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Trail of the Ancients

Virtual Road Trip -2020

The Bucket List

Remaining healthy during the COVID 19 Pandemic was the most important matter on the agenda for 2020. Road tripping across the border into the States was impossible. Planned trips were moved a couple of times and finally cancelled. The border between Canada and US was (and still is) closed. Any kind of travel is impossible. For that matter, it is not even desirable. More on the Virus

During the lockdown, I went through the whole website, tweaked where necessary, made the changes for the upcoming cancelation of Flash, made new movies, and created the photo album.

While going though everything, I realized how lucky I am to have travelled when I did and to be able to do the things I have. I feel like I've done it all. I've been to an Alligator Farm in St. Augustine, Quilt Gardens in Indiana, the International Peace Garden between Manitoba and North Dakota, and National Parks and Monuments all across Canada and the United States. The beautiful cacti forests of the southwestern deserts captured my heart. Of course, we can't leave out "North to Alaska" (which ironically, living up to it's legacy, might just be our "final frontier").

The road south lead us to Oatman, Route 66, Pony Express stations, Tombstone and ghost towns - oh so many ghost towns. Then there are those crazy places we discovered along the way. We have explored the haunted Myrtles Plantation, Luckenbach, Texas, Niagara Falls, New Orleans, Dollywood and Graceland. We've been to Washington, DC., the Mexican Border in Arizona, and Universal Studios in California.

We've travelled every twisty, winding road that Karen could find on the map. We have braved the incredible Burr Trail and the back road from Shonto to the Navajo National Monument. We have driven the dusty roads of Highway 261, Valley of the Gods and Monument Valley.

But after all that, there is one trip left on our bucket list - the Trail of the Ancients. So as 2020 pushed to a close and there is no travel post for this year, I decided to travel the Trail - virtually! Maybe someday we will be able to make it come true. Thanks to Wikipedia and the Trail of the Ancients websites for giving us the itinerary.
We have to leave a few things to our imaginations. Those crazy things we do along the way - the unscheduled stops, where we ate, the animals, the flowers, the backroads, and of course the "change of plans" that completely derail us. Those remain to be seen.

Day One - Calgary to Kalispell

We are extremely excited about this trip. It is the first time since 2017 that we have ventured out for parts unknown. It is also the first time since the Pandemic that we are able to cross the border - and we are finally going to do the Trail of the Ancients. But we have to get there first.

Our excitement didn't help us get out of town any faster. I prepared the sandwiches the night before. I was two blocks away when I realized I forgot to pack them. The good news - only one trip home and I was on my way. Arriving at Karen's, Steve helped us pack the car. Once again, Karen has forgotten to pack "light" and our first re-organization of the trunk took place. Off we went, but had to turn around just before Glenmore Trail. Karen forgot her infamous "straw hat".

Finally we were on our way - and as Steve would predict - it's nearly 11:00 am!!

On the road again
Goin' places that I've never been
Seein' things that I may never see again
And I can't wait to get on the road again
Virtual highways today (starting at Strathmore) were County Road 817 to Caresland, hwys 24 and 23 to hwy 3, then east to Lethbridge. Just to mix things up, we headed south from Lethbridge on hwy 5 through McGrath to Cardston where we turned south on hwy 2 to the US border & onto US hwy 89. State hwy 49 was open so we took it over the mountain connecting with US 2 at East Glacier. We continued west through Columbia Falls on State hwy 40 and finally south to Kalispell on US 93. Google Map

Village Quilts, Lethbridge

It was easy for us to get our fat quarters in Alberta and also stop at one of the nicest shops as a bonus. Village Quilts, thankfully, survived the Covid economic crises. Since our theme this year is southwestern, we were pleased to be able to find some southwestern fabric. It's hard to imagine what kind of quilt we will be making for our travel quilts this year. Hopefully, once we are in the four corners area, we will find some inspiration. Village Quilts

Babb-Piegan Border Station c. 1933

Piegan-Carway Border Crossing

The Piegan–Carway Border Crossing, was established in 1925 connecting the towns of Babb, Montana and Cardston, Alberta. The name Carway is a blended word of Cardston and Highway. The small village of Carway, Alberta has all but vanished, with the Carway School closing in 1954. The old US log cabin-style border station was registered on the National Register of Historic Places on April 12, 2006 as #06000252.

St. Mary, Montana

St. Mary is an unincorporated community on the western border of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation adjacent to Glacier National Park. The village is the eastern terminus of the Going-to-the-Sun Road which bisects the park. Fewer than 50 people reside in the village year-round. Several lodges, restaurants and cafés, a small grocery store, two gas stations and campgrounds are located in the village. However, most tourist services are closed during the winter months.

State Highway 49 - The Looking Glass Road

The decision to go over Hwy 49 meant that we would miss the Going to the Sun Road through Glacier National Park but we would get to Kalispell earlier. Leaving at 11:00 am doesn't give us much time to tour around. Highway 49 is steep, narrow, and winding. It is usually impassable during the winter months. The Looking Glass Road gets its name from the Nez Perce Chief "Looking Glass".

Looking Glass Road

Hungry Horse, Montana

The town sprang up during the construction of Hungry Horse Dam when the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation placed more than one hundred prefabricated buildings at the site to house workers. The name comes from a local legend about two horses, Tex and Jerry, that escaped and almost starved to death in deep snow along the South Fork of the Flathead River. Hungry Horse claims fame as the wild huckleberry capital of the West. This sweet, tart wild berry grows only in moist mountain areas and cannot be commercially grown.

The Huckleberry Patch - Hungry Horse, Montana

We were on our final stretch now, so we took the time to stop at the Huckleberry Patch for huckleberry pie and ice cream. We rarely pass through this area that we don't take the time to stop here. This is where we first discovered Jeff Fleming's Bears. After shopping around for a bit, and stocking up with huckleberry treats for the road, we headed to Kalispell. The Huckleberry Patch

Kalispell, Montana

We arrived in Kalispell in good time. After booking into our hotel, we went to Walmart to grocery shop for our trip. We settled into our room and relaxed for the rest of the night. We don't have far to travel tomorrow, so we will be able to sleep in a bit. We plan to stay in town until Glacier Quilts and Jeff Fleming's Bear Country Gallery open before heading to Coeur d'Alene.

Post Note - Day One: Travelling from home to Kalispell is so routine that we don't notice the breathtaking views and other points of interest along the way anymore. Digging around virtually brought to light some new and interesting tidbits of information. I never knew anything about the Carway Border Crossing or that Highway 49 was named "Looking Glass Road" after Nez Perce Chief Looking Glass. Travelling virtually doesn't really feel much different than driving. I still get stiff as a board from sitting for hours on end, time just whizzes by, my feet swell, and I'm totally exhausted by the time I shut down for the day - which is virtually nearing midnight!

