Wednesday, June 20, 2018

June 2018 Family Vacation: Part 3 - Crystal Gold Mine, Kellogg, ID

 On our way back home from Glacier National Park, we stopped in Kellogg, ID at a privately owned mine called the "Crystal Gold Mine" where they give tours through it. It is an old 1880s gold mine rediscovered in the 1980s, I believe. Josiah is fascinated with all things to do with mining so we decided to fill his love tank and take the tour as a family. So glad we did! It was an absolutely amazing piece of history, plus wonderful geology lessons were involved, too.
 Dave did a great job as our tour guide. He was showing us some drills that came from the mine. You could still see where the rails were for the cart(s) to ride on.
 Old hand drills mixed with rock and quartz.
 There was water in this area of the mine and to prove it was safe, the owner kept it stocked with huge rainbow trout that Rina got to help feed.

 There actually ended up being more silver in the mine than gold, but the original miners passed up the silver. It's the dark areas you see on this rock. The red is iron being leached from the rock.
 Here are some stalactites beginning to form on some of the walls. They called these bacon stalactites, because they looked like strips of bacon.
Here is an offshoot that they tested out, but didn't find gold. 

 Dave was demonstrating how the miners would drill by hand the holes in the rock to put the dynamite to blast more of the rock away. What a hard job, and so very dangerous.
 You can see the manganese that is leaching out of the rock here. Such a pretty purple color.
 There was gold in this quartz! So small you had to have a magnifying glass to see it. But it was there!
 You can see copper leaching out of the rocks here, making a beautiful blue color.
 Here is wire silver which apparently is very rare. 
 This is an old wooden brace used in the mine, it looks like it will become petrified wood in no time.
Hailey is looking past the wood bracing log and down the tracks to the back of the mine. 

 Rina found some fools gold and Dave told us all to rub it for good luck. 
 Then we found some real gold and he told us all to rub it for good luck, too. 
 This was the end of the main shaft. There was a shaft that they built going 60ft straight down but it was filled with water. The original miners left very suddenly and they never had an official claim on the mine filed.
 This is the original pump the miners used to keep the water pumped out of that deep shaft. I love that the original wooden plug is still intact.
 As you walked up to this offshoot, you could smell a difference in the air. They used that room as a place to store their dynamite. This is one of the original boxes (now empty) they found in this offshoot.
Dave took a couple of family pictures for us. We had such a good time and would recommend this tour to anyone! We got to meet the current owner who is a veteran. Super nice man!

The tour included a chance to gold pan for an hour. Thank goodness it stopped raining just as the tour ended so we gold panned and found some fun stuff. 

The kids found some pretty rocks and even a few gold flakes. Love doing this kind of stuff as a family. They even let us stay in their parking lot and eat dinner in the trailer. Like I said, nice people.

After that we stayed at our friends' house in Spokane again. We lovingly call it the KOJ now. Thanks again, Laci and Andrew for letting us stay. It was so fun to see you again.

The next morning we headed for home, bucking a wind and almost running out of diesel. But we made it!

Mom and Larry took great care of our animals for us while we were gone. A big thank you to them indeed.

God Bless,

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails