02-20-06 - 2


Dan and I went to Rinconada mine today. I'd never actually been inside the mine before, I'd heard it was closed and couldn't find the opening, so thought it was bulldozed in, but that's all wrong. We hiked up to the top of the grade, the flowers are blooming, and there's also snow on the ground! It snowed last night on the Cuesta Grade and there are patches of icy snow in the shade. The mine caverns are amazing, huge carved out holes traversed by thin bridges of rock. It really reminded me of the Blackburrow gnoll dungeon (near Qeynos), which is kind of sad. We checked out the top of the main cavern and snapped some photos and also found the side entrance where the old mine carts went in on rails. We didn't have flashlights or ropes or anything so we couldn't get too far in, so we'll have to go back sometime with gear. Perhaps the coolest site was outside. An excavated pit on the hillside above the main mine area had filled with water from the recent rains, and the water was a strange cloudy blue, filled with mineral powder from all the ores. The mine was a "Cinnabar" mine (which is some mercury rock thing), and the place is dangerously high in Mercury still. There were grates over the mine openings, but determined people had made mincemeat of them for our convenience. I put some photos up at Yahoo .

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