Atlas Coal Mine
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For Tales of Mines and Men
Alberta has the interactive museum down to a science. The Atlas Coal Mine, in once rough and tumble Drumheller, the center of both dinosaur discovery and mineral wealth, is an important National Historic Site as one of the few remaining coal mines in a region formerly home to more than 160 black nugget outfits. Atlas, built in 1936 and open until 1984, is now a museum open to the public, but retains the authentic air of a bustling coal mine, with dedicated guides, like program director Jay (pictured here), who enrich the experience with personal tales of family and friends who worked in the mines once upon a time. Strap on a helmet, fire up a torch (visitors are given modern helmet-mounted lights, but Jay will spark a traditional chemical fire if you ask him to), and climb into the 210-foot conveyor tunnel for a hands-on tour you're not likely to forget. Atlas offers numerous tours and interactive programs; details can be found on their website. [Flash traveled to Alberta courtesy of Travel Alberta.]
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