Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Pulaski Trail, the longest gondola and Mullen

My final blog of my time at Lookout Pass.  
The start of the Pulaski Trail, just outside of Wallace, ID. It is a 2 mile trail along the old Busy, Bogle Spur.  The spur was a 7 mile logging railroad which ran up the North Fork of the St. Joe River.  The spur operated from 1912-1915 and was built to salvage timber from the 1910 fire.

There were lots of berries to nibble on while hiking.

The Cedar Snag, a still standing remnant of the 1910 fire.

Not only were there thimbleberries and huckleberries, there were rasberries, too.

And they were just there for the pickin'.

At the end of the trail lies the Pulaski Tunnel.  Pulaski was a leader of a fire crew during the devastating fire of 1910.  When he saw the fire was going to overtake him and his crew, he ordered his crew to grab blankets and follow him.  Because of his familiarity with the area, he knew there was an old tunnel close by.  He herded his men into the tunnel and told them to cover themselves with the blankets.  Because of his quick action, he only lost six of the 45 men on his crew.  At one point he had to pull his gun and threaten to shoot anyone who tried to leave.  No one left.

Following the fire, Pulaski had the idea of combination fire fighting tool.  His first version came about in 1911, with a better usable tool in 1913.  By 1920 the Northern District Forest Service was routinely issuing this tool to its fire fighters.  Today, the forest service nationwide keeps large inventories of the "Pulaski".

Silver Mountain Ski Resort in Kellogg.

Since I had ridden on the steepest gondola in France, I just had to ride on this 'longest, single stage gondola' in Kellogg.

Here I go for the 3.1 mile ride (one way).

It takes about 20 minutes to arrive at the top.

There's not much at the top except for a lot of biking and hiking trails, not even the snack bar was open yet when we were there.  But you do have a great view of the valley as you head back down.

Mullen, Idaho, is a small town between Lookout Pass and Wallace, with a population of about 600.
More of a bedroom community, it has a few churches, restaurants and bars and a museum.  Friday evening was BBQ and music outdoors at the Motherlode Bistro.

Jackleg and the Nippers were the band, playing classic rock.  The music took me back to my high school days.

The lead singer was an actor and had different costumes for the different songs.

Tomorrow I leave Lookout Pass and head back toward Kalispell.  More about that, next blog.

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