Sunday, November 4, 2012


Well, Halloween came and passed, like a case of haunted Giardia. Did I do anything of note? Who are you to be asking me these questions? I don't answer to you! I don't answer to anyone! Well, except for my boss. And the highway patrol. And that girl at Subway who I think is flirting with me, or may just be interested in what I want on my sandwich. Also the media. And sometimes the utility company. Also the cell phone company, stoplights, America First Credit Union, snakes, loud noises, insomnia, whatever the opposite of insomnia is (outsomina?), burritos, leaking packets of sweet and sour sauce that get on my fries, and laundry. Other than that, I am a free man who answers to no one! I would love to show you pictures of what I did, but I am sleepy because I had to make my bed today and instead I just sorta fell asleep on the laundry pile for a few hours. These things happen when you live the wild life like me.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Ghost Mine Thursday! The Tar Baby Mine, Big Cottonwood District, Utah

So here we are. Many months have passed since I have written about the exciting and poorly ventilated field of abandoned mine exploration. Rest assured, my pause in weaving somewhat true tales about my exploits across this great state has not been caused by lack of material. No, the real cause is my huge lack of motivation of doing anything other than sitting on my couch and looking around. You see a lot, you know, by just sitting and looking around. Mostly just spiders. I hate my couch.

Let's go to the main event. Or should I say, the MINE event! No, no I shouldn't. Because that is a joke that only the old and dangerously shy would make. I think I've made this point before, but it's worth restating. Jokes about geology are a very slippery slope (landslides!). One second you are the king of the party, I mean, you are killing it. Where you go, the party follows. You're feeling confident, too confident. So you let loose with a geology joke. Perhaps it's about how quartz forms in inappropriate shapes, or perhaps you go the route of how stupid metamorphic rocks are. Either way, get ready to go to bed alone. Forever.

(See how I slipped a landslide joke in there? It wasn't funny, but it did prove the point I was making. So lonely).

Well, let's move on for reals. Here we are.....

Why are we here? Have I really dragged us away from our important real-life doings to look at what is likely a structure that is no stranger to meth? On the surface it may look like I'm going to attempt to write an entire blog post about a pile of tetanus. But let us not forget the famous saying, "Don't ye judge a shed by the....structural integrity....of it". Some of that may be off. My Shakespeare is a little rusty. Anyway, in all actuality  that pile of debris is hiding the Tar Baby Mine. 

As we've learned before, the first step in going into a mine is to find out where the mine is. This can be a problem, as mines tend to blend in with their surroundings very well.

Well, sometimes. Mines kinda do what they want. Anyway, I only bring this point up because I actually had no idea where this mine was. I don't know much about nature, and I subscribe to the school of thought that predicts that if you go wandering out into the bushes looking for something, then investigators are likely going to find your remains in a pile of moose scat, or perhaps the scat of any number of horrible things that are just waiting for us to go outside. Scat is a funny word.

Anyway, we need clue. Something that will let us know that we are close to a mine. We know that the mine is located somewhere in Big Cottonwood Canyon. This area....

Um. Pretend that map says "Tar Baby Mine" instead of "Confidence Mine". They are pretty close and I'm too lazy to go switching all that up. Anyway, what clues do abandoned mines leave behind you ask? Well, they can be subtle, but the clues are there. For example, take a look at this!

Look at those unusual sticks laying there on the ground. They seem to be trackular in nature. Almost too trackular to be ignored. If you find tracks while wandering aimlessly out in the woods, then chances are you are either near a mine or you are actually standing on a particularly well vegetated portion of a mass transit, system and will likely soon be in the newspaper. Luckily, for us, I know that we are actually very close to a mine. And by me I mean the guy who showed me where this mine was.

And so, in we go. 

Wave goodbye to the outside world with its promises of fresh air and loved ones!

Let us enter the world of unnecessary risk! Speaking of playing unnecessary risk, some of you may notice a few crazy orbs near either side of the metal tracks near the center of the photo. Now, some folks (democrats mostly) believe these orbs are ghosts, but in orb form. I’m not here to tell you what to think concerning these spherical potential visitors from the other side. This post is about a ghost mine, not ghosts in the mine. That’s a whole different subject that requires an audience that is much more amenable to alcohol and frizzy hair. 

