Sunday, February 9, 2014

I Found a Mine!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

This morning I planned to just stay around home and relax in the warm sun.  It is expected to get to 80 and that is quite warm for us.  Especially, if I go climbing mountains.

After breakfast, I started my relaxing routine by setting up the zero gravity lounge chair and did some resting.  Resting After about an hour I couldn’t stand relaxing anymore.  I kept thinking about that black hole I saw coming out on my trip into the mountains north of us the other day.  Here’s the picture.  The hole is in the bottom white area.Hole in lower white area. Couldn’t tell if it was just another crevice or was it a mine?  I was too tired to climb the mountain that day, but I am ready today.

Got in the jeep and now it has the orange flag flying in the rear alerting others that I am coming over the hill or around some curve.  Orange flag blowing in the wind. Need these flags with 4-wheelers running around these back roads.  The roads are actually for them, but my jeep is small enough to go those roads too, but I want them to see me and the flag helps.

Traveled back through the same road I had taken the other day.  The hole in the mountain is not too far back in.  Didn’t see it going in but it was visible on the way out, so I knew what road to turn on to get to it.

Stopped the jeep at the bottom of the mountain.  I had brought a backpack for my camera equipment and the headlamp that Jesse and Jan had bought me last year.  If there is a mine up there, I will be ready to enter the depths of the mine.

There are two white areas on the mountain, one low and one high.  I had forgotten which one had the dark hole and like a dummy, I climbed right past the first white area and went all the way to the top one.

Got all the way to the top white area.
See lower white area below?

  Nothing there, but a lot of large rocks.  Looked like they had come loose and fallen into a crevice on the side of the mountain.  Looked around and could see other mountain tops almost at eye level.  Pretty far up! 

Could see mountains everywhere at eye level.
Looking east
Looking west.
Looking west

Discouraged, I rested awhile and climbed all the way back down to the road, and as I walked toward the jeep, I looked up and at the angle I was at, I could see a black hole on the lower white area.  I had forgotten all about it and never looked at it, either going up or coming down.

Kicking myself for such stupidity, I headed back up toward the lower white area.  As I climbed over the rim, i could see it.  The entrance to an actual mine!  Just over the ridge. I have no idea how someone got up here each day and dug a hole right through solid rock, but someone did!

Walked up to the entrance and looked in.  Kinda flimsy looking support for an entrance.Opening of the mine.  Kinda old looking. Glad I brought my headlamp, because I am going to need it.  Looks black in there as I crouched at the entrance peering into the darkness.Looks dark in there! Going on, I could see bat droppings on the floor.  (Black stuff).  Boy is the support system in here flimsy.  Better not sneeze now.Flimsy support here too. I could see fallen rocks ahead.  Hope no bodies back here, or bats.  Looks like fallen rocks ahead. Looks like the end of the mine, thank goodness!  Large rocks have fallen over time and the support is very iffy here.  More bat droppings here too, but no bats.Now this looks bad! I had to get a close up of what was keeping me alive.Needed to see this close up. I finally turned around and looked toward the entrance.  I was so in the moment I had not realized I had gone about 50-60 feet into this death hole.  Looking toward the entrance. I still cannot believe a man spent years digging this hole.  I hope he found gold.

That is my adventure for the day and it is getting hot out here and no shade anywhere. Hot put here.

Beautiful sunset!


See you later.



  1. I absolutely love the shadow picture! The cave looked like some much fun to explore and the supports were a joke! I wonder how long they have been there?

    1. It was fun. Someone did a. Lot of work. Hope they found some gold. I didn't see any. The shadow picture did come out good. We're slowly starting to head east. Bummer.

  2. Yep, great shadow photo. I always find those old mines so intriguing as well. And it always amazes me how back in the late 1800's men with little more than picks & shovels managed to hammer their way through solid rock day after day. And I often wonder what made them dig in any one particular spot. What had they found on the ground or in the rock face to make them dig those holes. Lots of exciting old & ongoing mysteries way out here in the wild west...........

    1. Yes, they do find the oddest places to dig. This one is just in the side of the mountain high enough to make it hard to get too. You wonder why not just dig at the base and make it easier. Those are rugged mountains back in there. Hard to climb with so much loose sharp rock.