Friday, March 2, 2007

Bye Bye Blue Bird

Well, it's the end of The **Blue Bird Mine as we knew it. The Forest Service is doing a classic reclamation of the site. The old cabin is gone and soon, the adits to the mine shafts will be closed forever.
We were able to go today to watch the proceedings and bid the Blue Bird a fond good-bye.
The first hint that things were really proceeding was the road, it was like a super highway by comparison to what the road was like on previous visits. No more off-camber, tippy, stomach churning, seat grabbing, turns...the "pucker factor" has been eliminated. Bulldozers have been through and cleared the road to enable a 10 ton dump truck to have access. They've hauled in huge culvert-type metal pipes that are fitted with bars, these will be used to plug the mine adits, still allowing bats to enter and exit.
We thought it would be a sentimental touch to leave a bit of ourselves in the mine for future generations of would-be explorers so we put together a time capsule. In it we put a book of my poetry, a letter to whomever finds it, some current currency and coins, a newspaper and a few other assorted goodies....wonder if it'll ever be found...?
It's understandable to some extent to see why the government implements these changes, but on the other hand the mine tunnels themselves are rich in history and many of them have been around long enough to take on an almost natural appearance with stalagmites and stalactites beginning to form. The Blue Bird for example took on sparkling jewel-like reflections when the beams from our lights glanced over the faceted Azurite and Fluorite walls and ceilings.
We now have an old wooden chair from the Blue Bird sitting in our den, it was to have been hauled off too, we're lucky enough to have a piece of history.
The Forest Service will leave in place the ore conveyor as well as the ore chute for future explorers to marvel at. The mine's tunnels will be sitting, barred to entry so people will be left to speculate what it must be like deep within the dark and silent recesses.
Goodbye Blue Bird, Old Gal, Rest In Peace.
**To read previous journal entries about the Blue Bird Mine, click on the  "archives " link.
*** update:10/29/07
We just learned that the total cost for the Blue Bird destruction...errr..."reclamation" was $79,000. The cost of history lost...priceless.