Thursday, December 26, 2013
Photo: Guano Point at the Grand Canyon
This is the remnants of the building and machinery that operated a 7,500 ft (2,300 m) cableway to carry workers and guano from the rim down to a bat cave mine on the opposite side of the Canyon, 2,500 ft (760 m) below the Rim.
The guano mine was in operation for only about a year or two at the end of the 1950's, as it turned out that the engineer's prediction of the amount of guano in the cave was vastly inflated, as most of what was predicted to be guano, used for nitrogen fertilizer, was worthless limestone.
The company that built the mine lost several million dollars, but a few months after ceasing operations a U.S. Air Force pilot flew a jet "hot dogging" through the Canyon and his wing clipped the cable. Fortunately, he was able to land his plane safely, but the mine owners pressed a claim, and the government paid for the damage.
The mine on the opposite side of the Canyon is now within the National Park boundaries. The Park Service wanted to remove the mine remnants, but people objected, as they now consider the property of historic interest. My husband and I enjoyed walking through this old building and taking photos of the old machinery, which I might post in the future.
This week we have photos of the spirituality of the people of Grenada, Nicaragua posted on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.