Friday, August 5, 2016

July 28, 2016 - Yankee Fork, Bonanza, Custer & Stanley, ID

We decided to have breakfast at one of the famous restaurants in town: Stanley Baking & Co.  The line was long!  You pick up the menu when you step inside, then you tell the cashier what you want and pay in advance, then look for an available table.  We had the classic breakfast and it was very hearty.  

We went out for a ride to the Pioneer Park, not too far from Stanley Baking. There were spots that were great for taking pictures of the Sawtooth Range. Across the road from the park is a visitor center and we stopped by there to get information on what to see in the area.  The guide suggested us to visit Yankee Fork Dredge and two ghost towns: Bonanza City and Custer City, Redfish Lake and Sawtooth Fish Hatchery.

First visit was to stop at Sunbeam Hot Springs on Highway 93 where there are small pools of hot springs and bathers can soak in them.  We brought our swimwear and towels, but decided to come back here in the afternoon after visiting other attractions.

Erwin testing to see how hot the spring is
Next stop was to visit the ghost town of Bonanza City, ID near Sunbeam, ID. There were not many abandoned buildings around.  We stopped at one of two Bonanza cemeteries.  Many tombstones were of wood.  

Bonanza Cemetery 

We visited Yankee Fork Dredge, which is open daily for self-guided tour. Admission is $5 per person.  The purpose for admission fee is to preserve the dredge.  There were volunteers explaining how the dredge works in the past.  The dredge is 112 feet long, 54 feet wide, 64 feet high and weighs 988 tons.  It has 71 buckets on one continous chain and each bucket hold 8 cubic feet of dirt.  The dredge was in operation from 1940 until it closed in August 1952. In 1979 a group of former employees and their families formed the association and restored before opening to the public for tours.  As a result two towns (Bonanza and Custer) became ghost towns. 

After the tour we continued driving to Custer City that became a ghost town in 1910.  There were few buildings left.  This is where one can try panning for gold near Empire Store (general store).  You cannot pan for gold in the river since there are claims all around.  After checking out some buildings we continued driving on the dirt road to visit Custer 7 Cemetery.  There were 7 fenced plots and most tombstones were of wood. 

Empire Store (general store)
Notice that numbers are not on playing cards 
Erwin panning for gold
There was NOTHING (at least Erwin didn't find any)  :-(
Old School House

Back on Highway 93 South we decided not to go dipping at Sunbeam Hot Springs because it was very hot when we got there, decided to continue driving to check out Sawtooth Fish Hatchery.  It was constructed in 1985 to rear spring Chinook salmon and collect eggs from steelhead trout.  Chinook salmon spend most of their lives in the Pacific Ocean and in about 3 years travel 900 miles to the place where their parents spawned.  As of now, Chinook and Sockeye are on the Federal Endangered and Threatened Species list.  This is all due to the dams that were built along the river.

Kids' Trout Fishing Pond

This girl was thrilled to catch a fish, but
refused to hold it for pictures 

We then visited Redfish Lake to check out some campgrounds and to take a look at the lake.  The parking lot at Day Use was almost full, but we managed to squeeze in a spot. There is a fee for Day Use and it is $6 per vehicle.  There were lots of bathers and the lake was loaded with boats, jet skis, stand up paddle boards, kayaks, etc.

We were exhausted from the day trip that we decided to just stay put at "home" for rest of the late afternoon and all night.  

After supper Edith feverishly tried to finish June 2016 blog and it took her more than 2 hours to get photos put up from iPhone, iPad, camera, etc.  

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