Rush, Arkansas: Clabber Creek Mine

All that remains in Rush, Arkansas are the remnants of a once thriving mining town. Several old structures remain, but I assure you the sites to see are far underground. When you arrive you will be shocked to think that this small district housed 5000 individuals and was one of the largest cities in Arkansas. That’s all a distant memory now and you can describe Rush as one of those ghost towns in the old west. When the zinc market dried up the town was deserted, but the mines were as a constant reminder.
My friends and I had visited many of these mines finding some really spectacular features as we went, such as mining carts and old wooded pillars. You know, the kind of stuff that movies set your expectations up for. As these things are more than enough make for a worthy trip there was a far larger gem to be seen on this day. We had got word from a local that within one of these earthly graves there was a full intact truck. Upon hearing this we were fascinated at the chance to view this piece of history in person and the hunt was on.
We were given guidance to the exact mine we would need to find, but if you know southerners idea of directions you might understand our confusion. “Turn left at the big tree, drive down the dirt road and you’ll see an old shack, turn left” that sort of thing. As this was indeed the case it took us a bit longer than we would have liked, but we would not let such a small obstacle deter our quest.
After a bit of frustration we finally arrived at the entrance to what was believed to be the correct location. I was a bit spooked due to coming across some mountain lion tracks in another mine and there was a smell of urine here. And let me tell you this was a big print roughly the size of a grown man’s palm. We couldn’t stop now however and proceeded into the depths. Traveling the tube shaped tunnel for several hundred feet we arrived at a blockage in the path.
This consisted of 75 feet of a flooded tunnel, several feet deep. Some previous adventurers had constructed a makeshift raft out of four watertight buckets that only a fool would attempt to use. There was reason to believe these might have also been the kind souls who left all the beer cans along the tunnel as way-makers, how courteous of them I know. Luckily for us we had a fool of our own along for the trip! My buddy strapped himself to this surely buoyant raft and away he went. Things were going well for the first 5 feet. At that point his weight shifted and he went for a swim. Hilarity ensued and it took several minutes to recollect and rethink our strategy.
At this point I tried my luck straddling the wall to the right getting about half way across when Ethan, the guy who fell in and walked ahead, signaled that he had found the truck. My pace quickened and as I approached the truck it was all I had hoped for. An old rustic truck 1000 feet down a tunnel that if you explored would never believe a truck could make it back here. It was a spectacular site and the pictures do it a great deal of justice. Sadly the old truck was left to die along with the mines, now serving as a stunning landmark.

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