Day 165, Iron Mountain, Mi

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At the end of our Iron Mountain mine tour in Norway , MI – so fun ! Dan, Eliza, Leigh, Ellery, Samuel in Mike’s arms, Bella, Sally and Nate .

We went 450 feet into the mountain , barely downhill , for which some of us will be eternally grateful ! It was 38 degrees and Leo gave a great tour , if a little fast . The red train we rode had bench seats that faced one way . Not sure why we had to wear rain slickers as there weren’t many drips , but we were happy to wear the matching dorky hats. Except for Sammy ; he wanted the hat , just not on his head !

The mine closed after WWII when iron ore prices dropped in half , so the mine was no longer profitable . It had been open since the middle 1800’s; 3 shifts , 24 hours/day . When they mined the larger stope, they took out 22 million pounds of iron ore . The cavern was so long that a 10 foot cutout of Big John looked about a foot high . Glad we couldn’t see how deep it was .

It was upsetting to hear other facts , such as that the men only earned 7-13 cents an hour for the dangerous work . They ate lunch in the mine, so didn’t see daylight for hours . (I can’t even imagine.). When an area was blasted , they also stayed in the mine, and their candles would go out . They’d have to relight them and get back to work . The hardest to hear about was the fact that these men knew they were getting black lung disease and would die from it , but kept coming back to work for their families . So glad we took the tour .

The rest of our visit with Nate’s godparents was just as perfect . In between rain storms we hiked , biked , ate too much , and hugged a lot . I couldn’t keep my hands off the kids ; they are adorable !!! So fun to finally meet them .

One evening we went up 500 steps to the Pine Mountain ski jump . A guy from Austria just set a record in February for a jump of 471 feet . In the air . Crazy ! Even better , Dan remembered visiting with his family in 1970!

The Mosquitos followed us, of course , and are such a nuisance . Even after the record hard winter , they are thriving . We’ve lost count of our bites we have so many . A clerk told us the whole upper Peninsula is out of bug spray , so we’re conserving the little we have left for hiking . Nate and I made a catcher for inside the rig they get in so fast . Beyond gross .

It was a treat to see our friends , and to see how God is working in their lives . If anyone doubts God’s power and glory , they could look no further than this family. I am so grateful for their love and the time we had with them , and it was so hard to say goodbye . But we know we’ll see them when they come visit us in Bend …!

About sallyljacobson

I live in paradise again, Bend Oregon, after a 19 month RV trip around North America with our 2 teenagers and 2 dogs. It was the adventure of a lifetime, and now I'm on to my next one - selling real estate to those lucky enough to move to Bend. The trip blog is www.gojacobsons.com and my current blog is sallysbendblog.com. Follow along, I'd love to be in touch with you!

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