spring flowers that grow in abundance. Supposedly there is also an underground river found here and people say you can hear it flow. I never heard it flow but I bet the caverns below this grove are pretty beautiful if there were a way into them. These trees can easily suck up 1000 gallons per day of water perhaps that is why they thrive here for this reason.

Many of the sites with numbers can provide the hiker with info about vegetation in the area which is on the pamphlet. When you hike through here you do not even feel like your in the Tahoe National Forest. But over the past few years I have learned that there is no place in the world like this national forest as its very diverse at times. There are parts of the trail that are so overgrown you will feel like your in some jungle its really nice back here and quiet also. There is this one section in the woods where three giant sequoias are found in alignment next to one another.

Many of the trees here are young most around 700 years old one of them over a 1000. They are not as old compared to other areas in California I visited. For example the trees up at Calaveras are said to be 2000 years old and there are quite a few. I also seen giant red woods up near San Francisco a couple years ago. There are only six big groves left in the world so I felt just walking around here I held the highest of honors. This is not a place you see everyday its not just a typical forest either.

We would eventually stop at one of the giant trees where we had a picnic here near a seasonal creek. I seen an older man come through with his son probably and later a guy jogging. Other then that there was no other people up here it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop literally. Its so silent its nearly eerie here besides hearing the birds chirp this place is quieter then a church lol. Sometimes desolation can be creepy for some I mean if your by yourself back here there is nobody going to hear you scream if you get lost or a mountain lion pounces you. Big Grove is kind of isolated within the national forest with very little access which makes this place all the more special.

Not to far away there is this massive fallen giant sequoia which is so long that it crossed the upper and lower portion of the trail.The forestry cut a portion of it away so you could walk through it. My son ran on top of it all the way up I thought that was pretty fun but this is a great place for boys to be boys if your kids like trees. There is also another fallen sequoia on the forest trail as well it appears both trees had fallen in 1861 and today they are just fun to climb. Its good to see the kids play only wished there was more nature I seen one butterfly however with fall nearby there was no flowers and wildlife is scarce.

Where we picnicked was also near the Roosevelt Tree which believe it or not survived a lightening strike which caught a portion of the tree on fire. Despite that its resilience has survived and the tree continues to grow. Perhaps every tree here has a back story sadly however back in the mid 1800's many of the miners cut such trees. You cant help but wonder how many giant sequoias were lost to men who perhaps ignored there significance. It is so important all of us protect these trees with our lives that includes in the future making sure they do not succumb to a forest fire. Personally with our technology a water system that can sense heat should be integrated here or by the time firefighters get here not much would be left.

When we begin to hike on back the jogger ran into me again and told me he seen a bear near us where we were chilling at. I never heard or seen the bear which sucks because as most of you know I enjoy to film bear in the woods. Since my cam ended up failing last time I seen one I been trying to make it up with new bear footage. I was not surprised the bear this time of year are more active looking for food before winter. I seen a lady go into the woods she had to be 60 years old and I warned her about it. She shrugged it off and still went into the woods alone no bear mace NOTHING! People up here are so use to nature its a part of life I am the same way but you still have to be careful and respect nature.

I found some berries and perhaps these type of nuts growing in the woods. Its very possible that bigfoot roams here I have not heard of sightings here but other places near here. The trail only covers a couple miles of the area but beyond that is a very dense unexplored forest. I really loved it here to be honest I wish I did not have to leave in the apocalypse this would be one of my stomping grounds lol. I felt so safe here I could have taken a nap under one of the 250' trees. As most of you know in my years of operating PGS I have visited some of the Biggest Trees in the world such as the Senator and The Fairchild Oak. I have also seen a cut down tree in Calaveras Big Trees that had a stump over 20' across. These are the wonders of the world if you cant visit and share something like this your falling short because there is nothing like it in the world. To be able to take my family and share it with our fans is simply awesome. Sure I did not find any ghosts, bigfoot or see aliens hovering over us but for me I truly walked within a forest of giants and now we would journey to Iowa Hill.

Iowa Hill California

Our trek would be a long one as we had to go through the logging roads over Mosquito Ridge and finally back up into the higher sierras to Iowa Hill. I never once seen one human in 20 miles of driving actually over if you consider my trek to Big Trees Grove earlier. This is a very remote area I seen roads that probably went to historically old mining camps. Its kind of a maze and you just want to check it out like a rat trying to get to his cheese lol. The smoke from the fire in the area looked like a haze or more so a fog and perhaps our viewers may think that is what it is but in reality a fire as big as this could blanket the next state with smoke based on the winds.

