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Old 03-20-2012, 09:47 PM   #106
zeegman OP
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Joined: Sep 2007
Location: San Jose, Ca
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Day 4 Report

Day 4 Aug 24

Idaho Falls is a picturesque town and we had a good rest and food there.
Day four would be about 195 miles and we would see rolling grasslands, horse herding, historic trails, big stream crossing, enter into Montana, old mines and cabins, and, a truly wild west Ghost Town in Bannack.

Idaho Falls has , well, falls and we were fortunate to stay right by them so we took a few quick pictures as we were getting ready to leave.
The peaceful scenic falls are on the Snake river at the site of Taylor’s Crossing which was a wooden toll bridge built in 1865 by Matt Taylor on the Montana Trail. The bridge was important in allowing settlers migrating westward seeking riches in towns like Bannack and Virginia city

So when I woke up and went outside the hotel room I hear this cussing “these dam ?$%&**#!! straps”.
Jeremy was having a tough time doing up his Rok straps holding his gas bladders down on his panniers.
But he eventually got it done and was so happy about it he gave me the Advrider salute.

After the strap fun we headed quickly North on Hwy 15 for a fuel up in Dubois Idaho. Saw a fun sign at the gas station.

We head West on hwy 22 but there are some nasty looking clouds in that direction.

The weather gods are with us as we escape the rain and sky turns sunny again as we hit the dirt heading North on Warm Springs road towards the hills.

We then start heading up a narrow valley on a rockier road that leads up to the top of some ridges.

Paul and Jill ride up the canyon ahead and at one point on the ridge they stop and take a look back at the valley we had come up when they notice an interesting sight.
You can see in the photo on the far left a line of animal advancing towards them.

They waited some more and then they were upon them – a herd of horses all marching in a single line!

Followed by the ranchers. Not something we are used to seeing as a bunch of city slickers. Seen lots of cows and ranchers but never any horse ranching.

Some video of our ride up the canyon and along the ridges.

We are in Targhee Forests now
Although there are not that many trees and the vegetation is more bush like.

A one room school – the Edie school complete with its own outhouse in the back right.

We were on Medicine Lodge road which is where you would expect to see Medicine Lodge Ranch!

He headed onto the Bannock pass.

Nothing but open roads in front of us as far as one can see. We also crossed into Montana.

Deadman creek crossing.

It doesn’t look too deep but it actually is and as you see in the video it is high enough to get into our intakes and choke the bikes into stalling just as we get cross the creek.

We just had to wait a bit for the water to evaporate and then we were fine. We needed a food and water break anyways.

After the water adventure we headed out and saw some signs of some old habitats on the plains.

Bits and pieces of animal remains strewn all about inside the cabin and it was not much shelter from the heat or wet (if it rained) so we moved on.

Another old cabin on the Bannock trail

We then came upon what looked like an old mining operation

A poor old snake that had seen better days

A herd of Pronghorn way off in the distance

Now the sign says Bannack road – Bannock – Bannack – which is it? – this is confusing!

Nice rolling hills with different color rock sticking out in the middle.

We then happened upon an Elk Ranch. The males stuck to one side of the pen, and,

the females and youngsters stuck to the other side.

We got to the highlight of the day – The Bannack State Park – site of the wild old west ghost town of Bannack.

Video of the way up to Bannack State Park

The creek was called Grasshopper creek for all the grasshoppers that hung out there

The Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks people have done a wonderful job of preserving this historic site of the gold mining early settlers.
We stopped in the visitor center (much cooler than outside) and had a cold drink and bought some visitors guides – well worth it.
The visitor center also has some artifacts from the town and some interesting old photographs.

You can walk down the old board walk and visit the buildings to see how people lived back then.

Town site

Paul and Jill checking in at Hotel Meade

It was a real scortcher of a day outside but surprisingly it was nice and cool inside the buildings.
Here Paul is inspecting one of what appears to be some kind of air conditioning as you could actually feel cold air coming into the room from the vent. It might be coming from below ground.

Paul checking out what’s cookin for dinner in the stove

The elegant stairway in the hotel. Paul is admiring the fine craftsmanship.

We moseyed on over to the Saloon for happy hour.

Jeremy walked over to the area where all the heavy mining artifacts we stored. There was all sorts of rusting pieces from a bygone era.

And an old delivery truck. Wonder if it was used to deliver pizza back then.

They used these wagons to deliver pizza before the truck came along

We walked to the inspect the gallows. It was used quite frequently in the old days. Apparently the man who had it built, Sheriff Henry Plummer, was actually hung at the same gallows later.
Having such wealth as all the gold being mined was too big a temptation.
Plummer organized a group of bandits called the “Innocents” who robbed and killed up to people 102 in transit on the roads in an 8 month span.
Bannack was a very dangerous place to live.
But a Vigilante group was formed and they hunted Plummer and his bandits down and promptly hung them at his own gallows.

They were then buried in a cemetery way on the top of a hill overlooking the town.

Jill hiked way up the hill to get this cool shot of the whole town.

We checked the Barber shop complete with a well preserved chair. They built them well.

We wandered over to the Masonic Lodge/Schoolhouse

Pretty strict rules for teachers back then.

Here’s Paul in the Jail house. They caught you speeding again!

Well we went over to the church and did some prayin for Paul and they let him out!

At this point we were starting to feel like the poor old snake we saw earlier as we had driven a lot of miles and walked a lot and it was hot out.
So we loaded up and headed to Dillon where we would stay for the night.

We found a place called Grandmother’s place (I think), and had some good chow (Jill really liked it), and called it a day.

Overall a really good day filled with wide open roads, historic old Ghost towns and buildings, and a fun water crossing.
The next day would bring fantastic mountain top scenery as we would visit the Gravelly Range Mountains,
cross the Continental Divide and Red Rock pass, meet up with some foreigner bikers, and find a perfect campsite.

zeegman screwed with this post 03-20-2012 at 10:34 PM
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