Sunday, July 13, 2008

Silver City camping


Hubby and I went on an overnight camping trip up to Silver City this weekend. To get there you cross the Snake and head south into the Owyhee Mountains, for about 50 miles, most of it Up!

Silver City was one of the most populated towns in Idaho in the 1800's, due to the silver mines. It's technically a ghost town now, except that....people live there. Some of the buildings are in ruins, certainly. But others are being renovated, and others are obviously lived-in. The road going up there is still mostly un-paved. It's amazing to think of driving a horse-drawn wagon full of silver ore down that road. And yet they did it 1,000's of times evidently. The nearest train depot was down in the valley.

It was hot at home, but cooler at 6,000 feet. The sun was just as fierce though. Hubby got sunburned. I did a little, but at least I'd put on sunscreen. We hiked around the town a bit, then got hungry and realized we'd brought all our sandwich fixings, but forgot the bread! Fortunately the local cafe was willing to sell us half a loaf so we could eat dinner later too!

We found a nice camping spot near the pass you go over to get there, New York Summit. It was on a rise that gave us views in every direction. The Owyhees are very rocky. There are pine trees, but at 6-7,000 feet, it's right at the limits of the sagebrush, so you get a mix of juniper, pines, sagebrush, and this year, lots and lots of wildflowers. I'd never seen so many different ones.

The rocks reminded me of the Santa Monica mountains and the mountains around Seoul. If you used to watch *MASH*, you'll know what I mean. Rounded boulders of granite sticking out like exposed bones. On one ridge we could see a line of jagged brown rocks like dragon teeth.

We had a restful night in our tent, and the next morning we hiked up to an interesting out-cropping near the pass. I've always liked clambering around on big rocks.
After our hike, we packed up and drove home. For just a 99-mile round trip, it was a complete change of scenery. We'll have to go again and camp elsewhere.

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