Let’s wander in a little deeper. The Tar Baby Mine was incorporated way back in the glorious year of 1911, and was worked until the late 1930’s. Ah, 1911. I remember it like it was yesterday. I don’t have a joke to end this statement. Ah well. Look! 

Here are some more ancient words from the past! RWR 1938 and 1936. After extensive research (a google search) I have been unable to determine what exactly RMR refers to. Sometimes the past is mysterious.
Anyway, let’s see what lies ahead! The Tar Baby Mining Company initially drove two adits (remember folks! That’s a fancy word for horizontal tunnel!) into the mountainside. This particular adventure was completed within the lower tunnel. Sadly, the upper tunnel has long since passed from this world and has moved into the world of collapsed things. That world sucks. Anyway, the nearby Cardiff Mine was making more money than two prize winning racehorses duct-taped to six or seven software engineers all while being ridden by the world’s most frugal pimp. Typically when one mine is pulling in the dough, people will get the idea that if they stick enough holes into the mountainside nearby that mine, then they can earn enough money to buy a few racehorse-pimps of their own. This was the thought process of the Tar Baby Mining Company. Lookie here! A stope!

Do you remember what exactly a stope is? It is a big cavern that is created when the miners dug all that sweet, sweet goodness out of the ground. They usually are propped up using all sorts of various wooden devices, as seen here. Also sometimes they have moldy old ladders in them, as also seen here. You know what happens to wooden devices when you shove them in water for a long time? All sorts of horrible things start to grow on them. See?

It’s not unusual to come across these horrible furry little devils while mine exploring. I’ve always tried to avoid them, but sooner or later they get you. Nothing happens, it’s just unnerving. Like when a lightbulb burns out while you’re peeing, or driving near old people. Uh oh, looks like we've got problem.

In hopes of drawing larger viewership from the powerful "I want to interact with this blog" crowd, I'm going to let YOU the reader chose which way we go next. Go ahead! It's easy! Just select the way!

Nah, we're going left first. Go make your own mining blog if you want to make the decisions! All bow before me in this electronic world of nerdy pastimes! The Tar Baby Mine was geologically very similar to the afore-mentioned Cardiff mine, so it makes sense that the miners and owners (mostly the owners) were very optimistic that their mine would be an equally shining monument to the world of lung disease. They drifted in and encountered this little fella....

That may not look like much, but you've got yourself an ore vein there. That's what it's all about. A two inch wide vein of silver- and gold-rich pyrite and galena. But there isn't enough there to do anything with (that's what she said). So let's follow it down a ways and see if the vein ever opened up into something worth risking your life over....

This material averaged over 120 oz of silver per ton, and also had a smattering of gold in there too. I don't know how much. I could make something up if you want. This material contained 7 gold. That seems pretty good. Ah, now here's something...

The vein continues! And now it comes with numbers! 3117. I'm not sure what this means. Miners didn't leave a whole lot of ways to decipher their cryptic and often mildly offensive markings! But rest assured, at one point that meant something very important to somebody.  At this point the vein takes a sharp turn to the downward, which would be a problem if we weren't dealing with a group of people who had nothing else to do but dig downwards. And so they did...

That there is a prime example of an inclined shaft (that's what, ah, nevermind). When veins galloped off into the hillside at an angle, the miners would chase it, like a sweaty, ill-tempered hobo chasing a pigeon. What? Anyway, it can be hard to lift ore up things, so it would be nice to have a little engine at the top that would do it for us. Ask and you shall receive!

That there is a hand-operated windlass (elevator thingy). You turn that wheel, and your ore cart comes trudging up towards you. Or at least that was the idea 100 years ago. Now I'm guess that if you turn that wheel you will probably end up with a rusted bit of metal in your hand. Sadly, this concludes our trip down this tunnel as it got real collapsy looking from there on out. But the Tar Baby Company chased this vein for thousands of feet down this shaft, and only found a few hundred tons of high-grade ore. That sounds good to me, but I guess that's not considered a good return. This may be a good time (and if it's not I'm doing it anyway) to investigate what we are seeing here with regards to geology. I mean, that's what we are all here for, right? Give us geology or give us death, and all that. Well, long story short, it's very complex. And what do we do when things are complex? We make gross oversimplifications in the medium of stick figure drawing. Let's do that now!