Day 2 - Kalispell to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Highways today were south on US 95 to Elmo, MT 28 to Plains, west on MT 200 to Thompson Falls, west on MT Secondary Hwy 471 and Idaho NF 9 (Thompson Pass Road/Prichard Creek Road/Coeur D'Alene River Road) to Kingston, and finally I-90 to Coeur d'Alene. Google Map

Glacier Quilts, Kalispell, MT

We checked out of the hotel in time to get to Glacier Quilts when they opened. As always, it is extremely difficult to get in and out of this store with any speed. It was a good thing we didn't have to hurry. After spending nearly 45 minutes checking out every nook and cranny, we were ready to go with our fat quarters in hand. They didn't have much in the way of southwestern fabric but there was lots of native and cowboy fabric that would blend in nicely. Glacier Quilts

Bear Country Gallery, Kalispell, MT

Next stop before leaving town is a visit to Jeff Fleming's Bear Country Gallery to check out what is new. We "always" find something new to buy. Bear Country Gallery features Jeff's full collection of artwork from the lovable Bearfoots to his limited edition bronze sculptures, and one of a kind wood and steel sculptures. Bear Country Gallery


A few years ago, wonderful appliqué quilt patterns featuring Jeff's Bears started production. I made two Hap quilts - one for me and one for Karen. Hap is especially important to Karen because it was her father's name and now she has a new grandson named Hap.

US Highway 93, Montana

Route 93 is a major north–south highway in both the United States and Canada crossing the international border at Roosville. The southern terminus is at Wickenburg, Arizona and the northern terminus is at Jasper, Alberta. This little stretch of highway we are temporarily on today, is part of a very big picture.

It's 1360 miles meanders through the states of Arizona, Nevada, Idaho and Montana and the Provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. Hwy 93 connects several major cities including Kingman, Las Vegas, Twin Falls, Missoula, Kalispell, and Whitefish. It takes you to the historic Hoover Dam, Jackpot, Nevada, Radius Hot Springs and the Columbia Icefields.

Great Basin National Park, Kootenay National Park, Banff National Park and Jasper National Park are all along Hwy 93. Many parts of the highway are designated Scenic Byways including Joshua Forest Parkway, Nevada Scenic Byway, Salmon River Scenic Byway, Lewis and Clark Trail, and the Columbia Icefields Parkway. The stretch of highway from Ely to Schellbourne Ranch is part of the Lincoln Highway, the first road across the United States.

It is interesting to note that over the years, we have been on every stretch of this highway with the exception of the Canadian Columbia Icefields Parkway. There certainly is a lot of history in one road.

State Highway 28, Montana

Montana State Highway 28 is approximately 47 miles long beginning at the Hwy 93 junction at Elmo and ending at State Highway 200 in Plains. With the exception of a few miles, the highway is entirely within the Flathead Indian Reservation. The highway climbs through steep forest terrain between the two plains.

Flathead Indian Reservation

The Flathead Indian Reservation, located on the Flathead River, is home to the Bitterroot Salish, Kootenai, and Pend d'Oreilles tribes – also known as the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation. Flathead Lake lies in the northeast corner of the reservation. All but the northern tip of Flathead Lake is part of the reservation. Flathead Reservation Map

Hellgate Treaty

The reservation was created July 16, 1855 by the Treaty of Hellgate. Notably one-sided the Treaty took nearly 22 million acres of land from the Tribes in return for the paltry sum $120,000.00. The Treaty was not ratified by Congress until April 18, 1859 creating much distrust and resentment of the government by the Tribes.

Ward Hotel c 1912-1913

Thompson Falls, Montana

Thompson Falls, established in 1910, was named after explorer and fur trader David Thompson. The arrival of the railroad in 1881 brought the first real activity to the area. During the gold rush, the town grew to accommodate the men going to the mines. The Ward Hotel was registered on the National Register of Historic Places on December 22, 1986 as #86002769.

Murray Hotel circa 1885

Murray, Idaho

Located along the Thompson Pass Road Murray, now home to about 50 people, was one of several boisterous mining camps that became active in the late 1880s. Mines operated in the area from the 1880s to the 1950s. In 1884, a judge fined Wyatt Earp $65.00 for claim jumping after he forced William Payne off his land at gunpoint near Murray.

Prichard, Idaho

A post office called Prichard was established in 1910, and remained in operation until 1943. The community derived its name from Andrew J. Prichard, a gold prospector.

CCC Camp Harry Marsh c 1933

CCC Camp Harry Marsh

Prichard Civilian Conservation Corps Camp F-30, Co. 967, renamed Harry Marsh CCC Camp, was one of the first camps in the CCC program. It was located in the Coeur d'Alene National Forest on the Coeur d'Alene River north of present day Prichard. Camp Harry Marsh

Civilian Conservation Corps - 1933-1942

The Civilian Conservation Corps enrolled mostly young, unmarried, unskilled and unemployed men between the ages of 18 and 25. The men came primarily from families on government assistance. Men enlisted for a minimum of six months.

Each worker received $30.00 wages per month for his services in addition to room and board at a work camp. The men were required to send $ 25.00 of their monthly earnings home to support their families. Civilian Conservation Corps Wikipedia

Enaville, Idaho

Travelling virtually increases the chances of finding some very unique places. Enaville is a small town just north of the junction of the Coeur d'Alene River Road and I-90. Searching the internet didn't turn up much information specifically on Enaville. What it did produce, however, was a wealth of information from the website for The Snake Pit.

There's not much happening in Enaville today but it wasn't always that way. In the early days, Enaville was a transportation center for railroaders, miners and loggers. It was also a railroad changeover, important for early log drives. Enaville was considered the Gateway to the Upper North Fork. The town was named after the wife of a a railroad crewman. She was also the postmistress at the time. (Thanks to the Snake Pit for this information.)

CCC Camp Enaville c 1935

CCC Camp Enaville,
F-136, Co. 557, Enaville, Idaho

The Enaville post office sorted all the mail for the hundreds of young workers up the upper North Fork working in CCC Camps. Other CCC Camps in the Enaville area were Camp Jordan Creek P-181, Horse Haven Camp F-156, Hudlow Creek Camp F-113, and Grizzly Camp F-136. Digital Initiatives University of Idaho

The Snake Pit - Enaville, Idaho

Never let it be said that a fabulous website doesn't attract customers. The good thing about travelling virtually is that you can stop and eat anywhere you want - any time you want - and we just happened to be starving! The Snake Pit has been part of the Silver Valley's colorful history since 1880. It has served as a boomtown bar, railroad layover, hotel, restaurant and house of ill repute (complete with red lights). The Snake Pit

Sunset Cruise - Lake Coeur d'Alene

Once we were on the I-90, we made up a lot of time. We booked into our hotel and rested a bit before getting ready for the Dinner Cruise. The last time I took this cruise was in the middle of huge forest fires all through Idaho. The air was so thick with smoke that I wasn't able to see much. We could not even see the shore from the boat. This time the weather is perfect. Of course - what else would you expect virtually?

