Monday, September 5, 2011

Mine...all mine!

It's only a short ride from my house to Butterfield Canyon (18 miles or so), then a few miles up the canyon the road turns to dirt (8 miles or so), a few more miles of dirt (another 3 miles or so) and knowing which turn off to take and you can see this. The Kennecott Copper mine. This is the third largest open pit mine in the world, and quite a site to behold!
It's a hazy day, but looking north you can see the Salt Lake Valley, and if you squint hard enough you can see Salt Lake City...kind of.

This is a 24/7 operation, you can see the worker bees doing their thing.

The road back down. I turn the engine off and coast all the way just to enjoy the peace and quiet.

The switch backs are very tight, steep, and loose dirt.

You can see a parking area, I'll take a right turn there and go home via Tooele.

Looking back up at the hill I was just on.

Then I went home to a birthday party for my son (a guitar player) and grand-daughter.

My daughter made this cake which means it will be good, but - it also has a lot of suger. I don't want to fret too much so I try to tune into my thoughts and determine if eating some of that cake is in harmony with my diet....

A little ride, a little cake, life is good!


bobskoot said...


we have an open pit mine here too, but it is over 5 hours ride north of Merritt, BC and doesn't look much different than your photos. They have a large ore truck on display in Logan Lake, BC and if you stand beside the wheels you barely stand half as tall as the tires

Riding the Wet Coast

Ken said...

Bob, If you click on the third pic you can see some of the haul trucks. I don't know what size they are but it sounds like similiar to what your talking about. I'm amazed at how much this pit has grown just in my lifetime! I guess we just keep needing copper, and they just keep mining it.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Ken:

I would love to take former mother-in-law #1 for a ride to an open pit mine. In fact, I'd make a kind of thrill-ride out of it, for her.

Once again, a very interesting post...
A little ride,
A little cake,
And a view of Salt Lake.

Fondest regards,

bluekat said...

The mine looks so huge. I haven't seen one in real life, so I imagine they're' even bigger in reality. Looks like a great ride! Cake looks good too. You can't have too much sugar!

Ken said...

Jack - The mines largest electric shovel has a 56 cubic yard dipper that scoops about 98 tons of material in one bite.... Imagine what a person could hide in a hole like that!

bluekat - Huge is right! The mine is 2& 3/4 miles across at the top and about 3/4 of a mile deep. My understanding is that when they finish mining in the pit, they will re-fill the hole with the daily BS that comes out of Washington. I'm not certain what they will do the second week. Thanks for reading!

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Ken:

There are mines all around here in Pennsylvania. One of then has been burning underground for 40 years. Talk about global warming.

Fondest regards,
Twisted Roads

Utah Motorcyclist said...

I have never been up above the minds like this. I am assuming that road isn't something the Nomad could handle very well?


Ken said...

Jared - The Nomad would be fine, but verry dirty after that road. I took one of my wings up there a few times. Just be prepared to ride slow. The uphill corners are the hardest part, but the view is worth it IMHO.