The first important step in Utah's geologic history is a long one. A step largely covered in water. You see, for the past zillion years, Utah has been a quiet, unassuming part of the ocean floor. As opposed to now, where it is a quiet, unassuming part of the desert floor. Anyway, the point to take away here is that for most of it's history, the western U.S. has been very soggy. 

The next important step in the formation of the Wasatch Front (that's what us Utahn's call the Wasatch Mountain Range) is the drying up of all that water. This actually happened several times, but I'm not in the mood to draw several pictures. So this one is going to have to do.

There we are. Those lines are supposed to represent several different layers of rock that were deposited by the sea. Oceanic environments typically deposit rocks such as limestone and dolomite, both of which are readily susceptible to having ore deposits shoved within them....

Here's where things get odd. About 105 million years ago, Utah got squished by the early version of the San Andreas Fault. Yes, before it was destroying the L.A. Lakers, that fault was busy shoving much of Utah over much of Colorado. I would love to get into the details here, but we really do need to get moving. So you will just have to trust me about this. What's important to take away from this is that this compression formed several very large thrust faults. Faults are large cracks that form in the crust that allow various parts of your community to move past parts of other people's communities. Also they destroy everything. Let's move onto step.

Also it's important to observe the formation of the Alta Thrust Fault, a relatively large crack in the surface of the earth that is important in this next step. The Alta Thrust Fault was created as a result of older rock being squished on top of younger rock! Imagine that this whole situation is a sandwich that just got caught in a trash compactor. As a result of the compaction, the mustard got squished on top of the ham, even though you put the ham onto the sandwich first. Then, about 40 million years ago, step 4 began. A relatively large body of hot, mineral-rich magma got shoved into the sandwich. In doing so, the magma body forced mineral-rich fluids into the limestone. This was particularly true along previously created fault lines, such as the Alta Thrust Fault. Is this important? Oh my yes.

The compression that was so effectively created the Alta Thrust Fault soon gave way to extensional forces, which created the Wasatch Mountains as we know them today. The valley floor dropped to the west, while the Wasatch Mountains rose to the east. This allowed our tobacco spitting, prostitute visiting fore-fathers to discover the wealth that the volcanic intrusions left behind! Sadly, the Tar Baby Mine is located pretty far away from one of those magmatic intrusions, and as such it received very little ore-body building material. That little bit of information would have saved a lot of people a lot of time in the 1920's. 

And so, there we are. A hugely complex geological event summarized into five poorly illustrated steps. Let's move along.

Let's get out of this tunnel of disappointment. Maybe the other tunnel will reward us with geological riches!

It's like being birthed, but with less birth-sauce everywhere. Now here's something you won't see (hopefully?) in any birth canal....

More miner writings. I am starting to suspect that these are the initials of some long-dead miner. But it could just as likely be literally anything else. So, again, not helping you out a whole lot with "facts". Let's keep going.....

Ah, a dead end. Or is it?????

This picture doesn't clear anything up, does it? Well, what you are seeing is a raise (upward shaft!). Or more correctly, you are seeing some boards that cover a raise...

This shaft was completed in 1913, and was largely used to ventilate the mine by bringing in air from the surface some 800 feet upwards. As a fun fact, it also connected with several other of the mines in the area! Everyone loves fun facts. 

Well, there you have it. A really creepy looking part that I don't dare go down and a shaft that goes straight up. I'm calling it a day. Let's go back outside and see if we can find something cool laying around. Ah ha! We didn't have to wait long!

Ah yes, the miner's most valuable piece of equipment. This mine was worked largely after the period in which prostitutes were plentiful, but I'm guessing one or two still made it up there. And so their legacy lives on. Largely in the form of illegitimate children. 

Oh, a few last thing to touch on before we start re-reading this post again (because it was so good). There were reports of additional rich mineralized veins located by folks who leased the mine (generally mining companies lease the rights to pull out whatever you want from their mine once they have gotten their fill) located at deepest portions of the mine, but excessive water made it too dangerous to work down there. So the 1940's hit and everyone went home or to war. And so ended the Tar Baby Mine. 

