A Travellerspoint blog

Sept 12, 13 McCall, & Warren Idaho

Who knew Idaho would be so interesting, Where are potatoes grown in Idaho, Historic Drive

sunny 22 °C

We found ourselves in paradise here. The McCall RV Resort is the best RV spot we have every stayed in. This place is extremely well kept, the staff very friendly and helpful. There is a hot tub, steam bath, swimming pool, private bathrooms that are beautiful and spacious. They even pick up your garbage right at your site.

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Besides that, McCall is a great little town of 3,000 people. The population swells in the summer to 16,000 with summer visitors. Lakes, hiking, river rafting, boating, fishing...it is all here. Then it quiets down in the fall, but zooms right back into tourist mode for the winter, skiing, snowmobiling, etc. fill out the population once again.

Who knew? We didn't. Idaho was not in our plans until the wildfires pushed us a bit more east than we had planned. Couer d'Alene was an eye opener, as was the drive south along the Salmon River to get to where we are today. Scenery that will knock your eyes out.

Today we spent the morning on a walking tour of McCall. We had coffee at Mountain Java, down by the lake.

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While walking along the lake we talked to a lady about to go paddle boarding, and she told us about a gold mining community 40 miles out into the wilderness, Warren, Idaho. We went to the local forest service office and they gave us a map, along with a CD and descriptive pamphlet outlining the drive along the Wagon Train Road. That will be tomorrow's adventure.

Some neat sculptures on the street here as well. This one is called the "Bearing Wall"

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We had lunch at a local brewery. We shared an Elk Burger and each of us had a brew.

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Our Honda with a town building:

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We wiled away the rest of the day trying to get caught up on finances, and we have a problem with the cable back home in Aylesford. Arn, Jenny's brother is living in our house for a bit, and we got the cable tv restarted for him, but it has not yet come back on. Some time on an internet chat with Eastlink, and we hope the problem has been worked out.

Wednesday was our day to take the drive to Warren, and perhaps stop in at a Hot Springs in another tiny town out there. Warren has a population of 5 full time people, but in the summer that number swells to 50 or so, plus the tourists who make the backroad drive to see a slice of gold mining history. Back in the 1862 gold was discovered and at one time Warren had a population near 1000. Placer mining came and went, and Chinese came in to work the placer claims at a later date. Over 350 Chinese lived here at one time, they even have their own cemetery.

The drive is through the remains of a 1994 fire that devastated the area. It is still pretty desolate in places.

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Along the way is the quaint little spread of house known as Secesh. Near the end of the Civil War, people fled both the south and the north for the gold fields of Idaho (again, who knew all this history existed?) They did not live in harmony with their neighbours and named their area after the Secessionist movement that brought about the civil war.

This is an old Stage Coach Stop on the road to Warren. The town even has a small cemetery, with just 35 graves

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The old river bed near Warren itself looks very much like you are in Dawson City, in the Yukon. From 1912 to 1942 dredges gathered the last of the gold from the river. All that is left is some rusted equipment and piles of gravel spit out the back of the dredges. Much of the town has fallen in on itself.

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But many buildings have been revived by ancestors of the original miners, and there is a sense of pride in the community in the people we talked to.

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An old water cannon, used to blast overburden from the gold bearing dirt stands in front of the local ranger station.

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The old one room school still stands. When it was originally built back in the 1860's the N in Warren was backwards and has stayed that way ever since. In 1934 a town meeting decided not to change the error.

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On our way back from Warren we stopped for a soak at the hot springs at Bergdorf. This hot spring has been a privately owned business since the 1860's and is rustic and pleasant. The water temperature at the outlet is 113 F and the pool is about 100 degrees F. A nice break from our day long journey. $8 per person is a small sum to pay to soak in the history of the place.

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Our time here is at an end and we will soon be moving south, to Twin Falls, for a two night stay. We are getting laundry done and up to date once again.

We have now decided to move on towards Yosemite National Park. There is a change in the weather coming tomorrow, and, although still smoky, the prospects of north winds, and a bit of rain have opened up our plans once again.

Lastly. We will have travelled almost the full length of Idaho from North to South, and have yet to see a potato farm, so we googled where they are grown. The Southeast 1/4 of the state is the potato belt. We will not see that area until a future trip.

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 18:12 Archived in USA Tagged potatoes gold_mining warren_id mccall_id

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Comments

Hi Jenny and Tony
we drove across southern Idaho from Yellowstone heading west to the coast in 2010. Will you be seeing craters of the moon nat'l mon.?

by Mary Klimek

Enjoying your travels and taking notes!!

by Dave

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