Saturday, October 29, 2016

The "Blue Monarch" Mine

This is a copper mine that had been worked by one miner, Homer Struck, for over thirty years between 1969 and 1999. Before then, its history is not really known well, and what remains of its camp is sparse and largely uninteresting. On the other hand, the road gradually changes in color as the main mine is approached; it gradually becomes bluer and bluer as the tailings spill down the gulch. For centuries, explorers searched for the city of gold; this is the road of copper.

This mine followed a vein of quartz about six feet wide and about 100 feet long, extracting most of this vein to leave behind a tall, narrow slot braced by timber. Some of the logs are native piƱon timber, others are newer lumber, clean cut. The vein itself is a mineralogical treasure trove, graced with paint-strokes of chrysocolla, malachite, limonite, quartz, jasper, and hematite, and many more I can't identify! These minerals were all deposited by rising superheated water that rose along a fault or crack in the rock and left behind these streaks and pockets of brilliant color.

Nailed to the timbers at the portal of the mine, just in front of the central shaft, are claim notices recording work done for years dating back to 1969, all with various entertaining misspellings of assessment!

Small processing operation along the road
Where this colorful vein crops out on the surface, one can't help but wonder if the local indigenous stumbled upon this inexplicable band of wild colors and gave it a spiritual or practical significance; a sort of signpost or trail marker, or a conduit of spirituality. All that can be known for certain is it has stood out for its color that told of riches to be had and uncovered.

Fridge and stovetop in the junk pile

This small tunnel served as a prospect and storage area. Its walls contain the same
streaks of color as the main mine.

Inside the prospect.

Inside the main mine, this is one of the first large pallets of color.

Profile of the carved-out-slot.

More colors

Incredible colors here. Each hole is filled with tiny crystals that
sparkle from every angle.

Claim information.

Assement, Asesment, and Assessment.

Outcrop on the surface.

The topside of this vein has been carved away as well.