The end (officially). 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Concerning The Matter Of Ghosts....

Ghosts are a fascinating deal. They walk through stuff, occasionally knock stuff over, maybe chuck a bolt at you if they are feeling throw-y. They are like teenagers, but seem to consume fewer drugs. I've never cared much for our undead and frequently poorly photographed friends from beyond, but on a recent journey into the wast abyss that is Nevada, I found myself in Virginia City.

Now, I completed this journey (and in doing so risked having to stop in Elko), so that I could enjoy the earthy delights that once made this city famous. And I intend on imparting my many memorable moments to you all once I decide which moments are the most impartable. But in the meanwhile, I felt like I needed to discuss the matter of Ghosts. Which brings us back to the start.

In Summary, Virginia City is home (kinda) to the Comstock Lode, the incredible ball of silver that made many people rich and kept several others drunk for a good while. It is also unusually....ghost friendly. Now, ghosts are a tricky bunch. Like Bigfoot, they never seem to show up for people who are technically looking for them (there are, of course, exceptions). Usually someone will just be taking a picture of some old war vets and Bam! An cloud of mist that looks vaguely like an old lady shows up hanging out in the background like it ain't no thing. I feel like I fall somewhere in the middle of those extremes. While I didn't visit Virginia City looking SPECIFICALLY for ghosts, I was messing around in the graveyard at night, which leads me to believe that I was either very drunk and lost, or I was looking to stir up some ghostly company. Either way, I took this picture with my camera phone....

Now, that may look like a whole lot of nuthin'. And you would be right. But, what if it is actually a whole lot of nuthin' and also a ghost? Remember, ghosts don't hang out in the same form we do. They spend their days being all misty and stuff. Which is why I didn't get this picture...

You see, I believe Casper is nothing more than a chubby albino kid who realized that by pretending to be a ghost would open up more opportunities to score with goth chicks. But this post isn't about my thoughts on Casper. This post is about this picture...

So, what is going on here? Let's take a look at some of the more recognizable features. In the foreground you have a couple of graves, or as I like to call them, ghost factories.

I've also labeled the dirt, in case some of you aren't keeping up. Graves usually involve dirt in some way. So, there we have it, graves. But what of this young fellow?

Go ahead and blow that business up a little. Now, here's the thing. I have seen some crazy stuff in my life. I've seen two birds going at it then a third bird fly in and totally steal the other bird's lady bird, I've seen me make a three-pointer, I've even seen a raccoon. But I've never seen one of those. Mostly because I'm not exactly sure what one of those is/are. It is, like all good ghost pictures, open to interpretation. But I can say that it certainly wasn't there when I took the photo, and my flash wasn't strong enough to illuminate such an area, so whatever it is it seems to be making its own light. And so, dear reader, in the face of the overwhelming and irrefutable evidence I've so elegantly stated in less than 10 words, I propose that it is proof of an afterlife. Not bad for a blog post.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


And so, here we are, 5 months since my last post. What have I been doing? Oh, just a little something I like to call HAVING A JOB! It's a lot like unemployment, except there's these people who want to you show up at a building every day and stay there for a while. But you can't just sit at this building, they want you to do some sort of task while you are there. They call it "Being at work" and I totally do it every day. But that's not all I've been up to. Remember mines and rocks and stuff? I've looked at those things too! I've looked their brains out! And so, I feel that my geological cup runnith over, and that it is my sworn duty to put pictures of stuff on the internet. But not tonight. I have to "Being at work" tomorrow, and it's late tonight.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentines Special! Ghost Mine AND Ghost Town! Dixie Apex and Shem!

Well, it's been three months since I last drank deeply from the well of gainful employment. It's been an educational experience. I've learned that Taco Bell offers a wide array of relatively cheap, somewhat digestable food-like items. I have learned that medical insurance is for chumps. I have re-learned the joys of playing with Legos. I am 32 years old.

