Saturday, July 9, 2016

Nevada - Utah Mega Trip 2016 Day Two: Garnet Hill and Geology Train

July 9, 2016

We left West Wendover and drove across a couple of different valleys to get to Ely (pronounced "ee-lee"), Nevada.  The original plan was to visit Fossil Mountain for Pennsylvanian corals but the owner of the copper mine acquired claims on that land and closed access to the public.  So, we went to Garnet Hill, instead.

Garnet Hill is in the Ely BLM (Bureau of Land Management) district.  Rhyolite containing garnets of the variety Spessartine is present.  Many of us thought we received presents:

This piece, found by Patrick Rowe, has 10 beautiful
garnets on a stone covered with minute quartz crystals.
Perhaps the largest of the day, Nancy Kimber
found.  What a beautiful piece this is!

 The next activity was to ride the Geology Train.  Engine 93, the steam engine of the Geology Train, was built in 1909 to move ore from the copper mine west of Ely to the mill.  We rode it as passengers through geology that include Pennsylvanian and Permian limestone to the ore-bearing strata.  The copper mining operation created huge, multicolored dump piles that surround the producing pits.  This mine is visible using Google Earth.

Engine 93 with a bunch of paleo people in front of it.
Tomorrow, we visit some Mississippian and Ordovician sites.

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