Exploration

I’m back from an incredible trip exploring the Rocky Mountains, the Continental Divide along its top, old gold mines, spectacular wildflowers at their peak, and wild life in its element. In two days on the 4-wheel buggy, we saw 5 moose, 4 marmots, numerous pika, and a herd of Rocky Mountain goats in the middle of shedding last winter’s coat. I’m not sure why, because on the tops of those mountains (they hang out above tree line) it is cold and windy. Very cold. Very windy.

What I love and can’t get enough of are the waterfalls. Small to large streams, simple or spectacular, I love the waterfalls. We saw so many little ones with rock beds of small, colorful stones. I was inspired to come home and build one in my back yard. Alas, I don’t think it’s practical, however, buying a waterfall in the wilds is pretty impractical too, so…

I have to wonder about the sanity of those gold and silver miners. Those mines are dug into the sides of strikingly steep mountains where it is cold and windy in the middle of summer. Everything they did, bringing in supplies, taking out the ore, was done by dealing with those incredible heights and steep slopes. Building the little rail lines, the boilers that created the steam to dig with, or jack hammer, or whatever method each one used was an incredible feat of ingenuity and endurance. It is fascinating to explore, but I know I could not have lived that life. I wonder what was the actual average number of years per person spent up there? We saw some cabin foundations near lower mines, but I wonder if most didn’t live in tents for the short duration of the summer season when it was actually possible to get ore out. As with most exploration, there are more questions than there are answers. I need to visit a mining museum.redcone

Source: Barbara Tyner WordPress Blog

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