The first picture tells you a little bit about the Cranberry Mines, you can read more here. We drove up here following the narrow-gauge railbed of the old ET&WNC railroad (known as the “Tweetsie” railroad and, yes, it’s the same Tweetsie that has the theme park in NC. The rail line originally came up to Cranberry and extended to Boone through Linville Gorge. That line was washed out in the 40s and never rebuilt. From Cranberry, the ore went on down to Johnson City for transfer to a standard-gauge line for distribution to who knows (or cares) where. The mines are roughly at 36.1401246, -81.9717829. A poorly-maintained fence attempts to keep people out of the mines, since bats live there and the state wildlife department is concerned that they’ll be contaminated with white-nose syndrome. I took a picture from the fence. Can you imagine working in those mines? Third picture is of some of the stuff left scattered about after the mines closed.