Check out Anne Gordon’s incredible description of her descent into South Africa’s Bultfontein Diamond Mine – “Here“.
Archive for December, 2010
Posted in Adventures, articles, bizzare, collecting rocks near Bancroft, crazy things, creepy places, economics, Education, environment, exploration, gemology, gems, gemstones, geography, geology, history, industrial archeology, Interesting, Life, looking for gems, mine, my life, nature, Nature/Outdoors, people, Personal, Photography, photos, picture of, rock collecting, rockhounding, Rocks & Gems, rocks and minerals, rockwatching, strange places, Travel, Uncategorized, underground, urban exploration, wierd, tagged Bultfontein Diamond Mine, Bultfontien Diamond Mine, descent, Descent into Bultfontein Diamond Mine, Diamond, Diamond mine, Diamonds, Kimberly, Mine tour, South Africa, South African Mines on December 31, 2010| Leave a Comment »
Posted in abandoned, accident, Adventures, adventures in Europe, bizzare, cities, crazy things, creepy places, culture, cultures, Education, England, exploration, extreme sports, Family Stuff, geography, guelph, Hamilton, history, industrial archeology, Interesting, Life, my life, mystery, Ontario Underground, Photography, photos, picture of, sports, strange places, Travel, Uncategorized, underground, underground Ontario, urban exploration, wierd, tagged Guelph, Oxford, Trill Mill, Trill Mill stream, underground, Underground exploration, Underground stream, urban exploration on December 31, 2010| Leave a Comment »
My mother worked at Christ Church (Oxford University) and she was the first to bring the Trill Mill Stream to my attention. Pictured here the stream appears deep and slow – coming from under the University into Christ Church Meadow.
At one time the stream actually flowed on the surface, but it was eventually buried. The high walls within which the stream is channeled (just before it reaches the Thames – or the Isis as they call it in Oxford) is because in the 1800s the vapors coming off the water were blamed for causing a cholera epidemic- hence the idea to contain it. Initial exploration of the stream in the 1920s revealed a rotting Victorian punt wedged somewhere within and populated by 3 human skeletons.
Numerous people have traversed this underground waterway, Lawrence of Arabia did it in a canoe and one enterprising adventurer used a sea plane float. Modern urban explorers record their adventure and reveal an arched roof of bricks, the undersides of numerous manhole covers and a passage that makes at least 6 90 degree turns – finally ending in an iron gate – as seen from the outside it is this incredibly archaic industrial age contraption – a plate of metal that is raised and lowered by a wheel.
In Ronald Knox’s book, “The Hidden Stream; the Mysteries of the Christian Faith” he mentions Trill Mill Stream in his introduction in saying that, “if you know the right turning close by the gas works you may thrust your canoe up to the mill-pool under the castle walls where an entrance hardly more dignified than that of a sewer invites you to leave the noise of Oxford behind, and float down through the darkness.”
If I still lived in Oxford, I would certainly have been one of the explorers. I had at one time entertained the idea of using an air mattress. Now that I live in Canada the gloomy tunnels under Guelph will have to suffice – sadly they do not have the history of the Trill mill stream.
Posted in abandoned mines in Ontario, adventure in Ontario, Bancroft, Bancroft gemboree, Buy The Book, Canada, fashion, gemology, gems, gemstones, geography, guelph, Hamilton, Interesting, Life, My Book, my life, nature, ontario, Ontario's geography, Photography, photos, picture of, rock collecting, rockhounding, rockhounding in Ontario, Rocks & Gems, rocks and minerals, Uncategorized, tagged Bancroft, Bancroft gemboree, Lovely Juicy Tourmaline, red tourmaline, tourmaline, tourmalines, turmali on December 29, 2010| Leave a Comment »
If I was asked to pick one gem as my favorite, it would definitely be tourmaline. Look at these colors. These cabs are in a tray that was displayed by a merchant at the Bancroft Gemboree.
