.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Exploring Midland Provincial Park

05 Midland Provincial Park (41)

Midland Provincial Park is located in Alberta’s Badlands and was established in 1979 to help conserve some of Alberta’s coal mining history.  The park was once the site of the Midland Coal Mine and the land was donated to the province after the mine closed.  The park is home to one of my favorite museums, the Royal Tyrrell, and adjoins the Red Deer River. 

Today’s post focuses on exploring the Midland Coal Interpretive Trail located roughly midway between the city of Drumheller and the Royal Tyrrell Museum.  This trail has a series of educational interpretive signs providing information about coal-mining in the area and to help you understand the artifacts on the grounds, A former mining office survives.

Coal Mining office, Midland Provincial Par

Coal Mining office, Midland Provincial Par

A rich …

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.All Trips / Europe / Poland

Exploring Poland’s “Underground Salt Cathedral”, the Wieliczka Salt Mine

Wieliczka Salt Mine Tour 10-2015 (90)

The Wieliczka Salt Mine is situated in southern Poland, in the town of Wieliczka. less than a half hour’s drive from Krakow.  It’s a historic place with salt having be excavated here since prehistoric times and the mine itself opening in the 13th century, making it one of the world’s oldest salt mines.  The mine produced table salt until 2007 when it closed (because of the low price of salt at the time and flooding of portions of the mine) and turned its attention to tourism.  It’s become a popular tourist site with over a million visitors a year.  More than 38 million visitors have seen the attractions in this mine since it opened to the public.

In 1978 the Wieliczka …

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.All Trips / Central USA / Montana / North America

Butte, Montana’s Hole in the Ground: A visit to the Berkeley Pit

21 Berkeley Pit Butte Montana.  Courtesy NASA

When most people think of Montana, images of mountains or “Big Sky country” or wildlife spring to mind.  Usually you don’t think of a massive hole in the ground, but a destination of interest is the Berkeley Pit, a now closed open-pit copper mine in the historic town of Butte.

By the end of the 19th century, mines around Butte had yielded a lot of gold, silver and copper, earning the town the nickname, “richest hill on earth”.  As electricity demand across America increased and more wiring was needed, the growing demand for copper made Butte a boom-town in the early 20th century.  Copper mining in Butte historically had required a complex network of underground drains and pumps to lower the …

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