Sunday, September 16, 2007

Return To Zadora

We returned to Zadora Mine this morning for a closer look around. We could tell nobody had been there since we were there last week, no tracks but ours'. Since our neighbor Larry was with us, we felt more secure taking a closer look at the mine. Up close to the entrance, the air coming from deep inside the mine, felt as if someone had turned the air conditioning on full blast. If it wasn't for the snakes and other critters who might enjoy the air conditioned comfort, it would be a great place to camp on some of these hot summer days. Since we don't fancy sharing a sleeping bag with anything slithery, I suppose that's out of the question.
Ralph and Larry hiked up the trail leading above the main adit and found two huge vertical mine shafts, one with a ladder leading down into the dark parts unknown, the other hewn through solid rock and going down into another portion of the mine. It was easy to see that these two vertical shafts drew outside air down into the mine, cooling the air and then sending it rushing through and out the front entrance. Great air conditioning system. We also checked the storage shed closer and decided it was probably used to store blasting caps and dynamite, they had taken great care to keep the interior waterproof.
Looking at some of the rocks we found in the mine tailings, we determined that when they were digging the mine, they must have come across an interior cave. Some of the rocks in the piles of tailings contained stalagmite and stalactite formations. (formed when mineral rich water drips through a hole or crack in the roof of a cave, depositing the minerals on the floor below). There's also the possibility that the mine might have begun as a cave and someone discovered Fluorite and staked the claim there.
We'll return again to sit and dig through some of the tailings to see what else we can unearth. It'll be a leisurely way to spend another day.