Independence Mine

Trip Start May 25, 2008
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44
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Trip End Aug 03, 2008


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Where I stayed
Big Bear RV Park

Flag of United States  , Alaska
Monday, July 7, 2008

Another lazy morning with a trip to a mine in the afternoon. I'm really going to hate it when we have to drive back to Atlanta for almost 2 weeks straight with 6 to 7 hour driving days and early starts. These last few weeks have actually felt like a little vacation by sleeping in so late. I'm starting to get lazy. This morning about all I did was blog and cook some homemade French bread pizza. As with the last few days, the weather was nothing to talk about - overcast and rainy. After lunch we drove around 20 miles up into the nearby mountains to go to Independence Mine State Park. The mine was built in the late 1930's. If was very modern for its time doing everything for the comfort of the worker from nice dorm rooms, a shop, modern equipment and a state of the art dining facility. It was built to mine for many decades. But instead, it only lasted a few years due to World War II when gold was classified as non-essential to the war effort. It did operate a few years after the war but it did not make any money. The state took it over in 1981 and has been refurbishing it ever since. Most of the camp buildings have been partially resorted but much of the mine buildings have fallen down. There are around 25 miles of mines in the area but none of them were open - I guess that was the downer part of the day since I love caves and underground tunnels. We paid a little more to sign-up on a one hour guided tour of the place. This was a good thing as it was the only way to go inside of some of the buildings like the bunk house, school house, & the modern mess hall with its huge kitchen. The cook was living large has he had his own small apartment which was pretty nice for the time. Most of these building still had a little ways to go to become fully refurbished. I guess we'll check this place out again in 5 or 10 years when I come back. Now it was time to come off the mountain. Our RV park is around 500 feet in elevation while the mine is at 3,500 feet. So we coasted most of the way for the 20 miles back to camp. On the way we stopped by the Little Sustina River which is a fast moving mountain river.  We topped off the Diesel tank at a gas station that was cheaper than Anchorage. This was not good as I got around 40 gallons there and only a few here. We were thinking about making an egg curry tonight so we need some eggs - we stopped by this store next to the road called Three Bears. It was like a local Costco, but you did not need a membership. So we bought a few more things than eggs. Pooh just got into a hot dog mood so we bought some super hot wieners for that. We went all over the store as it was pretty cool. I'm sure this would be our main store if we lived here - and the prices were not that bad. Maybe I'm just getting use to these expensive food prices. Back at the RV we had to stuff our fridge with all the food we bought today and yesterday. We are stocked up for most of the trip back. Since Pooh was hungry, I cooked the hot dogs with chili and sauerkraut for dinner. The Wi-Fi did not work at all so I just read the rest of the night.
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