They all jumped back—even Mr. C—as though a dinosaur’s heavy foot might actually stomp down on them. “Of course that was sixty-five million years ago!” the guide reminded them. The girls giggled and the boys pushed each other but they managed to follow Miss Malone through the large doors and into a dark, wet tunnel lined with rock. Lamps strung along the tops of the cave walls cast a soft yellow light on everything.

“Sweatshirts on,” Mr. C declared. The Trackers didn’t need to be told twice. It was cold in there!

“We will be heading underground to see where miners used to dig for zinc ore,” Miss Malone said. “There were once thirty-five miles of tunnels here, although most are gone now. The mine used to be a lot deeper, but rising waters have shut down the lower levels. Sterling Mine is the fourth oldest mine in the state, and was the last to shut down, thirty years ago.”

Chelsea wanted to reach out and touch the wet walls, but knew that wasn’t a good idea. As they continued walking deeper into the mines, Miss Malone showed them the protective clothing the miners would wear and demonstrated how the miners blasted into the rock safely to find iron and zinc. “Hey,” Cooper said, reaching for one of the old hard hats with the built-in flashlight hanging from a hook in the rock wall. “This would look awesome on me!”