Yesterday, the 25th of June, 2016, my family and I went down to Cal-Ida to meet Cy Rollins again, and to meet up with Michael Taylor. Our destination was the McMahon Mine, an old mine site that has remained unlogged since its’ discovery. The McMahon Mine is located in an area far off the beaten path. And getting around was, of course, a gigantic bushwhack.
The first hint as to the sort of trees we were going to see was when we encountered a 7’+ DBH Douglas-Fir on the hike down to the mine. All that is left of the mine itself is a few hydraulic mining craters down the hill, and two ruined cabins. After a quick tour, which included finding a piece of rock art saying “HELLO PUTNEY” (which was bizarre. See photos below.), we went on uphill to find the trees. The first tree we measured was 23’1″ CBH, and was the same one appearing in a historical photo from 1898. After that, we discovered a Ponderosa with a CBH of 18’11” and a Sugar with a CBH of 21’0″. Later bushwhacking discovered two Douglas-Fir, one 19’4″ CBH and one a real whopper at 24’2″ CBH. Another Sugar we found was 21’11” CBH. But, the real giant was a huge Sugar Pine 25’11” CBH and 200′ H. It was named “the McMahon Monster”. It was the only tree that day to make Michael Taylor’s “Gobsmacker List”.
Afterwards, Michael showed me some of his newly-developed measurement methods, we went off to have ice cream in Downieville, and went to measure the actual height on King Pond, the Ponderosa outside Calpine that was giving me a bull$h!t result of 290′ H. The actual height is only 193′.
After such a great day, my feet were extremely sore. But boy, was it worth it or what? Now for the best part: photos! All but one are courtesy of Michael Taylor.