Red tourmalines are known as “rubellite”, one of the better known deposits being some 30 kilometers south east of Mogok in Burma where the gem is found in an alluvial bed of decomposing gneiss. Chinese miners generally worked this deposit as red tourmaline was needed for the buttons of mandarin’s gowns.
Posted in abandoned, adventure in Ontario, Adventures, backpacking, bizzare, Canada, Caves, cities, crazy things, creepy places, culture, cultures, exploration, geography, guelph, Hamilton, hiking, history, industrial archeology, Interesting, Life, my life, mystery, ontario, Photography, photos, picture of, sports, strange places, tunnels, Uncategorized, underground, underground Ontario, urban exploration, waterfalls of Ontario, wierd, tagged draining, ontario, Underground Ontario, urban exploration on December 29, 2010| 1 Comment »
I can’t remember what I’ve blogged about this trip so far – so here is the full story (as I remember).
There is this incredible storm drain that is very spectacular (as storm drains go). Many years ago SNFU and I resolved to follow it up as far as we could – this in place of the especially old drains in Niagara falls that I still intend to visit.
Well you enter in a rather public place – at the edge of a highway and the noise from within is quite intimidating. As a caver that sound of water suggested that we were about to be swamped by a flash flood, but it never came so we waded in and soon found ourselves at the bottom of a stairway down which flowed a gush of very cold water.
It was midwinter and though you might not be able to tell, I am wearing a wet suit beneath my coat.
It took us about 40 minutes of careful walking up two flights of stairs to get to the in-fall; a large grate at the edge of a golf course.
The stairs slope toward their center and with the algae build-up and the coldness it was not exactly easy, but we were very pleased to have done it and we rose from about the water level at the lake to the height just at the base of the cliffs. Along the way we had the fortune to observe some rather spectacular rust stalactites which were growing from cracks in the roof from which water poured. We resolved in the spring when the water was higher and warmer to inner-tube the drain from infall to outlet (wearing helmets) but in retrospect, its probably better that we didn’t.
Posted in Adventures, adventures in Europe, backpacking, british army, crazy things, culture, cultures, Education, geography, hiking, history, Interesting, Life, my life, people, Personal, Photography, photos, Portugal, strange places, Travel, war, wierd, tagged British Army, Canadian in the British Army, portugal, Queen's Regiment on December 29, 2010| Leave a Comment »
Having served a short time in the Canadian Army I left and joined the British Army (Queen’s Regiment).
This is me in Portugal. We spent a huge amount of time in the eucalyptus forests. I remember that we were always short of water. I was so thirsty once that I filled an old pop can that I had found with stinking water from a tire rut. In plugging the end with plastic I had saved it for a treat later in the day. It turned out that there was an orchard near there and the people who were picking oranges gave us fresh water and lots of fruit.
Most of the time we moved at night and I honed my map and compass skills to perfection.
Posted in accident, Adventures, british army, Canada, Canadian Army, culture, cultures, Education, England, geography, Germany, history, Interesting, Life, my life, Personal, Photography, photos, strange places, Travel, Uncategorized, war, wierd, tagged Canadian Army, Germany, Hohenfels, RCR, Royal Canadian Regiment on December 29, 2010| 1 Comment »
Looks like our M113 is broken down again. That’s me sitting with my feet on the edge.We are somewhere in Hohenfels (Germany)
Behind me is a 50 cal. I can’t recall the exact issue with the APC, but I believe it was something to do with the track tension which seemed to be an on-going thing.
What I later came to regard as quite odd was that not everyone in the section knew how to use the 50 cal. I believe you needed a special course. In the British Infantry (as I later joined the British Army), if there was a weapon in your section – you knew how to use it.