We headed to the dock, parked and boarded without a hitch. On board we had a fabulous dinner. On the menu - carved roast beef, baked fresh northwest salmon, double stuffed au gratin potatoes, summer green salad, vegetables, pasta salad, fruit salad, bread basket and strawberry cheesecake for dessert. Who could ask for more? After dinner we headed to the upper deck to kick back, relax and take in the scenery.

Sherman Street, Idaho c 1908

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

The city began in 1878 as Fort Sherman on the north shore of Coeur d'Alene Lake. The town grew when gold and silver deposits were found in Silver Valley and after the Northern Pacific Railroad reached it in 1883. Population peaked in the late 1920s after the discovery of highly prized white pine resulted in a timber boom which led to the incorporation of the city on September 4, 1906. Coeur d'Alene Wikipedia

Lake Coeur d'Alene

Lake Coeur d'Alene is a natural dam-controlled lake. The lake spans 25 miles in length and ranges from 1 to 3 miles in width and fed by the Coeur d'Alene and Saint Joe rivers. Although the Post Falls Dam on the Spokane River near Post Falls controls the lake levels, the lake is usually kept at natural levels from January to June. Wikipedia

Coeur d'Alene People c 1907

The Coeur d'Alene People

The lake was named after the Coeur d'Alene people. The Tribe's rights to the lake were established in the first executive order founding its reservation, which originally included all of the lake. In United States v. Idaho (2001), the United States Supreme Court held that an 1873 executive order issued by President Ulysses S. Grant formalized ownership by the tribe. Coeur d'Alene People Wikipedia

Post Note - Day Two: Wow! After only two days travelling virtually, it's becoming apparent that this trip is going to take a very long time - certainly longer that it takes to drive the roads each day. It is amazing when you are travelling virtually how much more information you can find about the roads you travel on and the areas you pass through. Are these sidetracks I keep getting on while surfing the internet just a replacement for the derailing we usually encounter along the way?

Day 3 Coeur d'Alene to McCall, Idaho
Highways today included east on I-90 to State 97 (NW Passage Scenic Byway) on the east side of Coeur d'Alene Lake. At the end of State 97 we turned south on State 3 through Saint Maries and Bovill to the Junction with US 12 where we turned east. We followed US 12 through Orofino to Kooskia. At Kooskia we turned south again on State 13 to Grangeville, then US 95 to New Meadows and State 55 to McCall. Google Map

Highway 97 - Lake Coeur d'Alene Scenic Byway

State Highway 97 runs for 35.7 miles along the east side of Lake Coeur d'Alene. The entire highway is designated as the Lake Coeur d'Alene Scenic Byway. Part of the highway travels through the Coeur d'Alene Reservation.

Downtown Bovill c 1907

Bovill, Idaho - State Highway 3

Bovill was named for a settler Hugh Bovill, an Englishman who bought the Warren Meadows homestead in 1901. With the rapid infusion of loggers, homesteaders, and sportsmen, Bovill and his wife Charlotte opened a hotel in 1903, which included a store and post office in 1907. The railroad arrived that same year and logging activity increased nearby.

Juliaetta c 1900-1910

Juliaetta, Idaho - State Highway 3

Juliaetta, population 601, was named in 1882 by the first postmaster, Charles Snyder. He named the town in honor of his two daughters, Julia and Etta. The city was incorporated in 1892 when the railroad was extended to that point. The Bank of Juliaetta was registered on the National Register of Historic Places on January 15, 1998 as #97001649.

Highway 12 Idaho - Northwest Passage Scenic Byway

Us Route 12 twists and turns along side the Clearwater River. It extends 174 miles from the Washington state line in Lewiston east to the Montana state line at Lolo Pass, generally along the route of the Lewis and Clark expedition. In October 1805, the Lewis and Clark Expedition descended the Clearwater River in dugout canoes, putting in at "Canoe Camp," five miles downstream from Orofino.

Slaterville Rest Stop

We stopped at a rest stop at the site of Slaterville Ghost Town. Slaterville served as the steamboat port for the Clearwater Gold Rush which followed mineral discoveries at Pierce in 1860. Founded May 6, 1861, Slaterville had a permanent population of 50, two stores, two houses, and a saloon. Slaterville was soon replaced by a new port in Lewiston.

Nez Perce National Historic Park

The Nez Perce National Historic Park is comprised of 38 sites spread over four states. The sites are linked by the history of the Nez Perce people. Twenty-six of the sites are on or near the Nez Perce Indian Reservation in Idaho. The Nez Perce National Historic Trail, managed by the United States Forest Service, preserves the route taken by Chief Joseph and his band when they tried to reach Canada in 1877.

Nez Perce National Historic Trail

Routes and highways in this area are scattered with historical markers. This is the area of the Nez Perce Battlefields and the Nez Perce Trail in Idaho. The Nez Perce Historic Trail follows the route taken by a large group of the Nez Perce tribe in 1877 to avoid being forced onto a reservation. The 1,170-mile trail was created in 1986 as part of the National Trails System Act and is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. Idaho Historical Marker Guide

The trail traverses through portions of Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana and connects 38 separate sites that commemorate significant events of the Nez Perce War that took place between June and October 1877, as several bands of the Nez Perce tried to escape capture by the U.S. Calvary. The sites are part of the Nez Perce National Historical Park. Nez Perce National Historic Trail Wikipedia

Nez Perce - Heart of the Monster - Highway 12 - Kamiah, Idaho

Heart of the Monster is part of the Nez Perce National Historical Park. It is located on the Clearwater River near Kamiah, Idaho. According to the Nez Perce creation story, Iceye’ye (Coyote) killed a large monster along the Clearwater River near present day Kamiah, Idaho, thus creating different tribes in the region, including the Nez Perce. A rock formation in the area is said to represent the heart of the monster described in the Nez Perce legend. It is sacred to the Nez Perce people. National Park Service

State Route 13 - Kooskia to Grangeville (NW Passage Scenic Byway)

We left US 12 at Kooskia and turned south on State 13. Highway 13 is a continuation of the North West Passage Scenic Byway where it splits at Kooskia. It's 26 miles passes in the valley through beautiful rolling hills and a climb over the mountain to Grangeville.

Nez Perce War-Milepost 21.2 - Highway 13

Nez Perce War - Clearwater Battlefield

In the weeks following the Battle at White Bird, General Oliver O. Howard pursued the Nez Perce across the Reservation. The General caught up with the after crossing the Salmon and the Clearwater Rivers. On July 11, 1877, General Howard tried to take the Nez Perce camp by surprise. The Nez Perce, however, foiled his plan and the first day's fighting came to a draw.

