Friday, November 12, 2010

A couple of weekends in the Lems

Late October - Early November 2010

The Charcoal Kilns


Bell Mountain

As I began my hike above the kilns, I made a mental note to to keep an eye out for some, or any, sign of the men who once cut down hundreds of the trees that covered the slopes above. Sure enough, I soon spotted an old can. Then another, and another. They were everywhere. Broken glass and porcelain were also in the mix of old time litter.


You can still see where the timber was cut, a line delineating old and new trees, though the new trees are quite large now.

Huge amounts of timber was used to make the charcoal to be used in the smelter across the valley at Nicholia. Hundreds, if not thousands, of men once lived and worked along this high valley. Prior to the smelter being built, ore was hauled 60 to 70 miles to the railroad by horse and wagon, a journey that took severals days. Once loaded on the rail, the ore was transported to Omaha and Kansas City to be processed.

The towns - Hahn, Spring Mountain, Nicholia and Gilmore were bustling places, but time and weather have worked together to erase most of the evidence - that this was once one of the busiest places in Idaho.

Big Lonely


I walked for miles here, breathing in the fresh air. Enjoying the isolation, and the sound of the wind in the grass. Here and there were signs of human activity from long ago. It made me try to imagine what lives they must have lived. Was it also beautiful to them? Or was it just another job to get them through another season?

A few photos from the previous weekend.... a bit stormy....

Lemhi Range

Lem Weekend


Birch Creek Valley a

I have spent literally months in this area. Gilmore with the rats. Explored a few mine shafts. Climbed a dozen or more of the high peaks. Spring mountain and the UFO. Diamond peak twice. Snowboarded a few of the remote slopes. You get the picture.

It is a good place to get away from it all, as few people ever venture more than a few feet from their cars..... I know of few other places as lonely..... or beautiful.

Here are a couple of links to some more pages (mine) of the area....

Have a look at these, or even some of the other awesome areas of Idaho or Wyoming. Might be worth a peek! ;-)

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