An example of that is when I seen a sign that said Big Reservoir near Iowa Hill but the Sugar Pine area. I pulled down this long road which took me to a place called Morning Star Camp and I guess before it was designed as a reservoir it was known as Morning Star Lake. I noticed a small dam behind the office as I was approaching the lake ahead. I did not know what I would see or what was back here I just randomly pulled down here to explore. It is who I am and what I do sometimes it pays off other times it does not.

When I had arrived there was a cute blonde working the front desk she seemed really strict. I had to get a pass from her that said 10 minute visitor just to take a couple photos. I am not sure what the big deal is but she gave me a pamphlet and I thought that it was far to expensive. I read allot of reviews about how the owners are creepy, to many rules as if they are the gestapo, if you camp here you will be watched and how they act like a bunch of inbred's. I do not know if any of those reviews are true I just can only tell you what I experienced during my short visit. Maybe I am a charming guy who knows maybe she seen me drooling because I am a guy and guys like cute little country girls lol just sayin'!

The way PGS works is you are fair with us we will be fair with you such as all our work we put on our site will promote your site and we also will send folks to these locations if they are reasonable. I generally am not a campground guy anyhow this lake lacks scenery as most of it is heavily covered by forest. There are no views of mountains that is one reason I camp in the sierras to see the geology such as cliffs, volcanic spires, domes etc etc. The lake itself was not very large either many of the lakes we camp at have granite islands with trees, coves, lagoons etc etc. But the lake here is rather oval in shape then again its a reservoir and probably was a lake prior to it being flooded.

The camp sites all overlook the lake there was some kids with there parents playing in the water a mother came up to us asked if she could take a family picture for all of us. I took a few photos then we decided to head on out of here since we were only given 10 minutes. I know they are a business but I cant come back in the future and camp if I do not know if I like a place. Most of the time I camp in the wilderness just park my jeep along a stream or lake pitch camp. Sometimes if there is camping I go somewhere ran by the forestry and although primitive there is just a fee box. But this place seemed a bit crowded and honestly something was off about this place so no I did not stay. I kind of felt the urgency to get out of here I guess it was the vibe I had gotten when I had to put a ticket up in my windshield even though I was parked in front of the office.

I had to hand my red piece of paper to the lady it was a bit strange but she was respectful to me and showed me a picture of what the lake looks like in the winter. I have to say it was beautiful the trees had snow on them and ice covered most of the lake. She asked if I had gotten some good photos and we made small talk. What can I say I like to talk to the ladies who cares about the reviews lol. No but seriously she was very kind to me but after reading the brochure I kind of felt like this place might be ripping people off. There was allot of strange rules but also all sorts of different high prices for example having a pet or the cost of a fishing license because having a state one is not applicable here. I do feel there are far better places for less if not free do your research or use our website to find some that we been to which offer much more to the camper such as trails, multiple lakes, beautiful scenery and less folks.

My next stop would be at the Sugar Pine Reservoir as I went to the recreational camping area here. However there was no office or private owners around to hassle me so I was able to park near the boat ramp. There were dogs playing on the doc, swimmers, kayakers and it seemed to be a chill place. I was feeling the vibe here its a bit more open and the reservoir is much larger. However it is new did not know this till I went up on the dam and read a plaque realizing it was built less then 8 years ago. We would take a lovely stroll along the upper banks to the reservoir. However sadly the water was very low here its happening all over California therefore the shoreline is rather large here. The smoke from the fire in the region had caused this area to look as if it were engulfed in fog. The sun looked like an orange in the sky you could stare directly at it!

I would only spend a short time at the reservoir then minutes away we were heading into Iowa Hill aka Iowa City. When your on the outer edge of town you will see a new fire department nearby are two cemeteries. The first one being the Old Iowa Cemetery which technically is not the old graveyard since a resident building a cabin decades ago realized that his land contained a cemetery. He bulldozed all the graves pushing down into the canyon then building what is known as the Schwab House today or the old post office rather. The cemetery bulldozed in the Schwab Homes yard dated back to 1855. The other cemetery is not as old but since its all that remains its called the Old Iowa Hill Cemetery. It's possible some of the graves were relocated here depending on if anyone has ever done anything about them laying on the hillside downtown. The second cemetery called Old Iowa is also known as the towns Masonic, I.O.O.F. and Protestant Graveyards depending on who you talk to. Yes it is true that the town contained various fraternal groups therefore its not uncommon to see such symbols from those organizations on there headstones here based on my observation in various sections.

