Monday, January 25, 2010


It was one of those days
I wanted to sneak in a
little longer ride. The
wife must have gone
some where. So the
proposed ride was to
take in four states in
one day.

From here that was not too hard. Just loop up
through Oklahoma into Kansas. Then head East
into Missouri dropping down into Arkansas and
back home.

It was up in North East Oklahoma that I spotted them.
Sahara type sand dunes in a lush area of Oklahoma?
The picture is small. But if you look close in the top
photo, behind the telephone pole in the center of the
image is the first sand dune coming up.

It ends up that they were not sand dunes at all. A
little research revealed that they are the tailings
from zinc and lead mining. They are toxic. So in
all the years they have been there nothing will grow
on them.

These are just south of
the quaint town of
Picher, Oklahoma.

A tornado when through
May 10, 2008 tearing
up the town and killing a
number of people. The
last report I read is that
because of the toxic nature of these "hills" or tailings.
And the danger of the old mines caving in, the
government is buying the town out.

After a number of hours
in the saddle I was needing
a bush to hide behind.

Found one. A touch further
south on the fringe of the
area near Douthat, OK.

Obviously old ruins are
a real attraction to me. Could not pass this up.

Get on the Internet, like
you are now. Punch in,
"Map of Picher, Oklahoma".
Now switch to the
satellite view.

You will see the area is
just dotted with the
"dunes" (Tailings). It
makes an interesting and informative view. Better
yet, take a drive up through that part of Oklahoma.
It's a great way to get out of town.

Got all four states in that day with only 326 miles and
back home in the late afternoon. I've been back through
there again. And hope to again. It's that interesting
to see.

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