I told you that I learn from my mistakes, and for this outing, I remembered my Tripod. It’s a good thing I did, because it came in handy at the Empire Mine State Historic Park in Grass Valley. The park was begging to be shot in HDR which added so much depth and character to the images.

As usual on Tuesdays, our guide and driver Greg took us, me and Linda, the back way to the Park, stopping along the way to discover future shoots, do some actual photography and eat. That is how we ended up in Wheatland, the first stop on our journey. This is a very small town. I put the “very” before small because that’s how small it is–at least to our photographic eyes. The town, in Yuba County, actually has a population of 3,456 as of the 2010 census.

We were going to Rough and Ready but never made it because it was getting late and we wanted to get to the Mine. Oh yes, we made a couple more stops along the way. The Empire Mine was founded in 1850 and operated until 1956. The William Bourn family maintained control of the mine and lived there until 1929 when it was sold to Newmont Mining. In 1975 it was purchased by the State who then created the Historic Park.

We got there late afternoon, quickly going to the mine area. The grounds are separated into the mine area and living quarters consisting of a beautiful home and gardens. We shot until we were asked to leave. It seems they close the Mine at 5 p.m. When we left, the ranger reminded us that we were there almost two hours which should have been enough time to see the mine, and I had to explain that photographers take more time than most people. I don’t think she was sympathetic; she just wanted to go home!

Oh, another lesson learned! Check out the hours before we leave home! Yes, we’ll have to do that because we will be returning.

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