Miners for a Day

Looking for some adventure in this quiet little oasis Paul finds a Copper Mine that offers tours – great another tour! So of course we all have to go with him. We are like little children, sure that we might miss something if we don’t go. Well in this case we would have!

Quincy Mine is located in Hancock which is about 40 miles from our RV site in Ontonagon and on our way there we realize we need to eat! Again!!! I get out my Iphone and Yelp “Pasties” because we haven’t tried them yet and we are running out of time. I find a place that sounds exactly perfect to get these local delicacies! Amy J’s Pasty & Bake Shop is located about 1 mile from the mine and isn’t any bigger than a garage which is what it looks like. It is located in front of Amy’s home in a residential area and has the most wonderful aroma as you enter. Amy’s husband greets us and we ask about their Pasty, this time pronouncing it properly! He tells us they are wonderful and made with ground beef, pork, potato, carrot and rutabaga. Rutabaga! Who eats that is what I am wondering! We tell him that the 4 of us want 1 to try because we are not sure we like them. He doesn’t even flinch, he gets us one and 4 forks. That is another problem, Amy’s is mostly locals coming in for baked goods and taking them home. We want to eat it there because home is too far away. There is a small cafe table with two stool type chairs in the corner and Paul finds a desk chair from Amy’s desk and a folding chair up against the wall and now the table for 2 fits 4 for a taste of the Pasties!

Amy J and Hubby

Amy’s Pasties are really good! We ordered another! I could taste the rutabaga but it was sort of sweet. The meat is not really ground it is more like sliced and the Pasty taste to me like a pot roast stew in a pastry without the juice.

Back to the mines! We arrive at the mine and take a quick walking tour of the shaft house where we got to see the rails and cars that travel into the mine on the actual shaft tracks. The most interesting thing is the car for the men to travel on. It looks like stairs and holds 30 men, two to a seat and they travel at 15 miles per hour twice a day into the mine and then out at night after a 12 hour shift under the earth! That sounds like a roller coaster instead of transportation- and there were no seat belts!

The car on the right is what the men take into the mine!

The Shaft House

Next stop is the steam hoist room where we got to choose bright yellow hard hats before we could enter! This place was huge and was built as a showplace for this really large steam hoist. They had expensive tile on the walls, cement building including the roof and lots of windows. It certainly did not look like an industrial building .

Steam Engine Building

Next stop is the mine but first we have to choose a miners jacket to wear because it is 46 degrees at level 7 of the mine which is where we are going.

Kip in his Miner’s wear!

This is the cool part or at least the part why Paul chose this mine! We get to ride a cog railroad down the mountain to the entry of the level 7 of the mine! The miners didn’t use this entrance, in fact it was not an entrance when the mine was operating!

Cog Tracks – See the middle track? That is for the cog!

2012 Miners riding the cog train to work!

They were not kidding about it being cold. We get off the rail car and before you enter the mine you can feel the wind coming from the entrance – it is artic cold! We were driven by a tractor in a car into the mine about 1/2 mile! This is pretty cool. I don’t imagine it was cool when it was being mined! 12 hour shifts 6 days a week, in the dark, drilling holes and then blasting, hoping to find the copper so they could get paid!

Level 7, Quincy Mine
A drill in the background

Paul, the only guy our guide has ever seen not need the jacket!
I wore his and mine!!!!

Now back to the Lake and another good book!

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