On July 12, Howard used infantry, cavalry, and artillery to gain the upper hand. In the face of this force, the Nez Perce began to slowly withdraw towards Kamiah. While Howard captured their camp and a great deal of supplies, he did not pursue the Nez Perce. They went north to Kamiah and began to head east, over the Lolo Trail to western Montana. National Park Service

The Nez Perce War

The Nez Perce War was an armed conflict that pitted several bands of the Nez Perce tribe and their allies, including Chief White Bird, Chief Toohoolhoolzote, Chief Looking Glass, Chief Red Echo and Chief Bald Head against the United States Army. The conflict, fought between June and October 1877, stemmed from the refusal of several bands of the Nez Perce, dubbed "non-treaty Indians," to give up their ancestral lands in the Pacific Northwest and move to an Indian reservation in Idaho.

This forced removal was in violation of the 1855 Treaty of Walla Walla, which granted the tribe 7.5 million acres in their ancestral lands and the right to hunt and fish in lands ceded to the government. The New York Times wrote in 1877 "On our part, the war was in its origin and motive nothing short of a gigantic blunder and a crime".

Nez Perce Surrender

The Nez Perce were pursued by elements of the U.S. Army with whom they fought a series of battles and skirmishes on a fighting retreat of 1,170 miles. The war ended after a final five-day battle fought alongside Snake Creek at the base of Montana's Bears Paw Mountains only 40 miles from the Canada–US border. A large majority of the surviving Nez Perce represented by Chief Joseph surrendered. The 418 Nez Perce who surrendered, including women and children, were taken prisoner and sent by train to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

White Bird, of the Lamátta band of Nez Perce, managed to elude the Army after the battle and escaped with an undetermined number of his band to Sitting Bull's camp in Canada.

Chief Joseph - I am Tired of Fighting

On October 5, 1877, his speech, as he surrendered to General Howard, immortalized Chief Joseph in American history forever. Biography - Chief Joseph

"I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. Looking Glass is dead. Toohoolhoolzote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say, 'Yes' or 'No.' He who led the young men [Olikut] is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are — perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever."

Chief Joseph (Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt)
(March 3, 1840 – September 21, 1904)

US Highway 95 - Grangeville to New Meadows

U.S. Route 95 is another north–south continual U.S./Canada highway spanning 1,574 miles from San Luis, Arizona on the Mexico–US border, over the US-Canada Border at Eastport, Idaho, to its' northern terminus at Golden, British Columbia.

New Meadows, Idaho

New Meadows, population 537, was founded in 1911. It is located at the junction of US 95 and State Highway 55. The last surviving Pacific and Idaho Northern (PIN) Railroad Depot built in 1910 is in New Meadows. Without the Pacific and Idaho Northern Railroad, New Meadows would arguably not have existed. The Depot was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 19, 1978 as #78001042.

PIN Railroad Depot - New Meadows

Highway 55 Idaho - Payette River National Scenic Byway

Following the narrow Payette River Valley, Idaho's Route 55 extends 112 miles between New Meadows and Eagle. It passes through the Boise National Forest and Payette National Forest and the popular resort towns of McCall and Cascade.

McCall, Idaho

McCall, established in 1899, is a resort town situated on the southern shore of Payette Lake, near the center of the Payette National Forest. Originally a logging community, the last sawmill closed in 1977. McCall is now an all-season tourist destination for outdoor recreation. The resort town is known for its Winter Carnival, extended winters, and one of the highest average snowfalls in the state.

McCall Main Street c 1927

Wow, what a day! The Google Map says we only travelled 315 miles but with all the stops, historical markers and exhibits along the way, it feels a lot more than that. We are totally exhausted and looking forward to relaxing in a hot tub.

We booked into the Best Western Plus McCall Inn and Suites. I've stayed at this hotel twice before. It is without a doubt one of the nicest hotels in the Country.

After dinner, we toured around town, got some coffee to go, and went to the public beach to watch the sunset. We were off to bed early. Tomorrow would be another long day - all about sightseeing - all those ghost towns - and probably slow driving.

Post Note - Day Three: If I don't stop researching the history of every little town on the map, we are never going to get through this virtual trip. I have to learn to drive the speed limit and quit stopping so much. It's starting to feel ridiculous!

Day 4 - McCall to Jackpot, Nevada
Highways today were south on State 55 (Payette River Scenic Byway), east on County Road 17 (Banks/Lowman Road) to Lowman, a little side step south to Idaho City and back, then continuing north on State Highway 21 (Ponderosa Pine Scenic Route) to Stanley and south on State Highway 75 (Sawtooth Scenic Byway) to Shoshone and US 93 to Jackpot. Google Map

Granny's Attic - McCall, Idaho

We stopped at this charming quilt shop before leaving town. This is not a big shop but it certainly has a big story. They host quilting tours all over the world. The owner designs and publishes her own quilt patterns. She has lost track of how many but her husband says it's over 90 patterns. The decor includes dozens of traditional Star Blocks - some with the most unique variations we've ever seen. Granny's Attic

Payette National Forest

We continued south on State Highway 55 (Payette River National Scenic Byway) in the Payette National Forest. In 1944 the Weiser National Forest and the Idaho National Forest were combined to create the Payette National Forest. The land area consists of approximately 2.3 million acres. The Payette National Forest is named for François Payette, a French-Canadian fur trapper and later the manager of Fort Boise for the Hudson's Bay Company from 1835-1844.

Boise National Forest

Boise National Forest was created on July 1, 1908 from portions of the Payette National Forest and Sawtooth National Forest. Trappers and fur traders arrived in the area in the early 1800s. By 1840, the fur trade was coming to an end, but the westward migration on the Oregon Trail, which passed south of the forest, was beginning. The first settlers moved into the mountains in the 1860s after gold was discovered. Three of Idaho's scenic byways - Payette River Scenic Byway, Wildlife Canyon Scenic Byway and the Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway are all within the Boise National Forest.

Civilian Conservation Corps in Boise National Forest

Nine camps and eight sub-camps of the Civilian Conservation Corps were set up in Boise National Forest. The CCC constructed many structures throughout the forest from 1933 until 1942, including fire suppression, fish habitat improvement, and construction of guard houses, fire lookouts, campgrounds, roads, and trails.

Guard Station c 1933

Lake Cascade

Lake Cascade (formerly Cascade Reservoir), is on the North Fork of the Payette River. Located in the Boise National Forest, it has a surface area of 47 square miles and is the fourth largest lake or reservoir in the state. Following a delay due to World War II, the earthen dam built by the Bureau of Reclamation was completed in 1948. The term "Lake Cascade" came into common use in the 1990s, with the federal name change made in 1999.

Smiths Ferry, Idaho

Smiths Ferry, population 75, is situated where the North Fork of the Payette River briefly calms and widens.

A ferry at the river was established in 1887 to transport livestock to summer pasture in the Round and Long Valleys across the river. The ferry was sold to Jim Smith in 1891. Smith's Ferry became a vital crossing when the first bridge was completed in 1919.

Cougar Mountain Lodge - Smiths Ferry

County Road 17 - Wildlife Canyon Scenic Byway

This 33 mile scenic byway follows the old miner's supply route from Banks to Lowman alongside the churning waters of the South Fork of the Payette River. It goes through a canyon cut deep into the heart of the Idaho mountains.

