Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Silver City---- are we there yet???

It was such a beautiful crisp fall day that we decided to go on a Sunday afternoon drive to see some new scenery.  Perusing my Idaho gazetteer, I realized there was a back way to Silver City, which is an old mining/ghost town up in the Owyhee mountains.  The normal way takes a little over an hour from our house but this way looked more interesting.  We left CJ Strike a little after 2 with a pan of brownies, apples, plums, red peppers, cherry tomatoes, peanut butter and crackers and of course lots of water.  By the end of our trip I was wishing I had packed something more substantial and I was so glad I had a roast and potatoes cooking in the crock pot at home! Who knew the "interesting" way would actually take 7 1/2 hours?  Oops.  But I Loved it!  I feel more alive when I'm seeing some where new and it involves the great outdoors.

Here was CJ Strike before we left......wasn't that sky amazing? So nice after all they hazy, smoky skies of July and August.

After driving for over an hour up Mud Flat road and across Antelope Ridge we had to stop for a bathroom break.  Everyone found their own juniper bush.  In the distance behind Heidi are the mountains we were going to go up later.  Hours later.  Did I tell you we took the looong way? It took probably 2 hours to go 20 miles on this road.  Sometimes we went two miles an hour because the road was so rough!

After Antelope Ridge we came on to Flint Creek Road.  I really liked it.  It had neat old remote farmsteads with open range cows and horses.  Of course, I didn't take any pictures of Flint Creek Rd until we were almost at the end of it.
 We then turned onto Happy Valley Rd and we were almost to Jordan Valley, which is in Oregon (yes, we almost drove to the Oregon border entirely on dirt roads!  This was one bumpy trip!) but then we turned right onto a road which takes you the back way to Silver City. We followed a creek almost all the way up, passing a few remnants of other mines and ghost towns that are not as well preserved as Siver City.

Some neat old rock walls near a mine....

Leif in an old mine building we came upon.
 And Torsten and Joel. The walls were thick!  They built things to last in those days.
Climbing a hill of mine tailings.  We found a lot more cool rocks to add to our collection!

So after hours of driving, I seriously think the kids had decided we were NEVER going to get there, we finally made it to Silver City, a "ghost" town that is still lived in during the nice months of the year by hardy souls who love antiques and being waaaaay out of civilization.  There is no electric service here- everyone uses solar.  Back in the boom days, Silver City was the county seat of Owyhee, but now our county seat is Murphy. 

 We stopped at the Silver City Hotel and Restaurant.  It is filled with neat old artifacts, furniture, an old jail cell, chandeliers, etc.  You can sleep here and have dinner and pie if you want.  Sometime we want to do that.  We didn't on this trip, just visited with the friendly gentleman who owns it.
 Before we left, we visited the cemetery.  I really like old cemeteries.  It is always neat to look at the designs of the old headstones and read their inscriptions.  We like to look for the oldest ones we can find. 


 A well preserved Mason headstone from the mid 1800s.
We had to keep Leif off of the headstones.  He kept thinking they looked like fun things to climb.

What a day!  When we drove down the north side of the mountain to go home, we could see the lights from Melba to Mountain Home to Grand View.  It was so fun to spend time with our family and explore the backroads of our less populated Owyhee county.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Boise Zoo

Our little homeschool group had a field trip to the Boise Zoo on Friday.  What a cute zoo!  It's so green and lush you could forget you're in southern Idaho.  As the kids went around the exhibits they chose which animal interested them most and they will be doing research and writing a report on that animal this week. It was an enjoyable afternoon!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Enjoying the end of summer

I can't believe we're arriving at the end of summer all ready!  Last week we went to the canal with friends to enjoy a warm afternoon while we could.  I love the sunflowers all along the ditch banks this time if year and the bales of hay waiting to be taken out of the fields.  It's a beautiful month.