Dust Bowl III - Strangely enough, you can't really tell from these pictures the violence of the sand storm that I subjected myself, and my camera to while photographing these images. Although this storm was relatively mild compared to some. Often these storms leave you so blind that you can only see a few feet in front of you.
Before the first aqueducts were built, Owens Lake was used by the local miners as a super highway. Loaded onto barges, mining supplies, men, and bullion, were sent back and forth across the lake.The Cottonwood Charcoal kilns, seen here, were used to produce the charcoal which in turn powered the smelters of the Cerro Gordo mines. Once the bullion was produced, it was then sent on its way over land to Los Angeles.
Sitting on the western shores of the now dry lake, the Cottonwood Charcoal kilns are among some of the last links to the glory days of the fabulously wealthy Cerro Gordo mines. Used to power the smelters, the wealth produced by the silver and lead bullion came to nearly 20 million dollars in the 1860's . In today's money that would equal over 500 million.