Posted in abandoned, abandoned mines, abandoned mines in Ontario, accident, Admin, adventure in Ontario, Adventures, adventures in Europe, animals, ANSI, art, articles, Asia, backpacking, Bancroft, Bancroft gemboree, bats, beading, beads, bigfoot, bizzare, books, british army, btk, bull fighter, bull fighting, Buy The Book, Canada, Canadian Army, cave conservation, cave digging, cave diving in ontario, cave formation, Caves, caves in Ontario, caving, Caving in Cuba, Caving in Hamilton, Caving in Ontario, central America, cities, climbing, Cobalt, collecting rocks near Bancroft, commerce, conspiracy, corundum, Costa Rica, Costa Rican bull fight, crazy things, creepy places, crime, crime in Costa Rica, crocodile, cryptozoology, cryptozooology, crystal ball, crystals, Cuba, Cuban life, Cuban people, cubans, culture, cultures, cute, diving, diving in ontario, Dodge, dogs, eco tourism in Costa Rica, economics, Education, electronica, England, entertainment, environment, Eramosa Karst, exploration, extreme sports, Family Stuff, fashion, feldspar, fluor-richterite, fossils, gemology, gems, gemstones, geography, geology, Germany, ghost, Gibraltar, gold, gold mining, golden retrievers, Guanacaste, guelph, Hamilton, haunted, haunted places, Havana, health, health and safety, hiking, history, holiday in Costa Rica, holiday in Cuba, howler monkeys, humor, India, industrial archeology, Interesting, Internet Stuff, Kansas, lapidary, Las Vegas, lay lines, Life, London, looking for gems, magical, malagan, Matanzas, media, military, mine, mines in northern Ontario, morality, Moroccans, Morocco, motocross, music, musicals, My Book, my life, mystery, nature, Nature/Outdoors, New Guniea, News, niagara escarpment, occult, Old Havana, ontario, ontario caves, Ontario geography, Ontario Underground, Ontario's geography, Ontario's geology, panning for gold, paranormal, pegmatite, people, people in Costa Rica, people in Cuba, Personal, pets, philosophy, Photography, photos, pickpockets, picture of, planes, PNG, Portugal, religion, rock collecting, rockhounding, rockhounding in Ontario, Rocks & Gems, rocks and minerals, rocks in Ontario, rockwatching, Roman, sandstone, sapphires, sasquatch, science, scotch, Scuba Diving, sculpture, searching for caves, serial killer, shopping, silver, silver mines, sports, strange places, surfing, Tamarindo, theater, Toronto Cave Group, tours in Costa Rica, trade, Travel, travel writing, tree planting, treeplanting, tunnels, Uncategorized, underground, underground Ontario, urban exploration, vacation, varadero, vicious bulls, visiting Costa Rica, volcanoes, war, waterfalls, waterfalls of Ontario, West Virginia, wierd, wildlife in Costa Rica, world cup, tagged Blogging Protocal, blogging standards, caving, Caving in Ontario, polite blogging on December 27, 2010| Leave a Comment »
Well, Rockwatching has been up and running for a number of years now (5 to be exact) and I believe it has contributed significantly to the interest of people like myself who like caving, rocks, the outdoors, gems and minerals in Ontario.
We are just a few short days from 2011 and I believe it’s high time we made some resolutions -all of us (you my loyal fellow bloggers as well).
So in the interests of all involved a few ground rules to follow on Rockwatching from now on
1) Lets not carry a personal vendetta onto this site which is meant to be a forum where like minded enthusiasts can interact in a positive way.
2) Lets respect each other and try not to get personal when we are frustrated.
3) Lets respect the basics of conservation and eco-minded thought.
4) Lets not assume stuff we don’t know for sure (hence the survey at the bottom of the post).
5) Lets keep in mind that this is all about enjoyment.
6) Lets keep in mind that just because the topic is on the table, every single aspect that pertains to it is not an open book.
7) Lets respect people who are not on the site, private property, reputations etc. Just because there is discussion of a site or feature does not mean permission has been granted to go there.
8) Lets not get petty, self righteous or important. Stop correcting my grammar, spelling or use of terms. I am a writer at heart and so I believe I can use the language as I please (providing it’s in good taste, or if I choose, not in good taste).
9) Lets not waste my time by having to re-direct you to one of the above rules.
Happy and prosperous 2011 – Mick