We had doctor appointments in Kellogg, so we decided to combine it with a trip up into the hills. There was an intriguing looking road north of Wallace that went through an old mining town and then along the Coeur d'Alene River, exiting back onto I-90 at Kingston. So, after our appointments we grabbed a quick lunch at McD's, then headed to Wallace to find the road. We climbed for awhile and were treated to this view of the valleys below.
The old mining town of Murray, partly a ghost town, boasts the Spragpole Restaurant and Mining Museum. The museum was indeed chock full of all kinds of mining memorabilia. We enjoyed very good milkshakes while in the Spragpole, too! If you click to enlarge, you will see a lady of the evening peering out the upstairs window!
Gold was first discovered near the town of Murray in 1882. A.J. Prichard and his partners came to the Coeur d'Alene from Walla Walla WA, following Mullan's Military Road. The area swelled to 5000 miners, mostly centered in and around Murray. By 1886 the mining activity had shifted elsewhere. Today the mines near the towns of Kellogg and Wallace and others along the I-90 corridor are still producing ore.
Here we photographed one house that has been abandoned for a long time. The rest of Murray was about half a block long with not much evidence of the thriving town it once was.
And here is our surprise! We were traveling along the Coeur d'Alene River Road, looking at the lush greenery and the swollen river, when suddenly this moose appeared, very close to the road. He, or she, was eating leaves, nonchalantly ignoring passing cars. We stopped and had to honk our horn to get her to look our way. Then she went back to chomping the vegetation. It was my very first moose-sighting, apart from one at Northwest Trek and one in Yellowstone. I expected to see moose in those places, but not along the road here when I only thought I might see a deer.
We looked for awhile, then turned around and drove back to look again. This moose went about her business, entertaining us even more on a day already filled with the beauty of north Idaho.
Last, the Coeur d'Alene River is gorgeous, even in flood stage as it is here. Very little of it is visible from the freeway, so we were happy to find and explore this area. I never knew this part of Idaho had so many rivers, creeks and lakes, truly a watery paradise! We look forward to many more scenic drives throughout our summer here!