Saturday, August 18, 2007

As you round the corner going south on Rt 15 into Butte, across the city below you see this huge wall of tiered rock. That is the Berkely Pit. I thought it was going to be big but I really hadn't imagined it being huge. It is apart of a landscape that I have never been in before, populated but sparce if that makes any sense. There are remnents from old timey mining spattered throughout the city. There are casinos in strip malls and gas stations. On the top of the hill that the pit has been carved out of stands numerous headframes or gallows frames. These are tall (I'd say gigantic) lattice structures that were used to raise and lower miners and materials sometimes at least a mile underground.

It took us a while to get to the pit, it may be big and you can see the wall from almost everywhere in the city, because we didn't know exactly where we were needed to go. You pay two dollars are handed a pamplet and you go through the tunnel (the top picture) to a covered platform. Here there are four large posters under plexi-glass explaining the hows and whys of the pit on one side of the platform and the pit on the other side. Surounding the pit is a chain link fence with barb wire on top.

The water in the pit is maroon.

The pamplet does not address this. The posters do.

There are two stuctures near the water down in the pit. I'm not sure what goes on in them. Maybe it is where the water is being treated or mining headquarters I'm not sure. From where I was you could barely make them out. I have zoom on my camera so I used that to get a better look. Also there is some sort of waterfall springing from the rock wall opposite the platform. I also am not sure what that is. It was water, but very white it looked almost like glue. It might be treated water getting recycled into the pit, it might be one of the many springs that feeds the pits, maybe it is water from another underground mine. Questions, questions. Did I mention the pit is huge? I was a little dizzy with how big it is and a little petrified to think of how deep the water is. I quess I'll leave it at that.

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