After Thanksgiving, we spent another couple of days in Lincoln. Our Grandkids and Grandnieces had lots of fun playing together! Note that this “Rocking Burro” was made by Cherryl’s father Frank, well over 30 years ago.
Saturday night I got to spend a little more time with my new friend Terry. His Camaro had the engine torn apart last time I was here, and now I got to hear it roar! It was too cold outside to drive it, but it sure puts out some violent noise!
Sunday morning we were to continue our road trip to see our daughter and family in Washington. Wind had covered our Jeep with snow before we got going, but we saw nothing but wind and a little drizzle on the length of the trip.
After a too brief stay with dear friends Lonnie and Laura in Denver, and a visit to the awesome McArthur Dentisty office, we were off to Washington.
We chose to go a northern route to the Tri-Cities area, through Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, and not be in too big a hurry. Our second night we stayed in Wallace, Idaho… not because we knew how great it was, but that it was in the right place for our timing. But it turns out Wallace is a very cool place! It remains the world’s largest silver mining area, with billions of ounces produced. It was a thriving mining town in the late 1800’s, and in 1890 a fire leveled most of the town. They rebuilt with stone and brick. Two decades later, the Great Fire of 1910 attacked… This is considered the largest fire in U.S. history, with 3 MILLION acres burned. California is staggering after a terrible fire season right now, with something like 160,000 acres burned. The Great Fire of 1910 was 18 times as large! The sap of the White Pine trees created fumes that just exploded, burning over three states in only two days! Heavy rains extinguished the fire, but something like 78 firefighters perished. One forest ranger called “Big Ed”Pulaski guided 40 firefighters to safety in an abandoned mine cave when the fire surrounded them.
In the 1970’s, the highway department was going to build I90 right through the middle of Wallace. The town fought hard to avoid demolition, but bulldozers started razing buildings. At the last minute, they got someone in authority to listen, and had the whole town designated a historic area. The compromise had I90 built as an elevated highway down one edge of the canyon that Wallace inhabits.
Wallace has some very nice old buildings downtown, and some very steep roads into residential areas… including several long public stairways.
At some point, the Mayor of Wallace declared the intersection of 6th Street and Bank Street is the “Center of The Universe”. The town says that if you can’t disprove a thing, then it must be true. If you look closely you can see proof… signs proclaiming it to be so. We have now been to the Center of The Universe!
In the 1950’s and 60’s, America was enthralled with outer space and space exploration. Many businesses played up the space theme, which resulted in cute places like the “Stardust Motel” in downtown Wallace. It even has a small spaceship, with seats inside for intrepid explorers!
On a slightly more earthbound level, we have had fun with our Kids and Grandkids here in Washington. At the gym, we got to do some climbing, and even some racquetball!