We returned to the Montana Mine that was featured in the previous post at 1:00 AM and took some photos by moonlight.
We left the mine just as it got too dark to photograph. We decided to head over to Elkhorn which a fairly well known Montana ghost town. We had plans to do a little light painting however the town is far from being a ghost town. It is a tourist trap and nothing like we were looking for. So we left and headed back to the Mine that actually was worth checking out.
We had been driving and hunting for locations for 17 hours at this point so I wasnt interested in spending a lot of time taking more photos. I only got a couple shots that were worth while before heading off to our camp to spend the night.
Trying to find mines in Montana is an overwhelming experience to say the least.We found literally thousands of former mines in our initial research prior to the trip.Trying to narrow it down to a few viable options was far from easy.We hunted down a few mines where nothing was left or they were active sites.
After several locations that didnt offer anything to us we stumbled across this mine.It was approaching sunset so photography was a little more difficult.Located high up on a mountain road it consisted of several buildings.The actual mine appeared to be higher up on the mountain side but we ran out of daylight fast.As we approached the mining area there was a large ore bin on the left where trucks would be loaded from the mine and the further down the road there was the mill on the right side of the road and the town on the left side of the road.
We quickly checked out the mill and the bunkhouse and offices before we ran out of light.We didnt have time to see the town.It was almost a full moon so we came back a few hours later and took a few photos before we called it a day.The next day we had a tough choice do we come back and see the mine in more detail or do we keep moving on to see what else we could find.In hind site we should have gone back, but we were hopeful we would find some more locations so we moved on.
The mill on the mountain side to the right. It was already rather dark when we got there.
A couple buildings on the town site
Looking down the side of the mill with offices and bunkhouse.
Inside the bunkhouse
I could not figure out how this large boulder ended up in the hallway. It was too large for someone to carry in there and if it rolled in off the mountainside there would be an obvious hole in the wall.
Look up the various levels inside the mill. Almost all machinery has been stripped.
Staircase about 1/2 way up the mill
Some of the only remaining machinery located at the top of the mill building
The Forgotten Mine has been highlighted here before and we have been there a few times now and for once we were there when the weather was decent.Our first trip was during February a couple years ago when it was about -20C with the wind-chill.Our follow up visit was in July of the same year and it was at least 35C and the fact that it was a sodium mine makes the place very dehydrating.We went again last February and it was again very cold and lots of snow which is not really normal for this part of the province.This trip we finally scored a decent day.It was a little wet but the temperature was close to a very pleasant 15C which is ideal for crawling through a mining area with lots of gear.
We were itching for some more exploring as our trip to BC was primarily a lot of driving and not a lot of actual exploring so we took a rather significant detour on the way home so we could stop by one of our favourite locations.This place is always cool to see touched by only time and the elements I love how things are slowly deteriorating.It looks like they just locked the door and walked away 10 years ago.Some parts of the processing plant are getting sketchy and roofs are giving way in spots.
We used to have lots of mines like this around the province to explore however now there are very few left.We keep stopping by to see this place because I expect it will be gone one of these days when we stop by.
Arilem, Phoenix Enigma, and I in front of one of the dryers
The main part of the plant
My new standard lens has a wide aperture and allows for shots like this without using a flash