But that list is not all-inclusive. I have also been outdoors, just walking around and looking at stuff. Stuff needs to be looked at or it will start to organize and plot to overthrow you (I have also increased my paranoia). While I've seen many things in the last 3 months, I've focused a little more on rocks and mines and stuff. That's kinda my thing. Have you ever read one of these blog posts? They go on and on about rocks and mines and stuff. Heavens knows I don't read this crap. I've also grown a little more bitter lately. Everyone sucks but me. Someone give me a job.

Well, enough banter. We've got a lot of work to do (nope) and not much time to do it (nope). Today we are going to visit a decidedly different corner of Utah. Not because I ran out of thing to talk about (that happened years ago), but because I now find myself with the opportunity to take long vacations. Plus no one seems to have written all that much about todays mine/ghost town. I figure to set things right.

Allow me to introduce the Dixie Apex Mine....

That's where it used to be anyway. Or somewhere near there. It's hard to say for certain. It would be an easy matter to pinpoint its location if it were still there, but nowadays it's just sorta....that. It's under there somewhere. Here's what it looked like when it used to look like something.

But you aren't here to look at interesting pictures! You're here because for some reason this blog is a google result for the query "busty mermaids". Well this post doesn't feature any busty mermaids you pervs. Or does it? You should search this post from top to bottom. Tell me how it turns out.

The story of the Dixie Apex starts with the end of the story of the Silver Reef mining district (which has been covered with all due attention and eloquence in a previous post rich with busty mermaids). Like most people, miners prefer to have jobs. Specifically to miners, they like to have jobs that allow them to dig in stuff. But Silver Reef soon had more people who were willing to dig in stuff than it needed. This lead to an unfortunate influx of unemployed miners who were completely without a place to dig a hole. Luckily for them, a whole new mining district was about to be discovered in 1884 by a young (possibly) fellow named William Webb.

Obviously that's not him, but it's as close as Google is going to get me. I like doing crazy Google searches. Have you ever googled "incredulous"? Pretty great. Things get a bit dicey after page 2 though. Stuff that would make busty mermaids weep for the souls of those soon to be born. Anyway, Mr. Webb was wandering the Beaver Dam Mountains in Southern Utah looking for cordwood. The Beaver Dam Mountains are located hereish...

As Mr. Webb was collecting his coveted cordwood on a mountain named Jarvis Peak, he came across some blue-green rocks. As you know, most rocks range in color from grey to greyish, so blue-green is somewhat notable. These rocks proved to be rich in copper, and copper appears to be more interesting than cordwood. Mr. Webb staked a claim on the site and created the Tugsagubet Mining District in the process. Tugsagubet is a hell of a word. Probably means something too. I don't know what though.

For reasons that are equally unknown to me, Mr. Webb named his mine The Pen Mine and work began that year (1884 for reminders). Here's some old-timesy pictures of people at work in the mine! I like old-timesy pictures.

Those pictures are sideways because Blogspot is the worst program ever purposely released on humanity. Sometimes a dame would show up at the mine and it proved to be a picture-worthy occasion....

Between the years of 1884 and 1888 the mine pumped out 300 tons of ore which was shipped to Wales for some reason. Wales seems to have been the place to be if you were a chunk of rock. Anyway, Wales is far away and rocks are heavy, so shipping ate up much of the profits. In 1890 Mr. Webb missed his corkwood gathering hobby and sold the mine to a local mercantile firm named Wooley Lund and Judd. I guess they wanted to branch out from the dry goods business into the heavy underground mining business. Companies could do whatever they wanted back in the day, like how a gym coach can also be a driver's Ed teacher. I dunno.

The ore assayed at 54.2 percent copper, 4.1 percent sulfur, and 4 ounces of silver to the ton. Is this good? I guess so. It seems good anyway. Not as good as 100 percent gold though. People should open more 100 percent gold mines. Either way, it was good enough for the Wooley Lunch and Judd powerhouse. They renamed the mine the Apex Copper and built several improvements, like a nice little boarding house. It seems like your chances of getting mauled by a rattlesnake seems slightly lower if you are standing inside a boarding house, so I'm betting it was a welcome addition. There's a picture of it up above. It's one of those sideways pictures.

