Friday, August 5, 2011

Thursday August 4, 2011-Dan and Karen's house-Limestone MI

We went with Dan and Karen to the Tilden mine which begins in Marquette MI. They take you by bus to Ishpeming MI where the mine is located. It is a very interesting trip but no photographs or video is allowed, but take my word for it, it's a huge operation and well worth seeing if you're ever in the neighborhood.

We began this morning with breakfast at Perkins restaurant which was very good. We then drove to the mine tour starting point where we were given hard hats, safety glasses and an orange/yellow safety vest along with a small packet of information on the mine operations. We boarded a bus and made the trip to Ishpeming where the actual mine is located. We were led by a young female employee who was probably very informative but since neither Dan nor I could understand anything of what she was saying, it was lost on us.

I guess the most amazing things about the mine were the size of their vehicles and the size and depth of the actual mine. The dump trucks that are used here are absolutely huge! The driver is about two stories up in the cab and cannot possibly see what is near him. I read on one of the mine websites that one of the drivers had run over a full size Bronco because he never saw it and didn't even know it when he did. Someone had to call up to him to tell him. The tires on these things are about 12 feet tall and cost about $20,000 each. I'll bet the tire buyers get big 'ol Christmas cards from Goodyear and Firestone!

I don't know how big the mine is, but they told us that it is 1300 feet deep. I can believe it because those huge trucks look small when they're in the bottom of the mine and a pickup truck looks like an ant!

We went into the processing plant, which is very hot and noisy. I can relate to both since I worked in an air separation plant one time. The air plant compressors were mostly run by high pressure steam which puts off plenty of heat. This plant is mostly electrically driven but they use huge kilns to dry the product at a temperature of over 2200 degrees. Wow!!!

I am sorry that I could not take any photos so you can see what I'm talking about but the company makes the rules and I'm sure that there are good reasons for them to ban photographs. We enjoyed the tour.

We stopped at an oriental buffet after the mine tour for supper. It was very good, and was the first oriental food that we've had since leaving Texas. We had a really good day today but were pretty tired when we got back, so we retired early tonight.

So long

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