Saturday, August 29, 2009
The trail to beat
Yesterday we completed the Trail of the Coeur d' Alenes with a 60.4 mile ride from our campground in Osburn to the Plummer trail head. George and Sue drove our van to the trail head and are riding back on their bikes as I type this. This is the trail to beat as far as I'm concerned, very smooth, well marked and scenery to die for if you like rivers, lakes, pine forests and small towns. Called the Silver valley, it is still a rich mining area with the town of Kellogg boasting the largest silver strike in the area, and also home of the longest ski gondola in the world. A stop at Josie's Coffee shop and Excelsior Cycle is a must in the historic downtown. The trail itself is 10 ft. wide and was getting a top coat of oil in sections to help it through winter. The town east of us which we've done several times is Wallace, with it's collection of turn-of-the-century buildings, and the entire town is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a do not miss for sure. The actress Lana Turner lived in Wallace as a little girl. The eastern trail head is Mullen, named for Capt. John Mullen who in 1859 built the first road across the Bitterroot Mtns. and were the first non-Indians to explore the area. Another neat town is Harrison with a marina and swimming area, and bike shop. Still haven't seen an elk or moose but on the 3% grade climb to Plummer we did see a large shinny black bear cross the trail in front of us, but too fast to get a picture, so you'll just have to take our word for it. Well going to eat lunch and then maybe ride up the trail to meet George and Sue or into Wallace for a screw. To the hardware store, a screw for the camper. Get your minds out of the gutter.