Stitch n' Snip - Crouch Idaho

This tiny community, population 162, has numerous businesses for tourists and residents including a wonderful quilt shop full of ideas to tempt you. Stitch n' Snip is where I signed up for the BOM - Vintage Trucks Thru The Year by Buttermilk Basin. Stitch n' Snip

Lowman, Idaho

Lowman, established in 1907, got all its supplies once a year from a large freight wagon over a state road built in 1894 to provide access to North Idaho. The highway followed in 1939. Eventually a one-room schoolhouse was moved here from Garden Valley. It still serves Lowman. Historical Marker Database

State Highway 21 - Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway

At Lowman we turned north onto The Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway. The route, also dubbed as "the Highway to Heaven" climbs to the Banner Creek Summit (7056 feet) and enters the Challis National Forest before it begins the descent into Stanley and the junction with State Highway 75.

Challis National Forest

The Salmon–Challis National Forest at 4,235,940 acres is one of the largest national forests in the lower 48 states. Also the land area of the Frank Church–River of No Return Wilderness is the largest wilderness area south of Alaska.

Borah Peak, (elevation 12,662), the tallest mountain in Idaho, is also found here. The Wild and Scenic Salmon River weaves through the rugged terrain of the Sawtooth Mountains while it flows for over 75 miles through the forest.

Highway 75 - Sawtooth Scenic Byway

State Highway 75 travels through the Sawtooth Valley. It provides access to Sawtooth National Recreation Area. The highway primarily follows the main Salmon River in the north and the Big Wood River in the south, divided by Galena Summit.

Galena Summit - Highway 75

Galena Summit is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 8,701 feet. The pass is located in the Boulder Mountains within the Sawtooth National Recreation Area of the Sawtooth National Forest. The summit is the highest highway summit in the Northwest. Galena Overlook offers views of the Sawtooth range and the headwaters of the Salmon River in the Stanley Basin.

Galena Summit c 1940

Sawtooth National Forest - Highway 75

The Sawtooth Forest Reserve was established in a proclamation issued by President Theodore Roosevelt on May 29, 1905. The Sawtooth National Forest covers 2,110,408 acres. On August 22, 1972 a portion of the forest was designated as the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.

The Sawtooth Mountains, primarily within the Sawtooth National Forest, reach a maximum elevation of 10,751 feet at the summit of Thompson Peak. The mountains were named for their jagged peaks. There are 57 peaks with an elevation over 10,000 feet. Another 77 peaks fall between 9,000 and 10,000 feet.

Ghost Towns, Mines and Explorers

A series of historical markers dot the highway between mile marker 167 (Sawtooth City) and mile marker 112 (Wood River Mines). The entire area is rich in mining history, railroads, explorers, settlements and stories of prosperity, murder and doom. Many of the areas are not accessible but we stopped and read the markers. Idaho Historical Marker Guide

Sawtooth City

Ketchum, Idaho

Originally the smelting center of the Warm Springs mining district, the town was first named Leadville in 1880. The postal department decided that was too common and renamed it Ketchum after a local trapper and guide who had staked a claim in the basin a year earlier.

Sun Valley, Idaho

Sun Valley is a resort town adjacent to the city of Ketchum. The first destination winter resort in the U.S., it was developed by W. Averell Harriman, the chairman of the Union Pacific Railroad. The success of the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, spurred an increase in participation in winter sports (and alpine skiing in particular). During World War II, the resort was closed and converted to a convalescent hospital for the U.S. Navy. It re-opened to the public in December 1946.

Bellevue, Idaho

Bellevue was settled and chartered in 1882. Bellevue grew as a mining town. Between 1881 and the 1893 silver market crash, the mines near Bellevue produced more than $60 million worth of silver, lead and gold.

Bellevue has a bit of an "explosive" history. A devastating fire engulfed the city's business district in 1905, started when the Seymour Saloon's bartender lit a match to investigate a gasoline leak. In 1957, windows in Bellevue were shattered and the city was rocked when 8 tons of dynamite and 56 rounds of artillery shells accidentally detonated at a mine west of the city.

Timmerman Junction Oregon Trail Rest Stop

This rest stop, at the junction of Highway 75 and US 20, has a historical marker kiosk. Five panels in the kiosk, erected by the Idaho Department of Transportation, walk you through the Oregon Trail history in Idaho. The panels, titled Idaho's Emigrant Trails, Emigrant Travel, Craters of the Moon, Fur Hunters, and Goodale's Cutoff give an extensive documentary and pictorial history of this area's portion of the Oregon Trail. Historical Marker Database

Shoshone Ice Caves - Not even a chance!

No! Not even virtually. I'm not going in an underground cave. Can't do it. I'm quite happy to sit above land reading my book while Karen does the tour.

About 15 miles north of Shoshone are the Shoshone Ice Caves. The caves are hollow underground lava tubes that stay cool enough for the ice inside them to remain frozen throughout the summer. In the days before refrigeration, this feature made Shoshone popular with travelers as "the only place for hundreds of miles where one could get a cold beer."

US Highway 93 - Shoshone to Jackpot

We left Highway 75 at Shoshone and headed south on US Highway 93. Ironically, this is another part of the same Montana highway between Kalispell and Elmo we drove on day two. This stretch though, almost the entire way to Jackpot, is straight over flat desert. Not much to see except for a few small towns with gas stations along the way. The good news is we are used to it and just bear down and make up some time - although I'm not sure why as it really doesn't matter what time we get there.

Jackpot, Nevada

In May 1958, the settlement was first recognized by the Elko County commissioners as an unincorporated town named "Horse Shu" despite a protest over the name by Cactus Pete's. Because the club owners could not agree on a name, the county commissioners renamed it a month later as "Unincorporated Town No. 1." The clubs compromised on the name "Jackpot" in 1959.

Cactus Pete's - Jackpot, Nevada

After Idaho outlawed all forms of casino gaming in 1954, "Cactus Pete" Piersanti moved his slot machine operations from Idaho to the new townsite just inside the Nevada border. We are staying at Cactus Pete's - as we have for the last 20 years. This wonderful hotel keeps remodelling and renovating and feels just like a new hotel. Cactus Pete's

By the time our day was over we had travelled on four Scenic Byways, passed through four National Forests, hit an elevation of over 8700 feet, endured miles and miles of desert, shopped at two quilt stores, and had lunch at the Ram restaurant in Sun Valley where I probably had something "beef" and Karen probably ordered "chicken quesadilla with green onions, tomatoes, and lots of cheese. .

We also backtracked 114 miles or so to take a different route in order to avoid driving on I-84. Well, you know, you can do that when you travel virtually! If you don't like where you're heading - delete it!

We booked into our room and headed to the buffet were we ate way too much (as usual) then browsed through the gift shop. Before calling it a night, we spent our $20.00 in the slot machines. Once again, we're exhausted.

