On Sunday, the 20th of May, in the year of our Lord 2011, our League set out for adventure in wilds of eastern San Diego county, seeking Smuggler’s Cave and the abandoned Elliot Amethyst mine.
Read the story of our adventure after the jump:
As we set out from our vehicles, our trek was accompanied by the almost constant sound of distant gunfire; somewhat disconcerting, but not uncommon in these deserts. We wandered off course into an area of wind-carved rocks (but not so much so as to be troublesome) and it was lucky we did, because while off course, we stumbled on our first objective – Smuggler’s Cave. Judging from the soot, detritus, and proximity to the Mexican border, it is almost certainly still in use by actual smugglers, though its name dates back to Old West days when it was a hideout for bandits.
We moved onward, and the sound of gunfire grew louder. When we discovered the road again, we were greeted by a couple of off-road vehicles; another party of Adventurers exploring this wilderness. As it turned out, they were members of the San Diego Trail Tramps. They let us know we were on the right track for the mines, but that there was a group of Minutemen ahead, firing guns in an attempt to scare off anybody trying to cross the border illegally.
Fortunately, they weren’t very scary at all – just two guys standing next to a jeep. And they had apparently decided they had done enough border protecting for one day, because they were packing up when we walked by.
We found the Elliot mine, and had a grand time crawling down tunnels and exploring. Then our Chief Epicure and Ethanolmixologist, Mr. Lee Dunteman, set up a fine meal, accompanied by Scofflaw cocktails, in a large, open room in the mine, after which we packed up and headed out. A successful day of adventure.