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 Post subject: NRO report
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 2:11 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 03, 2008 12:28 pm
Posts: 47
Location: Somewhere in VT
Here's my take on the NRO convention this year, esp. as regards this group...

Friday started off with 3/4" of rain, which definitely affected the underground world, but still, people filtered in, set up camp, and got into socializing, along with visiting the focal point of the campground, an historic cement mine. I'm sure I don't have the name of the mining technique correct, but it's something like Rob and Pillar. Large pillars of ore left in place as roof support, as rooms are opened up, following the desired vein of material. It became the site for Saturday evening festivities, including an auction of (mostly) caving materials, and a few bands (great acoustics!)

Saturday, the rain had stopped, and people made arrangements for hooking up with leaders to various caves and other cement mines in the area. Miner CTMike and MinerMarc showed up in time for us to get a led trip to Surprise Cave, sixth longest cave in the state, at 1.57 miles long. Our leader took us on a route almost completely unfamiliar to me, which was quite "sporting", meaning we spent the vast majority of our time crawling or slithering, with very few photo-ops. Kinda too bad, as there are very large, scenic spaces and lots of photo places on other routes, but everyone made the most of it, and seeing the Hell Domes and later, Heaven, made the trip quite worthwhile. Light showers in the evening prevented most people's gear from drying out, but the bonfire kept people warm and happy.

Sunday was pack-up day, first and foremost, but by no means the high point. That came in the form of a visit to another cement mine, quite near the Snyder. I'm not sure of the dates of operation, but it was definitely pretty recent. Huge rooms, winding roadways, cinder-block and metal-roofed buildings that housed garages, pumps, compressors, and even bathrooms, were scattered about in the multi-leveled space. The floor, in places, was covered with calcite rimstone pools, some of which were filled with small, round white stones that would be called "cave pearls" , and pretty highly revered, in a cave. But here, they were abundant! We wandered around in there for long enough to get pretty disoriented, and never did see it to the end, as we agreed that it was time to exit, and hit the road after a couple or three hours of semi-random hiking.

It was great to meet Miner CTMike, and Miner Marc, and too bad the timing wan't better for the rest of you. But we spent some excellent, quality time, passed some valuable info, and now have plans for more trips together, enough for a year or two, at least!
Photos will be posted to the photo site, with the same subject heading...
Keep yer head down!
MinerPete

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 11:13 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:28 pm
Posts: 1764
Location: Winnemucca, NV
Pete, sorry I wasn't able to meet you up there but thanks for sharing how everything went. I've been studying up a bit on the cement mines in the region and they really are vast. Massive room and pillar mining like that is definitely unusual compared with most of the hard rock mineral mines around here. With a few exceptions, nearly all of the room and pillar mining nearest us can be found in the anthracite mines of northeast Pennsylvania. In one such mine, the PA Tunnel, there is room and pillar mining in a thick seam of coal approximately 30 feet in height with nearly endless passages to explore all supported by massive pillars 15-20 feet in diameter.

I see that the cement mines used underground trackage and (presumably later) used trucks for haulage underground. I am very interested in doing further research on the earlier method of transport and developing a picture of what these operations were like in their earliest days before more modern mining methods were developed. This is going to be a very interesting region to learn about.

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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 10:41 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 03, 2008 12:28 pm
Posts: 47
Location: Somewhere in VT
Hi Mike,
I'm quite sure there will be other opportunities to meet, and hopefully, sometime this summer.
Yeah, thanks for gettting that phrase right for me. I knew I was close, kind of a tip-of-the-tongue thing. There are a bunch more of those mines in the area, apparently, and I trust that CTMike has shown you his guidebook. If not, he's a prime target for some serious harrassment!
I'll be hitting a serious tectonic cave this next weekend, and then, if time allows, an old silver mine. Not the gigantic stopes of the cement mines, but still darn good fun to poke around, f'sure!!!
minerPete, out

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:33 pm
Posts: 3088
Location: Above the Sterling Hill Mine
Miner Pete,

Which guide book of CT Mike's are you referring to? We've seen his mining binder, lots of good stuff there. But is this something else?

Yeah you will have to let us know how your trips went. We've been busy with trips every weekend for the past few, so we'll be posting up some new slide show real shortly. We have some good surprises for everyone's enjoyment!

When is the next NRO event? Is it usually in the same places every year or do they scatter it around?

Miner Greg


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