Now, Wooley, Lund and Judd still had a problem. In fact, it was the same problem that William Webb had. Wales. Wales is just too far away for us to be shipping things to it. We would be better off just forgetting it completely in my opinion. So WLJ decided to again branch out once again, and in 1899 they built a small smelter right in the heart of St. George. The bugger lasted about a year and produced about 20 tons of copper before everyone seems to have lost interest in it. I tried to take a picture of the spot where this smelter used to be, but the site is now occupied by an irritable elderly gentleman who just wants to crack his cashews in peace.

The ore wasn't going to smelt itself, so in 1900 a hugetastic new smelter was built a few miles closer to the mine, near the town of Gunlock (which is perhaps the very definition of a cool town name. Take some notes Sulphurdale). This new fang-dangled smelter was powered by a dam that was built over the Santa Clara River. Well, they must have built that dam with super dam powers, because it's still there today....

And here is some other part of the smelter. The, uh, round part.

The rest of the smelter is out in the weeds somewhere. I can't be bothered to go look for them though.

Now, rivers and dams are all well and good, but smelters still need poorly educated immigrants to work it! So soon a town was built around the smelter, and was named Shem after a particularly friendly chief in the nearby tribe. The town was built on the hillside to the west (or possibly east or north, I'm bad with directions) of the smelter. There's not a whole lot to see anymore. EXCEPT THIS AWESOME WALL!!

Not good enough you say? Well, HERE'S ANOTHER WALL!!!

They are kinda hard to see there, but trust me, there are two walls in those pictures and they are fantastic. But if neither of those pictures are very interesting to you, then I don't recommend you go out of your way to see Shem. Because that's about it. Also you have to pull over on the side of the road and everyone slows down to look at the person who has pulled over to the side of the road and they start to judge them. Like they were some sort of freak tramping around in the bushes looking at old walls.Anyway, the population of Shem was never very large. Probably around a few hundred folks at its peak. And because the only work in town was a smelter, I'm betting the chick to dude ratio was horrible.

Here's a thing. These buildings are located pretty close to the old Shem townsite...

