This “choked” cone resulted from the accumulation of iron oxide or hydroxide around the rim of a pool. As the rim grew, the pool deepened. The increased pressure of water in the pool became greater than the force of water in the spring causing the spring to seek a new outlet. When this happened, the pot eventually dried up, forming a “choked” cone.The Kootenay Choke Cones appear to be of little or no interest to anybody as I could find no images and little information about them on the net. We, ourselves, marched blithely past them like cityslicker robots without taking a photo. The image above is stolen off the wonderful Google Maps. So I hope I’m not boring everybody to death with this stuff.
BUT! just in case you ARE interested at all … check this out.
Just click on the link below. Voila! – the entire virtual Kootenay Paint Pots Hike !!!!
“In the early 1900s, mineral claims were issued, and extensive mining of the iron oxide deposits in the marsh below the springs occurred for use as a pigment in paint manufacture. The Paint Pots site was incorporated into Kootenay National Park when it was formed in 1920 at which point mining activity halted.”
Mining operation was “halted in 1920” – the miners were kicked out of the Park. But it’s a sure bet though that paint companies soon found out how to creating any colour anyway – including Ochre – and thus ended the demand for natural Ochre.
At the Ochre Mine site you’ll see these 2 (almost unreadable) signs.
It shows that the Park folks once cared about this site.
That’s not apparent now.
Yesterday’s garbage is tomorrow’s treasure.
There are now worrying signs of neglect. Apart from the poor condition of the signs we see much abuse of the old mining equipment which is just strewn about the area – open to obvious abuse.
Some already has graffiti on it.
Soon much of this will simply be taken by people – or destroyed.
Who knows what is already missing?
Nor is there any information on how Ochre mining was done? We can see this old equipment, but how was it used? We don’t know.
Found some of this nearby. I’m guessing this would have been the final mining product. Dried Ochre. Golden yes … But it does not glitter. Once somebody’s dream? In the palm of my hand. Next: To the Paint Pots
I admit I didn’t really expect much. Thought it would just be a nice easy hike. But it proved to be something else.
The Ochre Trail
The first thing you see is the The Fancy Bridge and Creek.Look at that thing!?? You could drive a tank across that. But also look at that creek. I’m betting at certain times of the year this creek is pretty well impassable – especially at Spring runoff. And it’s likely that previous bridges were washed away. So they built this amazing thing.
There’s a nice view from the Bridge.
Resting. Already? Why not? I’m in no hurry.
When we move up the trail, the ochre appears instantly.
It’s almost shocking. The whole area is covered with it! Gold water, gold creeks, gold mud … !
A golden wonderland!
Not all ochre is gold coloured like this. It comes in different shades: red, brown, yellow …
I kind of think this gold ochre would have been prized.
A golden pathway. Even the boardwalk is gold.
Our own yellow brick road. There must be a wizard up ahead … But where is it coming from?
Indigenous peoples attach great importance to the “red earth” or ochre found in the this area. Different groups have been traveling to this sacred place for thousands of years collect the ochre. It has been used for painting bodies, tipis, clothing, and horses, as well as for rock paintings.
In the early 1900s the ochre was commercially mined for use as pigment in paint. Some of the pieces of equipment remain along the trail. After Kootenay National Park was established in 1920, mining was gradually phased out to protect the landscape.
The three pots or pools formed are by the accumulation of iron oxide around the outlet of three cold mineral springs. In some areas, “choked cones” or wide mounds of ochre, formed when the water in the pools dried up.
The Ochre Creek Trail is 1.9 Kilometers (1 1/8 miles) long.
You know, I still can’t figure things in Metric terms. I was brought up on the Imperial system. So if you tell me something about a Mile long, I have a very good idea how far that is. If you say Kilometers? Not so much.
Anyway, it’s not a long hike. And mostly flat. I’d still say a hiking stick would be useful. And a bit of water/snacks. Listen Cityslicker, you are still out in the wild. Be prepared.
OK .. I’ve been trying to fix up my Blog for several days. Sorry about all the Posts you’ve likely been receiving. But things aren’t fixed yet. It’s a big mess actually. A work in progress.
All I wanted to do was enlarge the images on the Blog. That’s all.
I thought that would be better if they were a bit bigger. “Enlarged”.
How hard could that be?
But since I’m almost Technically Illiterate … I kept putting it off.
First I sent a letter to WordPress. “How do I enlarge my images on My Favorite Westerns?”
Response: ‘Please send us more information and an image of your page. Use Snipping Tool to get the image.”
What?! Really!!?? They have my Blog Name and Address. I am their customer. All they have to do is go to the page and LOOK!!!???
(Maybe they don’t know how?)
I decided not to bother with them anymore.
A friend suggested I simply try out different blog Themes until is discover one that works – displays larger images. Good idea says I. Sounded simple enough.
So … I tried a couple … and a couple more … and a few more. And more. Lots. Several. Some of the Themes seem to be corrupted? Or is it just me? The text was all screwed up. Some of my Pages disappeared! The Titles and Text were often wrong. Some overlapped my Banner and Images! … etc. All this went on for a long time. Hours.
Finally found one Theme that seemed to work. ?? But there’s some stuff that isn’t right. The Tags and Categories are in the wrong place. I went to use my usual Page/Post Editor to see if I could fix things. I discovered it was now replaced with the NEW Editor … which I don’t find to be as good – or friendly – as the old one.
ON I trudge.
My blog is still messed up and it will likely take me a few days to figure out how to get things right. Be patient with me. At this point I don’t know if the current Theme will work out.