Post Note - Day Four: My resolution to keep this show moving didn't work out so well. Once I hit all the historical mining ghost towns and spectacular views over the mountain scenic drives, I got derailed again. (Also, Karen is probably stopping to take at least a thousand pictures, so I wont take all the blame.) I changed routes mid-stream. Highway 21 was my undoing. I wanted to drive it but also wanted to avoid travel on I-84 so I (virtually) deleted everything from Lowman to Idaho City, turned around and drove the Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway to Stanley instead. I'm still not sure if I'm happy with the route but we are in Jackpot now - so too late.

Day 5 - Jackpot to Ely, Nevada
Only one highway today - US 93 (Great Basin Highway) through Wells, State Hwy 486 (Success Loop Scenic Drive) to US 50, and west Ely. We want to stop in Ely and do the train ride so today was short on miles and high on tourism. Google Map

Wells, Nevada

Wells (originally Humboldt Wells), population 1,292, began as a stop along the California Trail. With the arrival of the railroad, Wells became a stopover for passenger trains. By 1873, the community had grown to a population of around three hundred. Unlike many mining towns in the area, Wells was never a boom town nor did it die a quick death.

Wells Nevada c 1950

Trail of the 49ers Interpretive Center - Wells, Nevada

We took in a tour at the The Trail of the 49ers Interpretive Center. It tells the story of the California Trail as it passes through Elko County. The Trail Center also houses the Wells Chamber of Commerce and it Visitors Center. We browsed through the gift shop before heading out again.

Currie, Nevada

Currie was established in 1885. With a population of 20, it is now considered a ghost town. The major portion of the town is privately owned.

Discovery of copper in the neighboring town of Ely prompted the building of a railroad from Ely to Cobre. Currie is midpoint between the two towns. On March 22, 1906, the first passenger train ran from Cobre to Currie.

Currie Hotel c 1910

Stage Stop - Lages Station - Hwy 93 Nevada

Lages Station is a ghost town in White Pine County. As of 2007, the town's only remaining inhabitants were a single family, running the town's only operating business - a pool hall, liquor outlet, grocery and diner all wrapped up in the gas station.

Schellbourne, Nevada (Rest Stop) Hwy 93 Nevada

Schellbourne was once a Shoshone Indian village. It became an Overland Stage and Mail stop in 1859, and a Pony Express station in 1860. The Overland Telegraph came through in 1861. In the 1870s, Schellbourne became a mining town, with about 500 inhabitants. The Schellbourne post office was in operation from December 1871 until October 1925. Fort Schellbourne site was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on February 23, 1972 as #72000768.

Schell Creek Pony Express Swing Station #128

A rider did not carry the mail for more than 75 miles. Swing stations were established along the way. At the swing station, a rider dismounted and quickly mounted a fresh horse. The exchanges were quick - never lasting more than two minutes - just long enough for the rider to take a quick drink and swing the mochila over the saddle of his new horse. Historical Marker Data Base

Success Loop Scenic Drive - State Hwy 486 Nevada

Well it was bound to happen. Only Karen could find a road to twist, turn and bump over in the middle of a desert - and it doesn't matter whether it's paved or not. The Success Loop has some paved, some gravel, and some dirt - just her kind of road.

Five miles north of McGill came the words "turn left here - right here - now". Success Loop Scenic Drive runs through the spectacularly scenic Schell Creek Range with views of the Steptoe Valley. It winds its way through the remarkable high desert landscapes of the Great Basin, between groves of aspen trees, and over the Success Summit at an elevation of 9,363 feet.

The road then descends rather steeply for a few miles down from the pass, before leveling out as it follows Steptoe Creek. It converts back to a paved road as it passes by Cave Lake State Park. The reservoir at Cave Lake was originally built to serve the Civilian Conservation Corps, who were working in the area during the 1930s.

Researching information about the road I found warnings like "stay away if you don't like heights", "wet conditions make tough driving along the muddy road", "avoid if unpaved mountain roads are not your bag" and "travel by the Dirt Road Code". Did we balk at the idea of heading into the unknown? Not at all. One website said "make sure to get a BLM Map". Well, of course, we just happen to have one. Virtually, anything is possible.

Ely, Nevada

Ely, population 4,000, was founded as a stagecoach station along the Pony Express and Central Overland Route. In 1906 copper was discovered and Ely became a mining town - suffering the same boom to bust cycles of most mining towns. Following the copper market crash in the mid 1970s, Kennecott shut down and copper mining disappeared. Due to the recent increase in demand for copper, Ely is once again a copper boom town.

Ely Business District c 1880

Hotel Nevada

Ely is one of our favourite places to stop. For years we have taken a short break to eat at the historic Hotel Nevada and today is no different. But, after all these years of visiting Ely, we are finally going to do those "we should do that some day" tourist attractions. But not before we hit the Hotel Nevada to eat.

The historic six-story Hotel Nevada in downtown Ely opened in July 7, 1929 during the Prohibition Era. It was the tallest building in Nevada until 1931 when a hotel in Reno overtook it. However, it is still the tallest building in Ely. Hotel Nevada was also the state's first fire-proof building. Live gambling was added in 1931 when the State legalized it. Hotel Nevada is still a popular lodging, dining, gaming, and tourist stop.

Nevada Northern Railway Museum

The first stop on our "Ely tourist tour" was the Nevada Northern Railway Museum. The railway arrived in 1906 establishing connections to the mines. The Nevada Northern Railway Museum is operated by a historic foundation dedicated to the preservation of the Nevada Northern Railway.

The Nevada Northern Railway East Ely Yards and Shops was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on July 29, 1993 as #93000693. The East Ely Depot was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on April 12, 1984 as #84002082.

Wild West Limited Train Ride

Now for the main event on our "Ely Tourist Tour". We booked ourselves on the Wild West tour - a trip back in time aboard a working century-old steam train. Advertising that there will be cowboys, horses, outlaws, and inlaws, we figured this was just what we needed for the next couple of hours. The promise of horse-thieving robbers holding up the trains give us a glimpse into all the exciting things we will experience "virtually". Nevada Northern Railway Train Rides

Locomotives 40 and 93 at East Ely Depot

Post Note - Day Five: My original plan was to finish the whole virtual trip before letting Karen know what I've been doing. Now, reaching Ely, I decided it was time to involve her. I'm having so much fun with it, I just had to share. I sent Karen an email inviting her to join me.

"You might want to travel along with me on our imaginary trip. We are on day 5 and just went over the Success Summit and have taken a train ride from Ely, complete with cowboys robbing the train. I'm having a ball. Most of the virtual trip is about history. So I don't steal anyone's photos, I'm digging around the historical photos. Man there is a lot of history along the way. No doubt this virtual trip is the longest and most extensive trip we've been on."

Needless to say that piqued her curiosity. She hopped on board, assumed her role as "navigational director", and promptly found some interesting forestry roads she wants to see. So the decision was made to spend two nights in Torrey and check out those roads - but only if we can stay at the Chuckwagon Motel - in a cabin. Well, of course. It didn't take her long to get into "virtual trip mode".