The other graveyard is known as St. Dominic's Catholic Cemetery which resides at the site of the Old St. Joseph's church and was named after the church for many years. Supposedly there is a Chinese Cemetery towards the back. I think its quite possible since I found a series of unmarked graves some just lined with stone. There is also a few graves found outside of the fence here which was very odd it does not appear they ran out of room but then again many of the graves are unmarked here. One of the stones is completely black in color while others are heavily damaged. Some are tilted, wrought iron is rusty, broken, cracked or laying on the ground. The Catholic Cemetery is also very overgrown in certain areas its not as well maintained as the Old Iowa Cemetery. At the time the church sat right along side the wrought iron enclosures. Its a fairly nice historic cemetery as some of you are aware the Catholic Cemeteries put allot of work into there epitaphs, engravings and used statues to signify there faith such as of angels. At the entrance is a wood sign and there is a picture but its in bad shape which shows the church.

Both cemeteries offer plenty of shade one can see on a clear day the Foresthill Divide which is the giant canyon that separates the sierras with the might American River splicing down the middle. What I found disappointing about the cemeteries is that they are surrounded by Rusty bent chained link fencing. I know at one time white picket fences surrounded the Old Iowa Cemetery but its long gone sometime during the turn of the century during the early 1900's. I do think that the cemeteries need work and they need a new fence something historical looking and that it needs to be restored. It amazes me the local townsfolk do not try to do more here. Iowa Hill suffered three major fires each time burning most of the town if not all of it down. Disasters happened and the cemeteries are some of the last remnants of this city. There is a photo at the entrance to this cemetery of the white fence and probably was taken before the final fire destroyed most of the town.

The Old Iowa Cemetery is in much more worst shape then St. Dominic's unfortunately. I seen graves on the ground, broken in half, overgrown with vines, covered in dirt, missing pieces and even some touching eachother. There was one grave that had parking meters on it and a makeshift wood bench near the woods. The trees which were oaks were very large here some draped across some of the stones. Towards the back was some lone graves while I found a couple very worn wood gravemarkers which are very rare. Many of the Mason and I.O.O.F stones were very intricate some very large monuments and one grave was a giant monument. It appeared that the Masons were buried next to the I.O.O.F. members as well while those who were not were buried on the opposite side of the graveyard. Although it was still daylight the smoke from the fire and the combo of the trees gave this place a dismal feeling.The Old Iowa Cemetery has allot of wrought iron enclosures all rusty and very old this is a true place of pioneers.

If that is not worst when you start reading the pamphlet at the kiosk you begin to realize that Iowa Hill was a grim dark place to live. Many of the people buried at these cemeteries died horrifically for example one man was crushed by a wagon while another had suffocated in a mud slide. I also seen someone who was killed in a powder keg explosion, suicide, dams breaking, deathly falls, murder victims and someone who had a tree fall on them. The list goes on and on I will have a video about some of the deaths in regards to this cemetery perhaps post the brochure as well. Its a good read but a scary one because many of the people buried in these cemeteries had there lives cut short. Id say at least more then half of the interments had perished in some kind of tragedy or illness! So there is a very sad feeling in this cemetery and as some have thought it to be as cursed. Maybe the town is cursed its known as the town that never died because tragedy continued to strike it and yet it continued to be rebuilt to a degree that it never was the same again. Seeing children is also prevalent here life must had been hard back in the day and these cemeteries tell you a story about the lives that they lived in Iowa Hill. These were the true pioneers and death did not stop them from building this once booming mountain city.

To lighten the mood I took my kids to the Iowa Hill Park its not to often you can have a picnic, play football with your sons, smoke a joint and sit among history in a living ghost town everyday. I bring a cooler so we always have good food, allot of drinks, beer, fruit, baked goods etc etc. It was nice to relax for a bit I had been investigating the cemeteries which we were at a long time and Big Trees Grove was exciting also with the offroading and hiking. The kids and I tossed around a football it helped loosen me up we were on our last leg of the journey and the sun was going down fast. The Park is so shady that you can barely see the sky here there is also some cell with metal bars probably for your dog. One can imagine that back when this was a city there probably stood many structures where the park is today.

Eventually we would head downtown Iowa Hill anything past that I noticed are newly built homes in the woods or just national forest. Sad to say most of the town has been wiped off the map and to think at one time Iowa Hill almost became the capitol of California. In the 1870's this was one of the largest towns and when you end up downtown it does not feel like it. This town had saloons, bowling alley, brewery, school, churches, general stores, orchards, theaters, butchers, clothing stores, hotels, newspapers, fraternal lodges and about 140 different structures. Today the general store is about all that is standing and behind it there are some teepees including the old Stevens Trail which was more of a toll road from back in the day for miners. Such toll roads allowed miners in the Foresthill Divide to travel between mining camps before the current roads were integrated. Iowa Hill is so remote that electricity did not arrive or phone lines till recently prior to that everyone used generators.The general store is suffering though I had noticed that allot of roofing is missing the winds must coming whipping through here as an American flag is blowing in the wind.

