The week is flying by; we are enjoying the tour and the people we are meeting on the tour. Everyone seems to be prompt in the morning and ready to ride. The van unloads our bikes every morning and we load our ‘charged’ batteries from the night. Today we are starting right at the hotel to the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes. The trail follows a creek in a pine forest. The views are lovely as are the smells from the forest.
There are also lots of sunny open trail areas as we pass small towns and homes, and cross bridges remaining from the rail line.
Our tour guide, Connor M, rides in front today and makes a few stops along the trail. We ride to the town of Wallace and continue on the trail to the end in the town of Mullan. With yesterday and today at 65 miles, we have now ridden on our bikes for most the entire trail.
After riding around the town of Mullan to see this small mining town, we ride back to Wallace. Funny conversation when we are in Mullan. There is a hotel everyone thinks reminds them of the TV Series Schitt’s Creek – what do you think?
Wallace Idaho is a very famous mining town. The largest silver mining area in the world. In the 135 years of mining here, $8 billion of silver has been mined. Last year alone was over $3 million. When the town residents found out that Interstate 90 was going to be built right through their town, they had every building in town placed on the National Historic register. This then prevented the Interstate from destroying the town. I-90 now goes next to and over Wallace. They also decided that Wallace is really the Center of the Universe. They commemorated it by placing a sewer cover in the middle of the main intersection of town. Yes, a quirky place.
We explore the town looking for a place to have lunch. Unfortunately, the worker shortage is real and even has affected this touristy town as we discover.
We finally find a cute coffee/deli shop for a sandwich.
Our next stop is the Silver Mine for a tour. It is an interesting tour, starting on a ride on an old trolley up to the mine entrance. This particular mine is now used for mining educationb for high school students – and tourists. Real equipment is in the mine and demonstrations are provided by our tour guide Gene. One of the best mine tours we’ve taken.
After the tour, we hop on our bikes and ride back to Kellogg and our hotel. Along the return trip, we see along the creek large collapsed buckets that will be used to fill and help put out forest fires. This entire week we have been blessed with no smoke or fires. Unfortunately, there is now a fire north of us; we can see the smoke rising above the mountain top. A helicopter with a filled water bucket flies overhead. No smoke yet in our valley with the favorable southern winds.
We decide not to go to dinner with the group tonight. Instead, a light dinner and rest for our last day of bike riding on the Hiawatha Trail. The temperatures today have been in the mid-90’s, feels like 100 degrees. Hoping for a bit of cooling tomorrow!
Steve’s stats from our two bike rides today. Loving these Pedego electric bikes!