August Menominee Adventure Field Trip


Menominee Update:

If you can attend the August Menominee Adventure field trip, it is going to be something special. Activity will center on Iron Mountain, so look for housing or camping in that area. (There is a link at MESTA web site https://mesta.wildapricot.org/ under "Events" with list of options.)

You will have a unique opportunity to see the initial stages of a new mining operations. Staff at the Back Forty Mine will show us local outcrops, rock cores, and other information that led them to conclude that this was a valuable place to invest in mine construction. We will also see the first stages of work on that mine. Because there has been some concern about environmental impacts of mining, they will also show us the hydrological studies and groundwater sampling system instituted. We will have an opportunity to quiz them about those topics and more. You may never have another chance to see the initial steps in starting a new mine.


Aug 2 - Tour of underground mine in Volcan, Mi; Fume Falls stromatolites; Kelly's Rock Shop; travel to the Boon Quarry and Dunn Mine pit and tailings pile near Alpha (with collecting); interpretation of rocks at Crystal Fall's; collecting granitic pegmatite and have interpretation of associated rocks; visit kimberlite (dated to Jurassic) to pan for micro-gems.

Dinner meeting with resources sharing and rock raffle (possibly a speaker about water impacts of mining) - in Iron Mountain.

August 3 - One group will raft the Piers Gorge (one of the most dramatic in eastern U.S.) while those who do not want to raft will be directed to several geologic sites, mining history museum, and related sites.

Following a traditional miners lunch, we will travel to 5 different geologic outcrops and exposures; several waterfalls and water features in Wisconsin. Back in Michigan another couple sites with opportunity to collect.

There will be optional astronomy observing and/or geological activities Aug 3 and 4.

August 4 - This day we will travel to meet with the staff of the new Back Forty Mine: to tour their core lab, learn about the geology that caused them to decide this was an area worth mining; explain the application and approval process including changes this winter to a significant underground mine. We will also hike the site - to see major outcrops, cultural and wetland sites that had to be studied to get permits, hydrology monitoring program, and early exploratory pits.

On the way back to Iron Mountain, we will take a look at excellent drumlin examples and Pemene Falls.

August 5 - This day starts with tour of Kingsley North, a national leader in lapidary equipment and supplies: opportunity to purchase excellent examples of rocks and rock/mineral publications. Driving east we will see another substantial drumlin, then on to Escanaba/Lake Michigan shore for two presentations: on the historic efforts to move iron ore as well as a presentation by Sea Grant about their education resources and major Great Lakes issues (e.g., lake levels). From there we will travel to the Stonington Peninsula to learn about Devonian period limestone and opportunity to collect a variety of fossils. An optional opportunity will be to visit back to the west at the Rapid River Falls with its unique horizontal step formation.


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