Saturday, June 02, 2007

I has a cave!

I went riding around some old 4x4 trails on my mountain bike today. It seems my part of town can't go maybe 3 days without rain, so things were pretty muddy today. I kept locking up my front wheel with mud, so I decided to try riding through the tall, uncut grass instead. I found some really rocky terrain to play around on, and followed it. It wound around and down to a landing, and I figured it was probably going to end up in a rock quarry of sorts, since abandoned quarries are a dime a dozen out here.

I ended up finding some old mines. I did some research and found that they were decontaminated of heavy metal (lead, mercury, iron, cadmium etc), petroleum, and volatile organic (benzene, toluene, etc) back in 2001 at the behest of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. There are obvious tire tracks going into the open mine, and I saw fluorescent lighting deep within the cave when I stood in the entry. I'd say it's safe to enter, and I at no time encountered any fences or signs that would indicate that I was not allowed to be there.

It was far too muddy for me to proceed into the mine, though, and I didn't have any lighting with me. Maybe when it's no so soupy out, I'll come back.

I hit Mill Creek trail to shake some of the mud and gravel off of my bike, but it was still terribly dirty. I spent quite a while cleaning it off when I got back home.


Anonymous said...

Seems strange that the agency would go to all the trouble to clean up the site and then not secure the entrances somehow.

Warren T said...


Noah said...

It's less than half a mile from the 3-million-square-foot subsurface Meritex compound. It's probably owned by them, or at least part of the same mining system.

Apertome said...

Great photo. We have lots of abandoned quarries around here too (southern Indiana). I don't know of any mines. That's some great exploring you've done, looking forward to seeing what you find if you go in there.

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