Edge of the Cedars Museum and Cottonwood Wash Field Trip, Oct. 28, 2008

We went on a special tour of the museum while on our field trip. First we toured the ruins outside. Then we moved in. I didn't take pictures of the public displays, though they were spectacular. At the end, we went down to the special collections and got to view items not on display to the public.

These ruins are directly behind the museum.

Our field trip crew listening to the spiel.

Pottery still holding the corn from Anasazi times.

I don't recall what this is. Is it for a papoose?

We saw several sandals. These didn't look so comfy!
Many of the pots in this collection had been looted by a local man. But the feds busted him and the items were placed in the museum.

This pot was singled out as unusual
because of the animal handle.


We finished the museum tour with lunch, then headed off to the Cottonwood Wash reclaimed mining area.
One might be cynical that the museum stop was a boondoggle. But, instead, it primed us for having
an appreciation for cultural resources which are always a factor to consider when working on
public land in the southwest.

The mines at Cottonwood Wash were originally for vanadium. Later, the tailings/spoils were hauled away and processed
for uranium. The field trip leader said they cleaned up the mines pretty well, but the scintillometer showed the road
was quite hot, still. He speculatd it was due to ore trucks spilling small amounts of ore, trip after trip.


This is an archaelogical site that has been studied, but is unexcavated. The fellow leading the tour remarked that it looked like a good source of rip rap to him--and that is why it's important to include archaeologists in the process.
This is what remains of the mill for the mining operations.

Talk about a gate! This thing has 1" rebar on it.

If there ever was a gate that was safe to walk on, this was the one. Nevertheless, I couldn't help recall the story I heard by a worker at WIPP who was also a mine rescuer. A fellow told some women, "This is how real mountain men do it," and then jumped on a gate over an abandoned mine. The gate broke through and the man fell to his death. So I didn't walk on it.

The gated pit above is one of two entrances
to a mine. The other entrance is this trench
leading down.

There is a claimant who still wants access to his mine, so a gate was constructed with a door. Though I don't recall all the details, you can see that the bars are closer together at the bottom, and wider near the top. That's to prevent children from squeezing it at the bottom, but lets bats move through near the top. The bars are made of some special alloy that gets stronger when a saw blade slide across it.


Colorado, 2008