On Friday we hiked to Patsy’s Mine in the mountains above Farmington. The trail to the mine is marked and we had no difficulty in finding the entrance. The mine does not go very far and most of the time you can stand upright, though in places one has to stoop. I found out how hard the rock is when I banged my head against it.
There was a bat about 20 feet into the cave. We wondered if it was rabid. It must have been, to want to go hang from the roof of an old mine. Apparently exposure to rabid bats increases with the migration season. This year, four elementary-aged Davis County students have been exposed to a bat that could not be tested. Whenever bats aren’t able to be recovered or are too decomposed for testing, it is not known if they carried rabies. Therefore, to err on the side of caution the children are treated with post-exposure vaccine because the disease is virtually 100 percent fatal.
I walked past the bat and caused it to fly out of the cave past the girls which provoked an appropriate round of screaming. Further into the cave we could hear a faint rumbling sound. We thought maybe it was the freeway traffic or the train. We were a long way from the valley though.
The last time Jill and Susan visited the mine, they navigated by the light from their digital cameras. This time they were more prepared.
There is graffiti on the walls of the mine that in 2,000 years will have archeologists wondering what manner of intelligent life wrote it. They will be figuring that out for a long time.
The main tunnel is straight with a fork at the end. The right fork ends in a few paces and the only thing of interest is a rusty rail. The left fork does not go much further before ending. Off of the left tunnel is a small space where you can clamber through and stand upright. Nothing to get excited about.
According to the deep thinking and creative Chanelle (her blog no longer accessible), there is an old steam engine that has become hidden from the main trail with years of plant growth. If we had known this beforehand we would have searched for awhile to see if we could find it. According to Chanelle, copper is the most available mineral in the mountain. Shes writes that “…even though there are large quantities of it, the quality is lacking. Because of this, the mines in this area were abandoned and closed up.”