One gorgeous day while we were on vacation, we visited Tonopah Historic Mining Park. Tonopah is slightly south of the center of Nevada.
After a brief historical video, we headed outside to see and touch history.
The views were amazing. In the photo above, you can see the dust being kicked up by a little twister in the distance.
Growing up in California, I had no idea of the history of Nevada. The "Battle Born" silver state has an interesting past.
This is where I was reminded that Jack is not crazy about heights. This bridge spans an open shaft that goes straight down. His solution was to run straight across it without looking down.
This was taken from the bridge.
The knowledge that this massive silver mining boom was spearheaded by a husband and wife team helped us relate to the events that took place here.
Did I mention what a totally gorgeous day it was? A little hot, but the "Toy Story wallpaper clouds" were just beautiful.
I made sure to take pictures of the signs that I was rushed past, so that I'd be able to read them on my computer at home.
We didn't enter all of the outbuildings, but we did visit the one with the bathroom (center) and the one on the right had all sorts of interesting tools and relics, including a canvas tent set up to recreate a miner's "home."
If Paul was home, I could give you interesting statistics abut this shaft. I think it goes down 600 feet, but odds are, someone will correct me on that one.
Our group included not only Paul and I and the 9 kids we brought, but also my dad & step mom, their 3 kids, and my baby sister's friend, J.
You can tap a stake into the rock and then wiggle it back out to get an idea of how much work was involved in mining by hand.
By the end of the trip, these guys were "Abbyanna" or "Briabby" when I called them. They were joined at the hip all the time anyway.
Sam trying to pull the stake back out of the rock.
Hannah found the train! The little girls both have a hard time with uneven terrain, so she had a piggy back ride for part of the walk, and held a hand most of the rest of the time, to keep her upright. Katie opted to stay in the stroller during the walking parts.
Random cuteness. Man, I love that kid.
Uncle Billy helps Hannah with the stake.
My kids call my step mom "Buddy" because she was far too young to be a grandmother when Zach was born. Buddy and Katie wave from the train.
Paul wandered off to check out the amazing views, much of which remain the same as they were when the mines were in their heyday.
Going inside a mine shaft.
Looking down. Yes, we dropped a rock and listened to it "ping... ping... ping..." it's way to the bottom.
Touching history. It was surreal. I got the same sense down in the mine that I had at the Great Wall in China. Remembering people long dead who were a part of something that still stands today. It's hard to describe. We tease about "the rock gene" in our family; my son, my father, and my grandmother all have a fondness for rocks. I always thought it skipped me, but maybe it just mutated a bit in me. I certainly feel something for rocks in certain places.
Not everything survived the passing of time intact.
By this point, I was getting a little sunburned on the back of the neck.
It was a fun and interesting visit! If you find yourself in central Nevada, it's worth a stop.
Linking up with the Field Trip Friday blog hop