Copper: My New Obsession

I have a new hobby.  I discovered it in the hills and pathways overshadowed by the seemingly once forgotten but currently being restored ruins of the Kennecott Mill Town.  It’s not a hobby that you can do just anywhere and it isn’t for everyone.  It involves rocks, patience, rocks, a keen eye, and did I mention rocks?  Can you guess what it is?  If you guessed searching for copper, you’re right!  I am obsessed!  Walking into the old town, we were informed that unlike most National Parks, you are allowed to take rocks from Kennecott.  We were also informed what the copper would look like in the hills and told that it could be found littering the ground.  Thus the search began.  I found small little green pebbles here and there.  I then dug out a larger rock that appeared a dark green color and pocketed it for later.  We then met a guy named Mark.  He not only had an amazing eye for copper rocks but also knew exactly where a trove was.  He disappeared into the ruins of the mill and returned with many rocks of different sizes.  After cracking one open, he presented us with a metallic purple inside and told us it was 60-70 percent copper.  I was amazed.  We then all began to crack open any rock that appeared to even slightly resemble the rocks we had been shown.  I then pulled out the rock I had dug out the road and asked if the rock was any good.  He smiled and told me to crack it open and find out.  Sure enough, I was lucky enough to have a pretty purple inside of my rock!  I was so excited that I continued to walk with my eyes glued to the ground, picking up rocks here and there and cracking them open whenever I had a chance.  I couldn’t get enough.  What was worse was it was only day one of our three day experience of Kennecott!

Day two started out with our group going on the ten mile hike to the Bonanza Mine.  This time, I was ready and had my eye on the prize: I knew exactly what kind of rocks to look for when we got to the mine and all along the way.  After a while I convinced myself to forget about rock color and focus on footing as we ascended the mountain.  But by the time the mine was in view my eyes were dazzled by all of the colors littering the ground!  I started cracking whenever I found a good one.  Half the fun was cracking; the other was hoping for a purple core and finding it.  By the time we reached the top the of the mountain the green was blinding; if I had gotten closer to the solid green boulder, the girls would have had to pry me off of it.  Thankfully, it really didn’t get that bad, but on the treacherous hike down I did stop several times and go, “oooo something shiny!”  We made it down the mountain intact with my pockets lined with copper rocks.   
Going to the Kennecott Mine Town was an amazing experience.  I learned what copper really looks like and now feel I have an eye for finding it.  However, I do realize that living on the mountain is completely foolish. So, I will leave the pretty green mountain but I’ll be taking with me plenty of memories and a few rocks as my prize.

-----Breanne Hernandez

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