and although they weren't technically part of the town, they do have an interesting history that will fill out this otherwise short post nicely. Here's the thing. With the exception of the mine, everything we have seen is located pretty much right in the middle of the Shivwits Indian Reservation. I have never met a Shivwit, but based on the number of no trespassing signs, I'm guessing they don't want you poking your nose about in their business. So I recommend that you don't. The rest of this story will only serve to validate my recommendation. The structure in the upper picture was, not surprisingly, a prison built by the mormon settlers in an attempt to establish friendly relations with the native people. Why they chose something as unfriendly as a prison, I couldn't say. I would have gone with a candy cane teddy bear shop, but those were different times. The second picture is of an old chapel, located just a few feet away from the prison. Well, things were going along swimmingly until one night when a mob of angry braves broke into the prison and made off with a prisoner who had committed a crime of some sort. The mob took the prisoner over to the church and gave him the ol' hangy hangy from a rafter. After that, people didn't really want to go to church there anymore so it was abandoned. The end.
Let's get back to the mine. From 1900 to 1907 several other mines in the Tutsagwhatever Mining District started to ship ore to the Shem smelter. These include the Black Warrior Mine, The Westside Mine, as well as others that I feel no need to climb to. Here's a secret just between you and me. All mines look like this...
All of them. Just a big old hole. Now, there may be a few slight variations, but that's basically the idea. So if you ever feel like you need to waste an entire Wednesday climbing up some horrible, mountain lion infested peak to see a mine, I just saved you a ton of time. With that being said, here's another mine near the Dixie Apex that I wasted my entire Wednesday climbing to!
That there is the Paymaster Mine, but despite the illustrious name, it never actually paid much of anything. It produced a little lead and silver, but nothing to write home about (which would be a weird thing to do anyway). What is amazing about this mine is that it is still very well preserved.
This is the old steam hoist that would bring the miners up from their little vacation to Hades. The lever on the left is the operating action, and the chair on the far left is where the operator would sit their butt. I shouldn't have to explain what the chair is for.
Here's a few old oil cans still sitting on the shelf waiting to....oil...things. Neat. So, bad mine, neat piece of history. Not a bad trade-off. For us anyway. I bet the mine owners would have differing opinions. Or would if they weren't long dead.
Let's move it along. The Dixie Apex (as it finally became known) was worked until 1909 when dropping copper prices made digging holes cost-prohibative. I don't know who had to give the news to Shem, but I bet it wasn't met with much enthusiasm. Without ore to smelt, there is no need for a smelter. And without a smelter there is no need for a smelting town. So off Shem went. See you around Shem.
The prices of copper would rise and fall, and thus the Dixie Apex was re-opened several times between 1911 and 1960. At some point a shaft was dug in the hill above the tunnel for some reason. Here's a picture of what we're looking at.
I don't know if that clears anything up. At least the road is well labeled. See the dashed line labeled Apex Fault? See the part that has question marks all over it? That means that the fault is "inferred" which actually mean "maybe it does this" which in turn means "we don't know what the hell is going on". Much of geology should have those question marks.
Here's a picture of that shaft from far away...
Can you see it? Lets see if I can't make it stand out a little more....
Well, neither of those are really great. But the idea I'm trying to make is that you would have to be extremely stupid to climb all the way up there.
Here's some pictures of the shaft after I climbed all the way up there...
See? What did I tell you?
But look what I did find all the way up there!
What the devil is this thing? It didn't seem to understand english, so I tried to threaten it away by throwing sticks and leaves into the air. Then I fell down the hill. Nice views of the nearby valley though.
Plus I was able to capture this shot of me getting a workout. This one is for the ladies.
As a side note, I don't care whos head you put on He-Man's body, they will always look constipated. You could put FDR's head up there and you would end up with our nations only 4 term and most constipated president. Bah. Anyway, ore from this shaft (and from a second tunnel that I haven't mentioned) was driven along this little mining road.....
To an assay house that was located near the mine opening. Remember, there really isn't a whole lot left out there, so you have to use your imagination a lot.
See the rocks stacked up near the left-middle portion of the picture? This would have been the foundation of said assay house. Or possibly something else. I wasn't there. But I suspect it was an assay house due to a little detective work. See this??????
What we have here is a decorative piece of furnace surrounded by red furnace brick pieces. These, my friends, are the calling cards of an assay house. Or possibly any number of other things. But I'm sticking with assay house.
So, what did we end up with? Well, personally I ended up throwing up my lunch because I climbed up a really steep hill and had an imaginary fight with some weird plant. But if you mean the mine, well, the numbers are actually pretty good. 7,000 million tons of copper, 400 million tons of lead, 180,000 ounces of silver, and a slight dusting of gold. More than I've ever produced anyway. By the mid 1960's the mine ran dry, and everyone closed up shop. But something else was lurking in the depths of Jarvis Peak. Let's take a look at that 7th grade science thing.
That's the periodic table. It's full of stuff we use for other stuff. I've gone ahead and labeled our old friends copper and silver (as well as the made up elements down below). But have you ever seen these two fiesty little fellows?
Ga and Ge? What madness is this? Apparently science found them quite a few years ago, and named them Germanium and Gallium. It turns out that these metals are quite useful in the manufacture of futuristic things, like flux capacitors and catamarans. They are called "rare earth metals" because they are....rare earth metals. Or at least they are everywhere else other than the Dixie Apex Mine. You see, these two little buggers were hiding out in the low-grade ore that was ignored by the earlier miners and left down in the ground. But once they were discovered (and I'm not quite sure how they were), the mine soon had a new purpose. Enough Germanium and Gallium to make us all rich and sterile! And so, in 1985, the mine was again fired up with the intention of becoming the world's first Germanium and Gallium mine.
Now, the rest of the story gets a bit foggy. From what I understand, there is one other location in the world where Germanium and Gallwhatever can be found in useful quantities, and the folks who own that mine didn't care for the competition that the Dixie Apex was bringing along. So they did what anyone who has a Scrooge McDuck-like money big sitting around. They bought the mine and closed it down. Then you reclaim it. A-like so.
Then you stick a big fat "Stay the heck out" sign up and go on your way.
So, will the Dixie Apex stay shut? Probably not. I'm betting that at some point in the future, the allure of those two elements that I'm not going to type again will drag people back down into the hole. But I'm tired of thinking about this mine. Good day.