Day 6 - Ely to Beaver, Utah
Highways today were east on US 50, into the Ward Charcoal Ovens State Park on White Pine County Roads 16 & 45 and back to US 50, south on State 487, into Great Basin National Park on State 488 and back to NV State 487/UT State 21 to Beaver. Google Map

US Highway 50, Nevada

US 50 crosses the central portion of Nevada, entering the west side of the state near Lake Tahoe and exiting the east side near Great Basin National Park. The route generally follows the historic corridor initially used for the Pony Express and Central Overland Route.

US 50 has a diverse route through the state, traversing the resort community of Lake Tahoe, the state capital in Carson City, State Historic Parks, petroglyphs, alpine forests, desert valleys, ghost towns, and Great Basin National Park. Connors Pass at 7,729 feet west of Majors Place in the Schell Creek Range is the highest point along US 50 in Nevada.

Loneliest Road in America

US 50 in Nevada was named "The Loneliest Road in America" by Life magazine in July 1986. The highway crosses several large desert valleys separated by seventeen mountain passes towering over the valley floors. Cresting some of the passes requires navigating steep 8% grades and hairpin turns through pine forests that reach elevations of over 7,000 feet.

Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park

The final stop on our "Ely Tourist Tour" is Ward Charcoal Ovens State Park. Silver ore was discovered here in 1872. The Ward Mining District, located two miles north of the park, was then developed. In April 1875, the Martin & White Company from San Francisco invested money to extract silver ore, bought up several small claims, and built the smelting ovens for melting ores. The Ward Charcoal Ovens operated during the silver boom years of the Ward mines.

The State Park features six beehive shaped charcoal ovens that were used from 1876 through 1879 to process rich silver ore that was discovered in the area. Once mining ended, the ovens were used to shelter travelers and even had a reputation as a hideout for stagecoach bandits. The Ward Charcoal Ovens were added to the National Register of Historical Places on September 28, 1971 as #71000491.
Ward Charcoal Ovens c 1960

Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Great Basin National Park, established October 27, 1986, derives its name from the Great Basin, the dry and mountainous region between the Sierra Nevada and the Wasatch Mountains. The park protects 80,000 acres of the basin and range landscape. The Park is notable for its groves of ancient Bristlecone Pines that are nearly 5,000 years old and the Lehman Caves at the base of Wheeler Peak.

Wheeler Peak

Wheeler Peak with an elevation of 13,065 feet is the tallest mountain in the Snake Range and the second highest peak in Nevada, just behind Boundary Peak. The top of the mountain is covered by deep snow most of the year. The mountain is located in Great Basin National Park and was named for George Wheeler, leader of the Wheeler Survey of the late 19th century.

Wheeler Peak

Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive

The mountain-hugging Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive is 12 miles of paved, steep road as it winds up to elevations of 10,000 feet. The average grade is 8%. The Scenic Drive beyond Upper Lehman Creek Campground is closed to vehicles longer than 24 feet. The upper nine miles of the road are closed in the winter.

The Scenic Drive goes past a pinyon-juniper forest in lower elevations. The air cools as much as 20-30 degrees during the climb. There are breathtaking overlooks of the Snake Range mountains. The Mather Overlook, is at an elevation of 9,000 feet and the Wheeler Overlook is the best place to see Wheeler Peak. Great Basin National Park Driving Map

Bristlecone Pines

Great Basin Bristlecone Pines are the oldest non-clonal species on the planet. These strange trees, shaped by wind, snow, and rains that twist them into almost human-like forms, have survived over thousands of years, overseeing the rise and fall of great empires, growing through ice-ages and catastrophic volcanic eruptions. Bristlecone pines in Great Basin National Park grow in isolated groves just below the tree-line.

Bristlecone Pine

Lehman Caves

Karen opted for the Lodge Room Tour that travels 0.4 miles and highlights the Gothic Palace, Music Room, and Lodge Room sections of Lehman Caves. I opted for the documentary film playing in the Lehman Visitor's Center.

Lehman Caves was established in 1922 as a national monument and was incorporated into Great Basin National Park when the park was established in 1986.

Lehman Caves is a large cavern at the base of the eastern slope of Wheeler Peak. It is made of light gray and white limestone that is honeycombed by tunnels and galleries containing a spectacular array of stalactites, stalagmites, helictites, flowstone, popcorn, and other cave deposits.

Rhodes Cabin

Next to the Lehman Caves Visitor Center sits the historic Rhodes Cabin. The cabin was built in the 1928 by Clarence and Bea Rhodes, who were Forest Service custodians of Lehman Caves at the time. It is one of several built to provide accommodations for visitors to Lehman Caves. Today it contains interpretive exhibits. Rhodes Cabin was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on February 25, 2975 as #75000180.

Clarence & Bea Rhodes Cabin

Garrison - Highway 21 Utah, Utah

Garrison was first founded as a cattle rustling and outlaw community in the 1850s. It later became the center of mining interests. Garrison is in Millard County, Utah just east of the Nevada state line. In fact, some of the town's structures are legally in Nevada. Garrison is currently home to a Utah Department of Transportation yard and office, but other than that, offers no services.

Frisco Ghost Town - Highway 21 Utah

A typical mining town at the foot of the San Francisco Mountain was fed by the fabulously rich Horn Silver Mine. By 1885 over $60,000,000 in zinc, copper, lead, silver, and gold were hauled away by mule train and the Utah Central Railroad. Water was shipped in as well as all supplies. Then the mine caved and people moved away, leaving only a few families of the 4,000 population to maintain their homes, stores, school and church. By the 1920's only memories and the shifting sands were left. Horn Silver Camp Silver Desert Camp Beaver County, Utah. Historical Marker Database

Frisco Charcoal Ovens

Charcoal-fueled smelting had been used in Utah since at least 1872. Overall, there were 36 beehive-shaped smelting kilns operating in the district. Five granite beehive-shaped charcoal smelting kilns, used between 1877 and 1880, have survived in Frisco. The kilns vary in size from 16 to 32 feet in diameter. The Frisco kilns were added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 9, 1982 as #82004793.

Frisco Charcoal Ovens

Milford - Highway 21 Utah

Milford, population 1,394, is in Beaver County, Utah. Although settlers had established ranches in the area in the 1870s, Milford was not developed until after the construction of the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad in 1880, when a station was established there. The train depot at Milford was used by the Union Pacific Railroad until it was demolished in 1979.

Milford Train Depot c 1936-1937

Minersville - Highway 21 Utah

Minersville, population 907, was settled in 1859 at the direction of Brigham Young so a lead mine could be operated on the site where Jesse N. Smith and three others had found lead the previous year. Minersville had 446 residents in 1870. Smith helped colonize different Mormon settlements, including Parowan in 1851 and Snowflake, Arizona in 1884. The Minersville City Hall was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on as #85000795.

