Monday, November 19, 2007

Who needs a night light, we've got each other.

We returned to the Workman Creek area to check out some more abandoned Uranium Mines, the Lucky Stop and the Hope Mining Claims. It was a nice hike through the pine forest to reach the mines. As we approached them, there was a distinctive odor of rotten eggs in the air, not a good sign. The odor is caused by  Hydrogen Sulphide, a gas that forms when ground water and sulphides are present in mines and caves...BAD AIR!  We knew not to take any chances with bad air, so we just went far enough in to take some quick photos and got out. They're a spooky looking group of mines, one of them has a vertical shaft dropping to unknown depths about twenty-five feet in from the main adit. The walls are a sickly yellow green color with white crystals forming along the way from water seepage. No bats were seen clinging to the ceilings, also not a good sign. We could see that there had been lots of digging in the surrounding area and we've read that there were at least 17 mines and claims in the Workman Creek group of mines. There were no timber supports to be found anywhere, all the mines had been carved into layered shale-type rock, an engineering marvel to see. The tunnels were mostly square, unlike the rounded tunnels we've seen in other mines, probably because the rock they were carved into seemed to fracture into squares naturally.  
We checked out another road on the way home, FR488, it heads out toward some really deep canyon drop-offs and rocky cliffs, I wasn't feeling particularly adventurous given the deep chasms and soaring heights, so we called it a day and headed home. 
After visiting the Uranium Mines, we'll probably glow in the dark, ah well, who needs night lights, we've got each other.