How far do you go to research your stories? I’ve flown across the country, walked forever so that I could hike deep into the dark, stalagmite covered caverns inside of a mountain. But those are stories for another time.
Today we’re talking about old, abandoned mines. Gold mines. Mercury mines. Coal mines. Becoming: The Balance Bringer begins in the California desert, Kern County to be exact, a place salted with mines. There are over 1200 registered mines.
The mine inspiring a key scene was once a gold mine—the Tropico Mines. Many of the buildings still stand and can be rented for movie or television filming.
Gated to discourage uninvited entry, the site sits near The Cat House – The Feline Conservation Center. Also inspiration for a key piece in the book and also a story for another time.
With the naked eye you can easily see the buildings at the bottom of the hill near the gate, but the work site requires help from a high powered lens. Satellite will give you a nice aerial view of the layout. I can assure you, I used it all and then some.
But our story takes place in Faredale, not Rosamond, so I had the ability to change a thing or two. And I did.
Walking the perimeter one can taste the arid, desert air. The dirt dusts everything. Your shoes, your car, it blows into your hair. Getting the feel of what awaited inside the mine was something altogether different. A visit up the hill was not an option. But another mine, yes.
The mine at Calico, now a tourist attraction, was shut down in 1896 due to the falling price of silver. Some silver was extracted in 1917 using cyanide. There is thought that the remaining silver in the Calico mine may someday be mined.
Within a mine, air will thin the deeper you wander. Carbon dioxide is heavier than oxygen and will easily displace in the tight spaces. Bad air is not uncommon. Conditions must be monitored constantly. In Becoming: The Balance Bringer, since Ana gave no thought to such things I’d say we’re pretty lucky she didn’t choke upon entering the mine.
That was a little peek into the entrance of the mine in Becoming: The Balance Bringer, a recent 2015 Indie Excellence Award finalist.
The novel is currently featured on StoryFinds during their Teen Theme Week. Fun, right? My little book would be ever so grateful for your share ❤love❤. She’s involved in a cover poll. Love the look? Give her a vote!
Have you ever taken a tour into a mine, abandoned or working? We’d love to hear your story.
……………•*¨`*•. ☆ .•*¨`*•……………