Monday, May 2, 2022

Bob Trains for Deadwood Marathon in the Morning. We Do the Queen Mine Tour in the Afternoon - Monday, May 2, 2022

Today, I had the morning to sleep in. Happy, happy, joy, joy! 

Bob, however, was up and running at dawn. You see, he is in training for the Deadwood Marathon in South Dakota the first weekend in June. His preferred place of torture (I mean training) was Tombstone Canyon Road. The out-and-back route was 14 miles. Sigh. I don't see how he does it! Good job, Bob.

Rick, Jan, and I had a mellow morning and relaxed in our respective RVs. After Bob got back, showered, and had brunch, he slept for a couple of hours in his recliner. 

In the early afternoon, the four of us walked down the hill from the Queen Mine RV Park to the Queen Mine for our tour. How easy was that?!

The mine had a wonderful documentary of how the mine operated. We watched that and looked at all their exhibits before the tour. The movie was very true to the life the miners lived.

Exhibits included a big diagram of the layout of the mine. There are "dead workings," "leased workings," and "active workings." Parts of the mine include shafts, chutes, stopes, subways, manways, sumps, hoists, mule barn, toilet car, crosscut, fire doors, air doors, powder magazines, cap magazine, mucking machine, headframes, sheave wheels, ore pockets, slushers, etc. Whew, it takes a lot to mine!

Dead Workings:

Leased Workings:

Active Workings:

We also looked at their display cases of minerals and gems available for purchase from the gift shop. Many of these came from mines in Bisbee; others are from mines around the world. I love the Himalayan Salt Lamps, the titanium aura quartz, Tibetan quartz, and Lapis lazuli.

Tibetan quartz on top left. 

Himalayan Salt Lamp.

Lapis lazuli.

Minerals from Bisbee mines.

Himalayan Salt Lamps.

Other exhibits included a very large and heavy anode cast from the last copper charge. See photo of Bob below. He couldn't move this anode cast!

This anode cast is from 
the Hidalgo Smelter (1999).

If I remember correctly, these totals
are from all the Bisbee mines.

When the miners came out of the mine at the end of the day, they hung their dirty clothes in the rafters. 
Dirty clothes hanging
in the rafters above
their lockers.

An outside exhibit. 

Just before the tour into the mine, we all geared up with a safety vest, a helmet, and a headlamp. Then we boarded the train into the mine. After we got a short distance into the darkness of the mine, they stopped the train in case anyone felt claustrophobic and needed to leave. No one left from our train.

Me and Bob.

Rick and Jan.

Jan, Rick, me, Bob.

Bob and I were seated in the front.
Here we go. The mine door is open!

Heading into the darkness.

Along the route, we had stops at several spots where we got off the train and walked into a side tunnel with displays about how the mining was done, how they followed the ore vein, how they drilled, where they ate, where they went to the bathroom, where the mules were kept, how they shored up the ceiling to prevent cave-ins (or at least offer a safe place to be if there was a cave-in).
Learning about how wooden frames
were built to protect workers. They 
built the frames on top of one another.

Our guide explaining how ore comes
down the chutes into the rail cars. 

Single deck cage used for 
transporting people or mules.

This is the toilet car. Not very private.

Code signals for the mine.

Mules played a very important part in the mines. They hauled out the ore cars. A mule lived most of its life underground, never seeing the light of day. The mules went blind in the darkness, but when they were retired they regained part of their eyesight.

Our tour train exiting the mine.

If you go to Bisbee, we definitely recommend that you take the tour at the Queen Mine.

We walked back up the hill to the RV park. I took more photos of the campground.

These sites backed up to the 

These sites backed up to 
the open pit mine.

Our sites overlooked the town 
of Bisbee. Great sites!

Happy Hour time! We walked into Bisbee and went to Old Bisbee Brewing Company just below the Pythian Castle. We had walked on the street above the brewing company a couple of days prior and I got a good shot of the shade-providing "sails."

The Pythian Castle.

Bob, Rick, and Jan in front fo the
Old Bisbee Brewing Company.


Me and Bob.

Menu at Old Bisbee Brewing Company.

When we finished Happy Hour, we walked to dinner at Bisbee's Table in the Copper Queen Plaza on Main St. I had a delectable Fresh Thai Salad. Mmm! Rick and Jan shared a pizza. I don't remember what Bob had.

We then walked back to the RV park and got ready to head back home in the morning. Our visit with Rick and Jan for five days was great. They took us to memorable places. We hope to see them again in March 2023 when we go to Escapade in Tucson, Arizona.

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