This abandoned mine had more than one “most” and THAT is impressive because a “most” is, by definition, a rare occurrence. However, this mine was, in fact, the most colorful that I have ever explored and also had timber sets that were under the most severe pressure that I have ever seen before. Pretty impressive to have two “mosts” in one mine, wouldn’t you agree?
Now, I’m afraid that many viewers are going to ask me which minerals are creating those splendid colors inside of the mine. The short answer is that I am not a geologist and I don’t know. However, I would normally associate those blues with copper ores. The mineral that looked like chunks of gold scattered between the blues is actually pyrite (also known as “fool’s gold”). Trust me, miners would not leave visible chunks of gold behind! There were, of course, veins of quartz mixed in as well. Known minerals to have been extracted at this site include silver, copper, tungsten, lead, zinc and gold. As with many mines in Nevada, it started out as a silver mine though.
I don’t get rattled too easily when exploring abandoned mines, but those shattered timbers toward the end made me very uncomfortable. It was dry in this mine and so those timbers didn’t look like that because they were rotted, but because they seemed to be getting squeezed in from the sides with incredible force. I say that the intense pressure seemed to be coming from the sides rather than the top because the ties for the ore cart rails were snapped in half and it was, primarily, the timbers on the ribs (sides) of the adit that were snapped. The snapped timbers supporting the back (top) looked as if they were broken from being squeezed from both sides rather than from something pressing down on them. I am, frankly, amazed that those timbers have not caved yet as it seemed like just a bat farting back there would create enough of a disturbance to bring that whole section of the mine crashing down. I’m referring to the proverbial straw breaking the camel’s back and that section didn’t seem like that would need much of a straw to finish things.
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You can see the gear that I use for mine exploring here: https://bit.ly/2wqcBDD
You can click here for my full playlist of abandoned mines: https://goo.gl/TEKq9L
Thanks for watching!
Growing up in California’s “Gold Rush Country” made it easy to take all of the history around us for granted. However, abandoned mine sites have a lot working against them – nature, vandals, scrappers and various government agencies… The old prospectors and miners that used to roam our lonely mountains and toil away deep underground are disappearing quickly as well.
These losses finally caught our attention and we felt compelled to make an effort to document as many of the ghost towns and abandoned mines that we could before that colorful niche of our history is gone forever. But, you know what? We enjoy doing it! This is exploring history firsthand – bushwhacking down steep canyons and over rough mountains, figuring out the techniques the miners used and the equipment they worked with, seeing the innovations they came up with, discovering lost mines that no one has been in for a century, wandering through ghost towns where the only sound is the wind... These journeys allow a feeling of connection to a time when the world was a very different place. And I’d love to think that in some small way we are paying tribute to those hardy miners that worked these mines before we were even born.
So, yes, in short, we are adit addicts… I hope you’ll join us on these adventures!