"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Off Roading on Mackays Historical Mining Area - ID

Mackay, Idaho
Joe T. Fallini BLM CG

Today we decided to take a ride in the Ranger and take it up into the mountains and see if we could find some streams or alpine lakes to fish.
We started across the street and found a BLM road.  There is a lot of ranching and the roads are private so you need to watch for that.

The scenery was great and we had a couple of stream crossings.  No fish, but things looked promising for a great ride.  Then we came around a bend and it just ended.  Bummer.  We backtracked a bit and took another road to try to get back into another draw.
Lots of old barns and cows.  Then a rancher came out and we knew we were probably in a spot we shouldn't be.  He was nice enough and redirected us across the highway to a better offroad area.  Turned out to be a great ride!
We picked the perfect road and came upon a great mining area, well marked with historical signs.  I didn't even know about this while researching the area.  How nice that the ranchers and miners cooperate to keep the area open to the public.

Some of the old tramway system.
If you had a map you could plan your way around as the sites are off different dirt roads.  You could get to most in car, but some you'll need 4 wheel. 

The drive was gorgeous and there were many wildflowers blooming.  Great view of the mountains on both sides. I drove my brother crazy wanting to stop constantly!

We only came upon one closed route so we missed about 4 sites, but saw the rest along the way as we headed back as far and high as we could get.

Found some pretty rocks.

The lake far below.

Our campsite down below on the lake.

We're heading for the top.  It's getting colder and colder as we drive. 
See that patch of snow?  That's where we're heading.

Made it to the patch of snow and just a bit more takes us as high as we can get.

Look at those colors!  Fantastic views all around!

 At the top!  COLD at 9000 feet!

We continue just a bit further to see if we can get to the other side.  Turns out you can, but it's a long way and we've been out for hours already.
 The other side looking west.
 On our way back we find an old mineshaft.
 I just can't get enough of these views!

 We take some side roads and find a few more sites on the way down.

   What a great day.  You can drive around here for days and not drive the same roads.
 We also drove through the town of Mackay.  Small, cute and very clean. 
 That's an old private run movie theatre on the right.  We called and the owner runs about 1 movie a month.  "My" Steve and I went after dinner later in the week and had a great time.

We also celebrated Hurley's 12th birthday.  He looks thrilled to be a year older doesn't he? 
Next up we spend a day on "The Moon"