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Thread: Bye Bye Blue Bird

  1. #1
    LauraA's Avatar
    LauraA is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
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    Default Bye Bye Blue Bird

    Well, it's the end of the Blue Bird Mine as we knew it. The Forest Service is doing a classic reclamation of the site. The old cabin is gone and soon, the adits to the mine shafts will be closed forever.
    We were able to go today to watch the proceedings and bid the Blue Bird a sad good-bye.
    The first hint that things were really proceeding was the road, it was like a super highway by comparison to what the road was like on previous visits. No more off-camber, tippy, stomach churning, seat grabbing, turns...the "pucker factor" has been eliminated. Bulldozers have been through and cleared the road to enable a 10 ton dump truck to have access. They've hauled in huge culvert-type metal pipes that are fitted with bars, these will be used to plug the mine adits, still allowing bats to enter and exit.
    We thought it would be a sentimental touch to leave a bit of ourselves in the mine for future generations of would-be explorers so we put together a time capsule. In it we put a book of my poetry, a letter to whomever finds it, some current currency and coins, a newspaper and a few other assorted goodies....wonder if it'll ever be found...?
    It's understandable to some extent to see why the government implements these changes, but on the other hand the mine tunnels themselves are rich in history and many of them have been around long enough to take on an almost natural appearance with stalagmites and stalactites beginning to form. The Blue Bird for example took on sparkling jewel-like reflections when the beams from our lights glanced over the faceted Azurite and Fluorite walls and ceilings.
    We now have an old wooden chair from the Blue Bird sitting in our den, it was to have been hauled off too, we're lucky enough to have a piece of history.
    The Forest Service will leave in place the ore conveyor as well as the ore chute for future explorers to marvel at. The mine's tunnels will be sitting, barred to entry so people will be left to speculate what it must be like deep within the dark and silent recesses.

    This is where the old cabin stood
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    Drilling to put bars in place
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    Ralph checking it out
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    An old bat in the mine
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  2. #2
    LauraA's Avatar
    LauraA is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
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    A hole in the ceiling leading to parts unknown
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    The pipes they'll use to close the adits
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    Excellent Post! I like the idea of the time capsule. maybe it would be worth a visit to the nearest historical society to provide them with a report of what took place as well as photo's. You might be able to assist someone in the future with needed research information on the site. What I have done in the past is wrote a statement of facts, had it noterized, attached photo's, and delivered them to the local historical society / museum. By the way, I liked your pictures too! especially the one of the old bat in the cave!
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    LauraA's Avatar
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    Great idea Drifter! Globe has a nice mining museum, as a matter of fact, we got a lot of our information about the Blue Bird from their extensive library archives. We've got plenty of pictures to offer. I'll give them a call and see if they're interested. Thanks! (from the old cave bat)

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    Funny, they do more damage to the environment to go in and remove it than if they'd just let it waste away
    "I have a .44 and a shovel, I'm sure no one's gonna miss you" - Virginia City, NV

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    Great post, Laura. Just a little sad.....Speedy

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    LauraA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedy View Post
    Great post, Laura. Just a little sad.....Speedy
    Speedy, I'm glad you said that.
    I must admit I shed a tear or two for the old Blue Bird. I know it's silly, but being female, I don't have to explain my emotions.(I couldn't if I tried anway)
    It's terribly sad seeing places like that lost forever to future generations, as it is there's so little information to be found about the actual "real" people who were a part of our past. There's lots available about mine owners, outlaws, soiled doves, politicians even shop keepers, but so little written about the ordinary folks who were just trying to make an everyday living.
    The Blue Bird was just an ordinary mine, nothing special, but each time we visited it, we could almost get a feeling for the people who once lived there and worked so hard in the mine.
    We're sad about the Blue Bird, somehow my husband and I both felt an affinity with the place, now it's gone. I'm thankful we had the chance to know her before she was lost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryB View Post
    Funny, they do more damage to the environment to go in and remove it than if they'd just let it waste away
    So true GaryB, you have no idea how many times I have witnessed this here in Utah. Not to mention how much money is wasted on making these sites "safe" to the public.

  9. #9
    LauraA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheever View Post
    So true GaryB, you have no idea how many times I have witnessed this here in Utah. Not to mention how much money is wasted on making these sites "safe" to the public.
    I wonder what would be wrong with simply posting signs telling people it's dangerous, enter at your own risk or even do not enter? Looks like it would be more cost effective to replace signs as they needed it sooner than go in and spend big $$ bulldozing a site and gating adits. (the contractor doing the Blue Bird "reclamation" is being paid "time and materials" imagine what THAT bill is going to be)
    I suppose there's not a simple solution. If left alone, these sites would eventually be reclaimed by Mother Nature, there's no money to preserve them, particularly the so-called "unimportant" sites that didn't make a big impact on history and aren't frequently accessed by the general public.
    I would be remiss if I didn't say that I've got enormous respect for the Tonto National Forest Rangers, they do a heck of a job out here and love the land as much as the rest of us. They're simply following orders from Washington suits who wouldn't know an adit from their butts.*


    *Footnote:
    Hey you guys in Washington D.C., the adit is the one with the gate that has bats flying in and out and served a useful purpose, your butt on the other hand is the thing you're sitting on and talking through.
    Last edited by LauraA; 03-04-2007 at 08:22 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraA View Post

    *Footnote:
    Hey you guys in Washington D.C., the adit is the one with the gate that has bats flying in and out and served a useful purpose, your butt on the other hand is the thing you're sitting on and talking through.
    You forgot they use their butt for cranial storage too.
    "I have a .44 and a shovel, I'm sure no one's gonna miss you" - Virginia City, NV

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