coal mine - Indian village
Jun 25, 2012
|another great day -----
First stop was the Coteau Properties Freedom Mine. It's America's largest lignite coal mine.
The tour consisted of ride in air conditioned van with guide - no hard hats and no underground.
I was surprised at myself that I really did find it interesting. We were allowed to take pictures but asked that we not post, email, tweet, facebook, etc. them.
They treated us so nicely I just have to respect that and can show the pictures when I get home.
It was named the Freedom Mine to highlight the important role it plays in securing America's freedom from dependence on foreign energy sources.
They have a machine called a dragline. It weighs over 13 million pounds and 'runs' attached to an electric cord. It's 217 feet tall - 80 foot diameter at the base (the size of a baseball diamond infield) - moves 150 tons of earth per minute - the walking shoes are 14 X 72 feet (equals a man's shoe size 2251) and the bucket holds 1.5 million golf balls or four 4-wheel drive suburbans or 2,700 bushels of wheat. The one we saw was purchased for $128,000,000 USED.
It was disassembled to relocate it. It took over 200 vehicles to transport the parts and 2 years to put it back together.
The trucks that move the coal haul 3 million pounds a load which is equal to 3 train cars full and it takes less than a minute to dump the load. Each tire on the 'truck' costs $80,000. !!!.
But what I found the most interesting is the work that is done to reclaim the land when they are finished. EVERY hill, dale and tree are put back to how it looked before they came in to mine. They check yearly to make sure the land is producing as much as it did before they mined it if it farmed again. The topography will look like it was never disturbed or mined. It was incredible.
This mine alone has enough coal to last 800 years being used at it's present rate !!!!!!!!
From there we went to the Knife River Indian Villages - tribes are Mandan, Hidatsa, and Awatixa. No tepee living for them - they built Earthen Mounds.
The Mound belonged to the woman or the family and the women built most of it.
It probably housed 20 family members and several of the prized horses.
The ranger was very interesting explaining the construction and use of the Mound. One reason it belonged to the female was because they considered it 'alive' with spirit and gave life to the family as a woman does.
AND, of course, 2 more stamps for my Pass Book.
On the move tomorrow - the first time we have actually traveled with the pack.