Thursday, February 02, 2006

Enter at Your Own Risk

Enter at Your Own Risk
San Cristobal Mine, Quicksilver Park

My Brother was visiting for Christmas and to give him reprieve from the flatlands of Florida I took him on a 4 mile hike in Quicksilver Park to the San Cristobal Mine.

Quicksilver is a magical place that has loads of wildlife and plenty of ruins from the mines that closed down in 1972. A great place to take out of towners that is authentic and not touristy. I know that trials well as I ride my mountain bike on the English Camp - Bull Run loop often. In the years I have been visiting I have seen wild boar, bobcats, wild turkeys, coyotes, rabbits, deer and even a mountain lion.

It must have been a hard life as a miner but when you finally did get out of the mines you could rejoice in the surrounding beauty. The kids of Quicksilver must have been a tough bunch as well if this class picture in any indication.

English Camp School Photo
English Camp School Kids

The hike to the mine is a little over 2 miles mostly uphill with a mild 6% grade. The day was cloudly but warm as we've had a series of storms driven by a jet stream straight from Hawaii known as the pineapple express.

On entering the mine the air is strangely warmer and our glasses steamed up as did the camera lenses. The mine has been closed off about 100 feet in. Looking beyond the barrier gives you an idea of what cramped quarters the miners must have had to work in. It certainly gives you an erie feeling even though you are only 100 feet in. The rails remain in the entrance which makes for nice picture looking out.

Into The Light
Into The Light

You can see all the photos from the outing here on flickr

From The Trail

Richard Treadway

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