Monday, May 7, 2018

MansonBlog Tour 2018: The Back Ranch at Spahn

On Spahn Ranch Day we joined a group that was already planning to tour the ranch. They were involved with the history of the ranch dating back to Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson.

Along for the hike was Michael Channels (TMZ's "Manson's Pen Pal"). You may be aware that many years ago he found bones at the Donald Shea burial site. The History Channel recently paid to test to see if they were human. They were. Channels also found by the Shea site was this old pipe wrench. There will be more on the wrench in upcoming posts.

The group eventually broke up into three separate groups according to interest. My small group was interested mostly in the back ranch area. The ranch was over 500 acres so there is a lot to cover. It also requires being able to hike up steep hills.

MY goal though was to see the high cliffs. To get there involves some very steep climbing over boulders and crags. It's not for everyone. The route is determined by where the poison oak is least dense, so we had to be creative. You also need to be constantly on guard for rattlesnakes. You don't want to surprise them.

Only a select group was willing to make the trek up to the cliffs. Our guide for that portion was Anthony and his very agile dog Zimmerman. Gratitude to them for getting us up there.

It involved climbing over boulders, jumping across gaps and squeezing through caves:

BUT, the reward was spectacular views of Spahn from the highest points possible. It was a beautiful sunny and breezy day. You are so high up at the cliffs that you can't hear anything. It's just pure Spahn:

Later we rejoined the group down at the LIFE magazine cave for refreshments (It was "4/20" after all).

No caption needed