Miles today, not too many, probably less than 25. Actually everything we did today was away from the actual convention activities. This morning, I spotted a ship coming in to the ore dock,,,, so we hustled over to the ore dock at the other end of town to watch,,,,Docking was very slow and controlled,,, after he docked, this large boom started to move,,,, and finally reached over to this huge bin and started unloading coal,,, The destination for the coal was this power plant across the street. And we found out that after the coal is unloaded, it picks up a load of iron ore. Whole process was fascinating.
Our next activity for the day was a tour to an operating iron mine and processing plant, the Tilden mine owned by Cliffs Resources, a company that dates back to 1847. We donned hardhats, safety glasses and safety vests for a bus tour,,,, that took us to the open pit mine (1200 feet deep) and then to a walking tour through the processing plant which manufactures iron ore pellets that are then loaded onto railcars and transported to the ore dock that we were at this morning. Picture taking was prohibited, so I can only say that the pit and the processing plant were mind boggling, we walked in one door and walked through all the stages of the process and when we came back out the exit door, we had walked a mile. The size of the machinery was staggering. The rotary kilns are 25 feet in diameter and 160 feet long. You can get some idea of the size of the machinery in this plant at this website:
Patti says that seeing the coal barge and then walking through this rather noisy and hot iron ore processing plant was a great way to celebrate our 48th anniversary. I think I may be on the hook for something later!