Gazing 11,007 Feet Into the Past in Grass Valley, California
Descending the steps to the main shaft feels a little like getting on the school bus for the first time. The air changes from a crisp California foothills sweetness to a stale, moist, almost surreal scent you can't quite describe with words. As you peer down the 11,007 foot slope of the Empire Mine's main shaft, you can almost hear the voices of the hundreds of rugged men who spent countless hours searching for gold in this damp, dangerous abyss. If you stare long enough, your might eyes start playing tricks on you.