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 …!