The adventure that was Red Bridge. This is how determination and ambition can sometimes cause pain.
Bob and I had read about the red Bridge Mine from old books. Worked in the 1840′s, the descriptions mentioned various tunnels, shafts, and even the story of a woodsman who killed his son and caved in the mine entrance over 130 years ago. We were really eager to find this mine, however unlike many other mines, we didnt have exact locations on this map.
I was plotting this mine out for months and months, based on various descriptions, I had finally came to a conclusion that it must be off of a particular road. All mines had roads going to them and this road in particular was called Old <blank> road.
The day came, January 5th, 2008. Bob and I suited up, it was the heart of winter, but out in New Jersey, there was no snow, and the temperature was just below freezing. Upon taking the long drive up due north into the Shawangunk Mountain Range, to our surprise we started to observe more and more snow cover. Upon reaching our road, we realized it was over a foot deep and straight up the mountain.
Bob and I discussed and this was supposed to be a reconnaissance mission. We decided to travel lite, and find the mine, and then if it was worthwhile we would come back. We walked up the mountain road, zig zagging up the shawangunks, our footprints were the only ones there. And here comes blunder #1. After walking about a mile, we started to wonder if we really were on the right track. We decided to go back to the car, and look at the map one more time. We did that then realized, oh we needed to walk more, so we want back up there walked and walked perhaps 2.5 miles. Just when we were coming upon a ravine, Bob said “ohh look at that it looks like a tunnel” and laughed it off. I continued however to eyeball it, then we both realized, it IS a tunnel! we droped into the ravine and excitement filled our dead limbs and we ran up to the mine. It was indeed an old tunnel mostly filled with water.
So now we had found what we were loooking for, but unfortunately, we did not carry our gear, such as camera, waders, to walk in ICY water *hint etc. So with my new rush of enthusiasm, I agreed to go back down to the car, and back up again with our gear. Bob stayed at the mine.
After a walk of death, which took at least an hour, I arrived back seeing smoke near the mine. Bob had gotten his pants wet, and was freezing his biscuits off. He had started to light a fire to combat the temperatures which were now in the low teens.
We donned our gear, and proceeded to enter the mine. Stay Tuned for Part 2 of this story.. It gets better!