Thursday, August 6, 2009

Idaho Springs is Not in Idaho

In continuation from my blog below... our day didn't end with the adventure of sled riding. While driving home, we had to drive through a city named, Idaho Springs, and as my title states, it's not in Idaho ;) Scott didn't seem to have enough adventure for the day, so he figured it would be a good idea to tour an old gold mine.

This Argo Gold Mill opened on April 1, 1913 as one of the largest and most modern custom mills in Colorado. It was designed to concentrate precious metals from the diverse ores of Clear Creek and Gilpin Counties. Most of this ore was brought to the Argo through the world famous NEWHOUSE TUNNEL. This tunnel is 4.16 miles long and goes all the way to Central City. Seriously, that's a long tunnel, when you consider the manual labor it took to dig out and blow through a mountain back then. Certainly, not how it would be today. I think, if i remember correctly... on average they only drilled through 8 feet a day...and it took them 17 years to complete!

Just as I am probably boring you with this blog, imagine the educational class that we had to sit through, before we could run around the Mill. Consider yourself lucky, that you are getting the short version :) Now take a look at those cool hard hats! This was taken in the Double Eagle Mine, and yes, they recommend you wear the hardhat, we didn't do it by choice.

Norfolk Southern at its finest, right here!!! Check out these old rail cars. Of course, Scott had to be better than me and actually sit inside. Too bad he didn't tip over, because they were not very sturdy!

Here is a picture of the main tunnel (the 4.16 mile long one I mentioned earlier). However, it has since been closed off since the disastrous flood of 1943. A powder blast released an underground body of water into the tunnel, and actually killed 4 miners that day. Although it was still interesting to see the entrance and the water that still flows from it.

And the last picture that I am going to share with you on this educational blog is the inside of the actual mill. Imagine working in there in the early 1900's with the deafening sounds of crushing and grinding machines, the continuous movement and spillage of liquids and solids conveyed overhead through chutes and troughs, and the excitement of the men working who were pursuing the earth's most eagerly sought treasure....GOLD! The tour guy actually said the machines in the mill could drown out the sound of Niagara Falls! That's freaking loud.

Well I apologize about the educational lesson, probably not as entertaining as some of my other blogs, but sometimes it's nice to learn something new everyday. Hope you enjoyed! I'll be back soon to write about my first time at a RODEO! Until then (which should be soon), be good and smile. oJ!

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