Across from the store is a couple ore carts on some ore cart tracks along with a wooden beer keg. It appears those are the only remnants of the town unless you include the old post office which has a metal sign on a pole that says Iowa Hill. I believe prior to it being a post office it was the site of Schwab's store which ended up bulldozing the towns first original burial ground here. Next to the old wooden cabin is the firehouse well its more like a carriage barn but it still stands and is painted red. Just up the road from that is the town plaque along with some big piece of rusty mining machinery. Behind that is the old Wells Fargo Vault made out of bricks, wood and aluminum barely standing. The vault is locked up to protect it while nearby is that abandoned house I visited which again might not be but its fairly one of the oldest homes downtown. Also near downtown is an old fire engine and if you walk away's past that you can turn down a street to visit the old school which today is now the community church. Many of the kids are home schooled while others may be attending Colfax at the bottom of the canyon which is one scary ride if your on a school bus. All of downtown is built on top of a ridge of Indian Canyon and the Foresthill Divide. There is a sign near the road its rusted and bent which says Iowa Bar & Grill.

Tammy said to me she did not like the town I guess she felt some of the locals were acting a bit oddly towards our presence here. It is a tight community no doubt but its also a place where history repeats itself. This town has suffered storms, multiple fires, illnesses and tragic accidents. I am sure if I were to explore the forest around here more in depth id find more remnants of the town the problem is just about everything is private property. I tried to get to some old mining site and it was in the backyard of one of the homeowners with a big dog. People here kind of stare at you nobody says hi if you wave they will but it was not the other way around. I did not get a bad vibe but Tammy did she goes to allot of places never being affected by anything. But this place she just was not having it. She felt it had that hills have eyes vibe and it does think about it. The town is very remote sitting high up thousands of feet on some ridge where people have fallen from the cliffs dying. I mean the place just had gotten electricity and a phone line your an outsider to make matters worst you do not know who the hell the real Santa Claus is lol. Ehhh its all in good fun I love Iowa Hill its a cozy little gem in the heart of the national forest.It is the town that never died and although its barely thriving to some old timers it is home.

Its so hard to believe so much is gone being that over 10000 people lived here at one time. However it was an important site for us to explore considering that it goes hand in hand with Deadwood, Michigan Bluff, Foresthill and Last Chance all areas I have done extensive work at. Many of the residents that lived here also lived in other towns and mining camps nearby so everything is connected to a certain degree including the cemetery which was one of the only ones for many miles. This was a gold rush town they did allot of mines wish we found some but most took place in the canyon below along the river as placer gold was panned. I wish I explore a few more dirt roads but it was getting dark and the car was not going to make it as another location called Independence Hill was in my sights. My jeep needed some work done and generally I would have taken it if it were not for that. However on a good note you do not need 4wd to enjoy places like Iowa Hill or Big Trees Grove.

Eventually we would make our descent back down through the canyon to a place called Mineral Bar which is a place you can pan for gold, camp, hike and fish. This area was ass to ass with campers though but I did want to at least have an evening stroll across the old bridge. That is exactly what I did was took a walk across this wired suspension bridge of 1928 with a wooden deck. Around the entrance to the bridge was wild blue berries and nearby on the ground were gourds growing. The river was low but the view up the canyon was rather pleasing to the eye and the mountains around us were really steep. The light was disappearing fast the bats were coming out I sparked up a bowl toking one on the bridge getting ready for the long journey home. I was bat watching and trust me they are everywhere in this canyon once the sun goes down. I like bats but some people may not I have been around bats for many years in mines and once in a haunted asylum where they were flying around my head for hours so for me they are just part of the world we live in.

I found another cemetery below the canyon in Colfax we can go to eventually and may I just say thank goodness for Jack In The Box for some late night munchies I had gotten a munchie meal because we did not get home till later at night. When you drive for over 300 miles, hike and tour six different locations your going to work up an appetite. These were good explorations I took plenty of EMF readings and EVP sessions at Iowa Hill. There is no doubt in mind that something strange exist in that town its in the air you can feel it. Whether that is ghosts, people, secrets or something monstrous roaming the woods I believe much more remains to be seen. Do not be scared when you hear about risky steep roads or deterred some folks over exaggerate. No place you should have handed to you I like Iowa Hill its a beautiful scenic drive to the top and full of history.
Lord Rick

P.S. Revisions may be made as this is a rough draft for our website not the final edition which will be added in the future!

Love is like a ghost sometimes you cannot see it but it is There

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