Fire in the Hole!

Thursday, August 20, 2009
I work near a rock quarry. Every once in a while a little rock needs to be moved. That's when they put on a show for us. I had noticed them working on the hillside for about the last week or so, but at first I wasn't sure what they were doing. It all became clear today. They called our business this morning to give us a half hour window of when it would be happening. I made sure I was situated where I could get a pretty clear shot then waited. Flagmen stopped traffic about a quarter mile down the road in each direction, the employees of the quarry took their vehicles and moved them a safe distance away. All was quiet for a couple of minutes until a horn sounded about five times, then silence again. We all heard those famous words "Fire in the hole!" The charges had been set pretty deep in order to minimize flying debris. The ground shook under our feet, then a second later the rock started flying and the dust rose. I left for lunch with my wife. When I returned the dust had settled so I took an "after" photo. I hope you enjoy the series.


  1. Excellent photo-reporting! If there hadn't been any cars, I would have thought this was the Union Pacific being built!

  2. Lynette Says:

    Neat, neat, neat! How exciting to get these photos! Thanks!

  3. That is so very awesome.

  4. Lois Says:

    What a great series of photos Don! It's nice that you get some warning too, since that could really be scary if you weren't prepared.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I truly did enjoy it and the photos are nice. Made it alive. Then I asked myself, why did they do that? I suppose to expose some rock they needed or something.

  6. Jacob Says:

    Great series of shots, Don! Glad you were thinking quickly. Must feel strange to have the earth rocking under your feet!

    Have a great weekend!

  7. Thank you all!
    Usually the blasts are much larger than this one, but it was placed so close to their main office and neighboring business that they had to keep it under control. It's still fun to watch though.

  8. tapirgal Says:

    It was fun to see this! I remember as a child, they blew away half a mountain in the countryside near where I lived, and we went to watch it happen. There's nothing quite like seeing an event like that to make you feel the amazing capabilities of the Earth if it wants to make something happen on it's own, too.

    As for the building off the beaten path in Astoria, all it takes is a block or two, and the foot traffic becomes exponentially less. If a business is not well-known, it can make a huge difference in sales.

  9. AB Says:

    Good to se they keep you entertained.

  10. Steffe Says:

    Interesting read and some nice action photos.

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