Saturday, November 6

POSTED

We found a couple more abandoned mines today.

I've read more than few pieces of genre fiction mythologizing mining in the West, but I've realized lately that I'm almost totally ignorant of the real history and technology. Still, I've gotten a lot better at recognizing the physical profile of the actual sites. Around here it seems to consist, approximately in the order they're usually encountered, of:

  • Decaying log cabin.
  • Big pile of stuff. (Waste rock, tailings, etc.)
  • Remnants of mechanism(s) for piling and/or smashing stuff.

  • Intimidating signage.
  • Hole in ground where stuff used to be.

In this part of the state, at least, the hole tends to have been filled in, collapsed, or sealed. Frequently by a state agency whose publications have a strong flavor of STOP THAT YOU ARE GOING TO FALL IN A HOLE AND DIE. I spent a fair amount of time as a kid falling through various components of rotting wooden agricultural buildings, which leads me to guess that their stated feelings on the matter have some basis in fact. Or at least a basis in not wanting to extract tourists with busted ankles from holes in the ground.