This museum was so much more fun than could have anticipated probably because of the miner guide, Jack Farley. He, himself, worked in a mine in Grants, NM, so his stories made the whole experience seem so much more real. The tour began with a video about the history of mining on the ground level. Following this, the tour group was lowered via an elevator into a mine simulation below the museum.
Mr. Farley showed us some of the equipment they would use to carry the uranium deposits which were mined, as shown above. Below is an example of the columns they would leave up to hold the ceilings inside the cave. In some areas, wooden beams would also be placed as an added measure of safety.
Below is a device which pulses fast and deep to reach deeper into the earth. They would be able to test what came up to see where they should continue mining.
Mr. Farley said that he's found many treasures mining deep in the earth. He's found dinosaur bones, pockets of gold, and even mysteries such as this sphere below. When we visited, they were making plans to take this sphere to New Mexico Tech to get it x-rayed and to see what might be inside.
Mr. Farley became a safety coordinator for his mine and they won many awards for going vast periods of time with no injuries at all. Below is one such medal. He recounted a funny story of one inspector arriving to check on the safety of the mine. While there, the inspector sprained his ankle and everyone present became extremely upset because they wouldn't receive their bonus because of his injury.
This is a tool sitting outside the museum. It was used to dig huge holes deep into the earth. Standing beside it, you can't help but have a sense of wonder as to the magnitude of the mines which were created.
As we concluded our tour, Mr. Farley handed each of us all a beautiful stone which was gold in color. He wanted us to be able to joke that we had found gold in the mine. It was this kind of attention to details which made the entire experience extremely memorable. We would definitely come back to visit such a wonderful museum. It is only a few hours outside of Albuquerque as well!
The tour is $5 for adults and $3 for kids. Definitely worth it!!