Monday, March 26, 2012

Ye Olde Coal Mine

I can't believe it has been so long since my last post. I'm going to make a point to post something at least once a month (especially with the backlog of photos from trips in my possession!)

Todays post is brought to you by PBF's suggestion to go out and find the old Bookclif Mine and reminants of the town of Carpenter, Colorado.  This was a great excursion for the both of us between the geology of the area (for me) and the engineering of the old buildings (for PBF).

We parked where PBF's truck, Black Betty, could no longer trek.  Here is the view looking into the hills. You can faintly see the line where the trail runs up to the mine on the left.

Looking up toward the mine, which is hidden behind a hill.
Only walking a short distance, we came upon this retaining wall.  It looked to be built from fallen sandstone of the Mt. Garfield Formation above.

This probably spans 20 feet or so.

Close up of a drainage/tunnel entrance?
Pretty awesome engineering in the building of an arch!

Just up from the retaining wall was this block of flaggy to fissile siltstone weathering away.

PBF surveying the rock from above.
 We continued up the road to find a flattish area with some debris.

Rusted out metal door to something.
 Then entered upon this!

Wall of a domicile with wooden beams in place.
The far corner has some sort of pipe coming out of the wall.
 Then a bit further upwards, through much coal debris (of which my little camera would not take a decent picture.
That smallish grey smudge is coal. I promise.
Finally up to the mine entrance itself.

Taadaa! The entrance!
A closer look into the deep!  Ok well kind of.
 On the way back we found a block of sandstone (probably from the Mt. Garfield Fm.) which was tagged and painted over at some point.  It is possibly displaying some hummocky cross-stratification, which is evidence of hurricanes in Colorado's past!

Identification possible through your support and the support
of GEOL 444, Sedimentology and Stratigraphy.
 Once back at Black Betty we wandered a bit and found possible glass remains from the town. These were decidedly so due to the type and thickness of the glass which is not found today.

As well as an old shoe in the shadows.

The Bookcliff Mine was served by the Little Book Cliff Railway which was in operation for 36 years before shutting down.

So there is the Bookcliff Mine adventure!  Well a brief incantation of it anyway. I have a backlog of photos from Arizona and Moab to go through so until next time! Rock on!

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