On our way to our next campground in Gallup, New Mexico, we stopped at Grants Mining Museum. It is a mock up of what the uranium mines would have been like. We had an AMAZING tour guide named Mr. Jack. He grew up working the mines and later was in leadership. He even won an award for safety and keeping his 150+ men mine accident free for over a year! WOW!
We got to check out the mine train.
We learned how air flow as crucial and how the mines had different levels. Apparently before 1978 if you needed a drink in the mine you drank the water seeping through the rock which was later ruler unsafe due to the uranium content! Many people lost their lives in the mines.
We learned how they built back hallways to enter when blasting occurred so they could have fresh dust free air.
We saw the actual equipment used in the mining process. This is a rake to drag out the mined material.
We learned how the mine cars could hold 5 TONS of material! I figured the rock was heavier than elephants. There is NO WAY 5 elephants could fit in the cart!
They even had a check in and out board to make sure who was or wasn’t in the mines that day.
Some people had to walk over a half of a mile in the mine tunnels to get to their assigned working spot.
The tour guide found this fossilized dinosaur bone with crystals growing inside of it when he was younger. He donated it to the museum.
We learned about yellow cake which was the refined uranium.
Off we go again to El Morro National Monument in Bluewater, New Mexico.
We walked the Inscription Trail and learned how El Morro was a resting place for travelers heading west. It was first visited by the Native Americans, then Spaniards, the Americans.
The reason people stopped is behind us in the this photo. WATER! There was a natural collecting pool that was shaded by the mountains.
Some of the rocks looked like they would fall right off!
Petroglyphs from the first people to pass by El Morro. Most are made by arrow point or a stone hammer.
Up next were the Spaniards. Their inscriptions were more elaborate and usually had the year they came by. The first recorded with a date was in the early 1600s!!
We worked on and earned our Junior Ranger badges.