Journey to a Lonely Place

Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
22,684
Location
Idaho
Two days ago we had the great experience of riding our RZR 33 miles each way to a very remote location in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness area. It is called Pinion Peak. The peak is almost 10,000 foot in elevation and has a fire lookout tower built in the 1930s on the top. The tower is still in operation.

We started out on the Yankee Fork of the Salmon River near an old gold dredge.

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We quickly gained elevation and about an hour into the ride crossed over a pass at about 9,000 ft. elevation. The view from here looked down into a working mine...we think they mine gold there.

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There were some beautiful streams to ride along.

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As the day progressed we ended up in an area that was burned by the massive Halsted fire that ravaged central Idaho last year. Sorry about this blown out snapshot with my phone, but I wanted to show that some of the areas are still totally black with no signs of life coming back yet.

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Other areas have some vegetation coming back. Loved this old truck in a burned out area. This area might have not burned last year but burned in an earlier fire.

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After many miles of climbing our destination came into view. It's the small building at the top of this peak. You actually ascend to it on the other side of the peak.

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To be continued....
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
22,684
Location
Idaho
Finally, after 3 1/2 hours we reached the summit. We weren't sure we were going to make it because we heard the trail had been washed out in places. But luckily a Jeep club has been there earlier in the day and repaired the road.

You park next to the lovely bathroom facilities. They were very rough...an old wooden throne.

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We had been here before and the tower employee wouldn't let us close to the building, but this time we were greeted with, "Come on up and visit!!"

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He spends 10 days at the tower, then four days off, but has to drive down the rough roads to spend his days off. There is no electricity, refrigeration, or running water. He does have a propane range and stove. There is a little grounded stool that he has to stand on during electrical storms. He said that they are "exciting". I think that must be an understatement.

Inside the tower was a photographic challenge. I tried to expose for the highlights so the views would show up, and hoped I could bring up the shadows in post processing.

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How would you like to wake up to this view!!

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I didn't crop the next one, because I loved how the maps were hung on the ceiling.

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View of a distant fire he was monitoring.

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View of the road we ascended on.

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Coming back down, we had a nicer view of the gold mine. It was a fabulous day.

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LyndeeLoo

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May 19, 2008
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29,978
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St. Louis, Missouri
Terry, these are marvelous! And while I would love to wake up to such a view, I think I'd have to give that tower a pass. Stand on a grounded stool during an electrical storm? Ehhhh...no thanks! :biggrin:

Excellent scenes and narrative - well done!
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
22,684
Location
Idaho
Terry, these are marvelous! And while I would love to wake up to such a view, I think I'd have to give that tower a pass. Stand on a grounded stool during an electrical storm? Ehhhh...no thanks! :biggrin:

Excellent scenes and narrative - well done!

Thanks, Lyndee. I have to agree about giving the tower a pass. It was fun for a few minutes, though.
 

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