Bizzare Mine Stuff

I’ve been in caves, but have never been down into a mine shaft. After all the Hardy Boys mysteries and AD&D I used to play, I sure have a romanticized ideal of them, though! Deep, winding caverns, bizarre echoes surrounded by muffled silence, creaking, underground waterways. And groovy headlamps! And don’t pass on all those treasures and wandering monsters.

Then there’s the remembrances of the Americans who built this country, toiling underground in coal mines, suffering blacklung, cave-ins, suffocation, and other horrible fates. Those men and boys (for the most part) gave so much, just to be brutalized by the company stores, modern-day serfs tied to land, debt, and dreams. Holding onto their pride, they gave so much for so little return. I guess that it still goes on today, although their lobby is weak, so they aren’t heard much.

But, in its ongoing effort to expose the illusions of my childhood and replace them with freakier ones, reality has dealt out two pretty gnarly stories. The first tells the tale of a town on a burner plate. It is now abandoned.

But even more bizarre is this one, detailing an ill-fated drilling job which drained a lake!