by Chris Stein
The story of reporting this week's Inlander cover story, "The Bedrock of Idaho," is best told through numbers.
Two months: The approximate time I spent reporting the story, from November 2011 to January 2012.
411.2 miles: The mileage I put on my car going to and from the Silver Valley, meeting family, politicians and miners. And that was just last month.
5,200 feet: The maximum depth I journeyed with photographer Young Kwak, who masterfully captured the process of extracting silver during our trip into the Galena Mine.
Two: The number of miners who died at the Lucky Friday in 2011, whose deaths ultimately led to the temporary shutdown of the mine. And that's not counting the seven injured in a rock burst in December.
The angle of this story evolved as events in the Silver Valley transpired in December and January, but the article's purpose never changed: to examine how the booming business behind silver shapes the culture of the Silver Valley, and to memorialize the two miners who tragically perished in accidents in the Lucky Friday.
This is the story of a small valley in North Idaho, its people, its industry, and its two lost sons.