Beaver, Utah

Beaver, population 3,112, is the county seat of Beaver County.

In 1847-1848, the Mormons developed a trade route from their new settlement at Salt Lake City through the Beaver River valley. The original route crossed the river three miles downstream from Beaver. In 1855, as part of improvements, the Mormon Road over the Black Mountains was realigned eastward. It was routed through a more wagon-friendly terrain.

Beaver was settled in 1856 by Mormon pioneers traveling this road. Beaver was one of a string of Mormon settlements along the road through Utah. By design, these settlements were located a day's ride on horseback apart, which explains the regularity of their spacing of approximately 30 miles apart. Beaver was developed between the settlements in the Pahvant Valley and the Parowan Valley.

Butch Cassidy (Robert LeRoy Parker) - Beaver, Utah

It was late afternoon by the time we reached Beaver. We booked into our favourite hotel - the Best Western Butch Cassidy Inn. This is just so appropriate as Butch Cassidy (Robert LeRoy Parker - April 13, 1866 - November 7, 1908) was born in Beaver and went on to became a notorious outlaw in the American West.

The Wild Bunch

Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch gang performed the longest string of successful train and bank robberies in American history. This image is known as the "Fort Worth Five Photograph." Front row left to right: Harry A. Longabaugh, alias the Sundance Kid, Ben Kilpatrick, alias the Tall Texan, Robert Leroy Parker, alias Butch Cassidy; Standing: Will Carver & Harvey Logan, alias Kid Curry. (Fort Worth, Texas, 1900)

"Fort Worth Five" c 1900

Post Note - Day Six: We planned to go to Torrey today - only 412 miles so it would be easy peasy. After spending so much time touring the Ward Ovens, Great Basin National Park, and Frisco Ghost Town, it was evident that it would be very late in the day when we were on the Canyon Scenic Byway (Highway 153) and dark by the time we reached Torrey. Even virtually, this seemed rather undesirable. It would be more realistic to hit the pass over the Tushar Mountains in the morning and arrive in Torrey in the afternoon. We can still do Karen's Forest Road Loop on the way to Torrey.

It sure takes up time doing everything. I guess that's why we have passed by some of the interesting things along the way over the years. This is a good time to play catch up.

Day 7 - Beaver to Torrey, Utah
Highways today were east on State Hwy 153 (Beaver Canyon Scenic Byway), Forest Road 137 (Kent Lake Road), and back on Hwy 153, over to Junction. From Junction a short stretch south on US 89 to Circleville and back to State Hwy 62, east on Brown's Lane at Koosharem across to State Hwy 24, north on State Highway 25/Forest Road 640/Forest Road 36, south on State Hwy 72, and south on State Hwy 24 Torrey. Google Map

Beaver Canyon Scenic Byway - Hwy 153, Utah

The portion of State Highway 153 from Beaver to Elk Meadows has been designated the Beaver Canyon Scenic Byway as part of the Utah Scenic Byways and was designated a National Forest Scenic Byway on February 6, 1991. Just east of Beaver the highway enters Beaver Canyon alongside Beaver River and enters Fishlake National Forest. The Tushar Mountains are home to the largest mule deer herd in the United States.

Highway 153

Forest Service Route 137 - Kent Lake Scenic Loop

About 10 miles from Beaver, just past the Ponderosa Picnic site, we decided to take the 12 mile Kent Lake Scenic Loop (Forest Service Route 137). It wasn't long before we hit gravel and the road narrowed to one lane. It continued to twist and climb passing several campgrounds and beautiful lakes. This road reaches an elevation of 10,082 feet. It is closed in the winter.

We met up again with Hwy 153 to continue east. As it descends from the mountains, it follows City Creek down the canyon, traversing a series of switchbacks and finally ends at Junction in the Sevier River Valley.

Junction, Utah

Junction, population 191, is the county seat of Piute County, Utah. The name Piute was taken from the Piute Indian Tribe. Junction was originally settled in 1880 as City Creek. The Piute County Courthouse, built in 1903, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on April 16, 2971 as #71000844.

Circleville, Utah

Circleville. population 489, was originally settled in 1864 by a group of Mormon pioneers from Ephraim. The town was named for the shape of the valley. Circle Valley is completely surrounded by mountains except where the Sevier River flows through it.

On June 28, 1866, the town was abandoned by the original settlers due to the Black Hawk War. A few settlers began to trickle back into the area in 1873 and the town was re-established in 1874 when Charles Wakeman Dalton crossed the mountain from Beaver with two of his wives and family.

Circleville Massacre - April 1866

In April 1866, the settlement was the site of the Circleville Massacre, a horrific incident of Utah's Black Hawk War.

Black Hawk and his band had killed many while trying to defend their rights to their land. A determined camp of Paiutes remained in Circle Valley trying to be friendly with the Mormons. However, the Mormans, who had been previously attacked in November 1865, and were unable to defend themselves, felt that they were in danger every moment. They were told to protect themselves against the Indians who were camped in the valley.

As a result a posse was formed and, after some resistance resulting in the death of one young Indian warrier, the Palutes were taken by gunpoint to Circleville and held under guard. Circleville Massacre Wikipedia

Chief Antonga Black Hawk 1830-1870

Guards shot and killed two Indians who were attempting an escape. In a subsequent town meeting, the decision was made to kill the imprisoned Indians. Twenty four people, including men, women, and children were struck on the back of the head to stun them and then their throats were slit.

On April 22, 2016, a monument was dedicated in the town park to remember the Southern Paiute people slain during the massacre.

The Black Hawk War

The Black Hawk War is the name of the estimated 150 battles, skirmishes, raids, and military engagements taking place from 1865 to 1872, primarily between Mormon settlers in Sanpete County, Sevier County and other parts of central and southern Utah.

Led by a local Ute war chief, Antonga Black Hawk, the conflict resulted in the abandonment of some settlements and hindered Mormon expansion in the region.

The years 1865 to 1867 were by far the most intense of the conflict, though intermittent conflict occurred until federal troops intervened in 1872. Black Hawk War - Wikipedia

Day 8 - Section Title

Day 9 - Section Title

Reference and Maps

Covid 19

The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern in January 2020 and a pandemic in March 2020.

Recommended preventive measures included social distancing, wearing face masks in public, ventilation and air-filtering, hand washing, covering one's mouth when sneezing or coughing, disinfecting surfaces, and monitoring and self-isolation for people exposed or symptomatic.

Authorities worldwide have responded by implementing travel restrictions, lockdowns, workplace hazard controls, and facility closures. Borders - closed; international travel - halted; schools and businesses - closed; sports and churches - shut down. The home became the workplace. All entertainment and personal events including club meetings, weddings, baptisms, and even funerals were cancelled.

The response to the pandemic has resulted in global social and economic disruption, including the largest global recession since the Great Depression.

As of March 31, 2021, more than 130 million cases have been confirmed, with more than 2.8 million deaths attributed to COVID-19. And, it's far from over yet.


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