Near Pigeon Creek – 3/15
The Morenci Mine is a wonder. I could hear it before I saw it. Low rumbling machinery echoed through the mountains for miles, groaning like some giant monster.
Then I came to a pass and stared out at the chaos of an entire mountain turned over to the pursuit of metal.
Dump trucks rumbled in the distance, each giant in its own right, but looking like an ant wandering up and down the pile. They rumbled in long, endless lines, filling and emptying their loads of rock.
The mine has churned once ragged mountain slopes into organized heaps. The mountains are hardly recognizable, looking more like terraced monuments, like unfinished pyramids, with roads built into them for the ceaseless march of machinery, the constant grinding away. The mine is not digging in, but eating the mountain wholesale.
It’s shocking to see, terrifying even, the complete destruction of a mountain, but as I take a picture, I wonder how many copper wires inside my phone were pulled out of that dirt.