Empire Mine, etc., Monday, 9/24/12

Sunday was our day of rest, which we needed.  I say rest, although we did walk 4 miles on the Cascade Canal path ("The Ditch") in the morning. In the afternoon we drove into Nevada City to check out some of the beautiful Victorian homes and the businesses -- preferably on the shady side --on Broad Street.  It was another hot afternoon.  Jimmy grilled chops for dinner.  We ate well!

We hit the road again on Monday, off on another Explore, as Pooh would say.  Jimmy and I had never been by Mount St Mary's Convent and Academy in Grass Valley, which served as the first orphanage of the Northern Mines from 1866 - 1932.  The Rose Garden on the grounds was lovely, still full of fragrant roses.

Anne and Rus in front of the church.

Not roses, but very pretty en masse.

Original gate:  Mount St. Mary's Academy, Founded 1865.

Next we drove several blocks to the Northstar Mine Powerhouse Museum located by Wolf Creek in Grass Valley, another first for Jimmy and me.  Uh-oh, the Museum was closed, it being a Monday -- seems like all museums and barbershops are closed on Mondays.  However, we were free to look over many of the large gold mining artifacts which sit outside, and walk across the tree-shaded bridge to the picnic area on the other side of spirited Wolf Creek.

Jimmy and Rus investigated quite a few of the machine workings on the museum grounds. From the bridge, Anne and I enjoyed the cooling waters of Wolf Creek.

Rus and Anne in front of a Stamp Mill (ore crusher).  Stamp mills operated 24 hours a day when the mine was open.  Oh, the noise they would've made - yeow!

Since the Northstar museum was closed, we drove on up the hill to Empire Mine, a site Jimmy and I had been to before.  We were rewarded by the mine shaft being open.  Really hard to describe the mine shaft, how steep the ride down would have been, how deep the miners went ... so glad I wasn't a miner.

These two pics relay the ride miners took when descending to work.  The first pic above is my photograph of a photograph showing how the miners sat in the skips.  Jimmy is sitting on a lower rung (seat) of a skip, ready to plunge!!  Not really.  It's for show 'n tell.  Enlarge any photo for a better look-see.

A replica of the headframe. 

I took this picture, so I know how steep the decline was - maybe 45 degrees?  However, when I look at this picture now, it looks like the rails are slightly inclined. Optical illusion - go figure.  I shudder when I feature the miners descending a mile under the earth's surface.  Gives me the creeps.  A lot of gold came out of the Empire....  I understand Empire is going to open for a full underground immersion tour, now pushed back to 2014, I believe.  Jimmy would like to do this; I don't know if I can overcome enough claustrophobia....

The flip side of a hard-rock gold mine such as the Empire,
is the lovely home and gardens of the mine owner.

Nice little place the mine owner built.

Rus and Anne, me and Jimmy ready to order dinner at Cirino's in Grass Valley on Monday evening -- a very nice parting gift from my brother and sis-in-law.  The ambiance was terrific (window view), the food was excellent, and the company ... well, the company was The Best.

Tomorrow (Tuesday), is packing and "other stuff" day.  On Wednesday, we'll drive Rus and Anne to San Francisco to catch their flight back to Boston.  We enjoyed their visit very much.  They offered to return every other month.  Well...........!!! 

1 comment:

  1. That will be nice to look forward to more visits in the not too distant future. :)


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