BlogHer12: Caution, Professional Dork at Work!
#BlogHer12: Blood, Sweat & Tears AND More Sweat

The Descent, Jersey Style

My brother-in-law is visiting with us for a couple of days this week (yes, on purpose!) but, I wasn't surprised to learn that he really didn't have any plans to go to the beach (or down the shore, if you're from Jersey) and, considering he's lived in Southern California for the last 20+ years, can you really blame him?

Glowing rocks
So, yeah, our rocks actually do glow, you got a problem wit-dat?

Besides, there are plenty of OTHER really cool places to visit here in Jersey (ARE SO!) especially, for BIG TIME history buffs like my brother-in-law (and me) so, when he suggested we take our kids to The Sterling Hill Mining Museum I was all, like, YAY!...oh, wait:

Sterling Mines Capture
I mean, considering our run of bad luck lately, can you really blame me? 

A geologists dream
A geologist's freakin' playground.

Seriously, I couldn't help but think of ALL the dangerous possibilities:  one of us getting beaned on the head with a random piece of falling rock (okay, mostly me!) learning that the misplaced stick of dynamite was in fact SO NOT a dud, finding that one and only hole they forgot to plug up and/or re-living The Descent (be careful, link has sound and dang but that movie scared the bee's juice out of me) for real.

Mining clothes
2,550 feet, 35 miles in length, that's a WHOLE lot of descending, you's guys!

Add being a tad claustrophobic (okay, more like DUUUUUUDE, I HATE FREAKIN' TIGHT SPACES, GETTOUTTAMYWAY!) not to mention, I am not very comfortable with the dark (seriously, have you seen The Descent?) so, actually getting out of the car and buying the tickets to tour one of the oldest mines in the United States (first worked c. 1739) was a HUGE leap of faith on my part.

Heather in the window
Heather's reflection looks almost other-wordly.

I mean, just take a look at some of the stuff they've pulled out of this place for the last 250+ years -- totally creepy, right?

Dinosaurs were among us here in Jersey
So, how YOU doin'?

The museum was packed from floor to ceiling and, quite frankly, as interesting as these artifacts were, walking around displays of rocks embedded with ancient creepy-crawlies didn't help to quell my fears any (NUH-UH!) not one freakin' bit.

Hearth in mine
So pretty, right?

"Hey, look, this one looks like a heart!"

Then one of my kids would point out something really pretty and I think to myself (SELF!) fuhghettaboutit AND really, you've ridden the subway and survived, how bad could it be?!?

Miners I'm PROUD to be able to tell you that I did INDEED survive going into the mines.  Aaaaand, you'll have to take my word for it, because I was too busy holding onto the railing(s), I don't have ANY pictures to really prove it.

Of course, my kid was the ONLY one who knew and shouted out the warning, "FIRE IN THE HOLE!"  She shares a bathroom with her 13 year-old brother, enough said.

Learning about the past is cool AND helps to remind us to NOT take our more modern conveniences (like electricity, YO!)  for granted.

Where do miners go
Guess what this is? G'head, I'll wait.

Oh and indoor plumbing.  More specifically, toilets (see picture above) seriously, just let me hear one of my kids complain about having to share a more time...FIRE IN THE HOLE!!!

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