Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Saturday June 16, 2012-Cam Plex

We went on a field trip to a coal mine today. We visited the Alpha Butte coal mine and had a good time. We went on a large bus but later learned that if we had taken one of the smaller local busses, we would have been able to go down into the mine itself, rather than go to the observation area above the mine.
Here is a part of the group waiting for the bus to arrive. The
Wyoming Center is where all of our activities were held and is a very nice venue.
Here is Stella standing in one of the huge shovel buckets. This is a 23 cubic yard bucket, and holds an enormous amount of material. A standard dump truck will hold 4-6 cubic yards of material, so special dump trucks are needed to utilize these huge shovels.
One of the discarded tires used here. These tires are very heavy and they use a special fork lift to change the tires. The tires cost an estimated $40,000 each. Mining is not a cheap operation!

Here is a picture of the mine in operation. When we looked around us as we entered the property, much of the land had already been mined and been returned to its natural state. To look at it, you would never know it. I saw many wild birds and we were told that wildlife soon returns to the area when the mining stops.

Here is one of the huge loaders that is used here. Notice the chains on the front tires? They are not for traction, but to protect the tire.

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