This site is about photography and the inner thoughts of photographer Andrew Plath.

The Quarry


It even looks good in black and white.

 

 Some of the great places that make for powerful landscape imagery are never really too far from where we live.  A few years back, with the help of the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship fund, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources was able to make another great addition to Rib Mountain State Park.  Years ago, 3M mined quartzite from Rib Mountain before developing a much larger quarry north of Wausau in the Town of Maine.

When the Wisconsin DNR purchased the old quarry on Rib Mountain, The Friends of Rib Mountain State Park immediately went to task to develop new hiking trails  to add to the existing 4 miles of trail already in the park.

In doing so, they also added history as one of the new trails passes through the site of the Knopf family homestead where Rib Mountain”s first settlers lived.  There is also the remains of an old dynamite shack where explosives for blasting out huge seams of quartzite were stored.

The trails have become immensely popular for park visitors.   The Turkey Vulture Trail provides an alternative access route for hikers to the park, and yes, if you look up, you will see these vultures circling near the southern rim of the quarry looking for carrion to provide them with food.  On one of my hikes, I had a turkey vulture pass over me by just ten feet.

With the influence of men like Ansel Adams or Galen Rowell in me, I could not resist dragging a camera to capture these views.  The quarry is man-made and small compared to Yosemite  or other far flung  places, but it is still much worth the hike.   The quarry takes on a different look with each passing season.   The rocks reflect different hues and the water levels in the basin change with each season.   3M’s mining trucks no longer rumble up and down the haul road which remains as part of the Turkey Vulture Trail.   The rocks now sit in silent witness to changing seasons.

http://wildlightphotography.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/Wild-Light/G0000mpaI11NQ7gY/I0000TwSTCjVIerU

2 Responses to “The Quarry”

  1. Not-telling

    Hi there Andrew! I have a quick tip you might find interesting.

    I heard from a friend that there may be more than just the quarry up there. I’ve heard a couple of rumors of up to three old mine shafts in the mountain, dug over a century ago in a (failed) attempt to find gold.

    If these mine shafts really exist, it’s almost certain that the state park sealed them long ago, but it would be interesting to find them anyway.

    I can’t find more than a sentence or two about them online, but I thought I’d share it with you.

    And if you DO ever find them, please post where they were. I wouldn’t mind checking them out myself.

    Reply
    • Andrew Plath

      There are information signs on the south rim of the quarry that have articles about a rumor that gold was found on Rib Mountain. I don’t know of any mine shafts.

      Reply

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