Friday, May 16, 2014

We drove right past Spring into Summer

And now we're back to Almost Winter -- the forecast when we returned was "snow with possible rain mixed in." Note that it's not rain mixed with snow; it's snow mixed with rain. And it was May 14.

On the other hand, one of the first things we did when we got home was fill the hummingbird feeder and, snow in the forecast or not, we do have hummers flitting around the yard. So maybe it really is Spring, or what passes for Spring, here in the U.P.

We spent not quite two weeks imposing on the Younger Daughter in Missouri. We did some appropriately touristy things -- wandered around the historic town of Ste. Genevieve, went to an Azalea Festival that had no azaleas, checked out the ruins of the Einstein Silver Mine near the Silver Mines campground on the Mark Twain National Forest -- but mostly we just basked in the weather. When we left the U.P., temps were just barely above freezing. It was in the 80s in Missouri. As the S.O. put it, we went looking for Spring and drove right past it into Summer. It was wonderful. High water pants, sandals, the risk of sunburn . . .

The Einstein Mine site was interesting. It's one of those places that looks like it's been untouched by the hand of man until you start looking a little more closely. . . and then you realize that what looks like a natural rock formation is actually cut stone or the remnants of poured concrete. I looked up the Einstein Mine; it was a fairly large industrial complex, although you'd never know it from just looking at the ruins.
Einstein Silver Mine site, May 2014
I went looking for historic images on-line. This was the only one I could find:
It's probably circa 1900 or a little earlier. 

The mining complex also includes a dam: 

For a sense of scale, embiggen the photo. There are people on the rocks on the other side of the St. Francis River. We arrived at the mine site just in time to witness a rescue by local emergency personnel of a person who had apparently fallen while scrambling down those rocks to get closer to the dam or the river. There was a group of high school age boys camping; one of those kids probably over-estimated his ability to scramble down some fairly steep rock slopes. 

We checked out some other campgrounds while we were in the area, including Hawn State Park. The next time we visit the Younger Daughter we plan to use the RV. If we're at a campground, she won't feel obligated to feed and entertain us. Even better, we won't be stuck sleeping on an air mattress that's seen better days. 


  1. Gasp, you said embiggen. Is that a word the wordsmith just made up?

  2. I shall have to look up the history of the mine.

  3. I wish I could claim I made up embiggen, but I didn't.


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