Friday, August 10, 2007

As promised I went to the Merry Widow Mine today. I met a man from Arizona filling up large containers with water from outside the mine. He said that he gets his wife a 6 month supply of water, but that they only come once a year. The tap outside that he was getting the water from had a fountain of youth sign in front of it. He is in his 70's. He and his wife are traveling around the country, they are off to Ohio next, then the south, then home. They are traveling in a camper that expands and contracts thank to hydrolics. He said it is great because when they are driving near big trucks, the camper doesn't shake back and forth like a winebago would.

I wasn't planning on going in but the woman in the office offered and so I did. I was a little nervous. There is a heavy wooden door with a little window, I opened it and cool air hit me. I was expecting a musty smell, it smelt like nothing. The opening where the door is had been treated with cement and on it people had written their names and the year they had come to the mine. Actually all over the place people have written their names and years that they came to the mine. I stood for a moment, doesn't radon cause cancer (lung cancer to be precise)? But this lady is letting me go in and have a peek, I can't turn down the offer right? And what will 15 minutes do, so onward. As I walked I heard the dripping of water (it is pretty wet in there) and a man's voice. It is weird because even though I am in a mine, I feel like I am in Catholic church. The man's voice is deep and rumbly. Is there a level above this shaft? How far does this thing go? Will I get sick before I leave?
There are many side rooms, one had a sign for Baptist service on Sunday. This side room was called the Doggie Den, and at the end of it is a natural tub. It is amazing. And up behind the tub is a hole that leads into another part of the mine that no one can go to. Back into the main line of the mine, there is a basketball clock and another tap for water. Everything is a little rusty. I think my thyroid is tingleing, should I run? The beams holding the rocks up are dingy but lovely. I come to another side room that isn't lit at the moment, I flash a picture and see that there is a table and two plastic chairs, on the edge of the table "Nancy" has written her name in big black letters, people have signed everything in the mine. There are rocks people have decorated and nestled into crevices throughout the shaft. It's like Graceland or St. Anne de Beaupre. Going around the last bend I come across two couples chatting and that is where the booming voice was coming from, he wasn't even talking that loud but for some reason it rumbled in the mine. Next to the couples was a room that reminded me of a breakfast nook and next to that was a built-in shelf that had magazines, it was very homey. At the very end of the Merry Widow Mine is the "The Agony of DEFEET" cubby. There is a large basin with plastic ace hardware buckets to soak your feet in. The end of the Merry Widow Mine is not the end of the mine itself, it has been walled off and a really neat painting of a continuing mine is painted on it.
I turned around and headed back to the begining. I said goodbye to the women in the office and biked down the hill I waved to the man and his wife and their camper.

I think I might head over to the Earth Angel Mine (another Radon spa) soon and compare accomedations. They are across the highway from each other and down the street from the residency.

Do you think the Merry Widow sign is kind of like a christmas sign?

here are some links for thinks:

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