One of the best ways to deal with toxic dust from a railroad that once served mining towns.  Pave it.  Encapsulate.  Reducing groundwater  pollution.

Images taken 2005. 

This also created the great opportunity for a bike path because someone was thinking outside the box.  It's the longest paved bike trail I have ever been on.  72 miles from Plummer, ID. to Mullan, ID.  Almost across that state.  Smooth pavement, outhouses with solar collectors, to run the fans, picnic tables, benches.  It made for a great trail.

Trail of the Coeur d' Alenes on my Flickr
West part of Trail Of The Coeur d' Alenes
Trail of the Coeur d' Alenes near Plummer.

Out house with solar powered fan.
Solar powered outhouse.

Trail of the Coeur d' Alenes

Coeur d' Alene bike trail

Idaho lakes
Crossing the lakes headed to Harrison, ID. 

It felt sort of surrealistic as news coming out of New Orleans was so tragic dealing with Hurricane Katrina. 

I had a bright sunny day.  My radio was playing tuneful oldies from KOFE Radio in Saint Maries and the lake was sparkling.

Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes goes where the railroad went.

bike trail of the coeur d' alenes

bike trail

keeps going
Like the old hits on a pop station, the bike trail keeps going.

Few commercial interruptions, or I mean stopping for roads.

Camping in Cataldo, the radio was bringing horrible news from New Orleans.  Blame going around.  Did someone fumble FEMA?

Gas prices may skyrocket.   Why should I worry about gas prices anyway?

It seemed like America was crumbling, but when I turned my radio off, I heard the constant drone of distant trucks thundering along I-90. 

Commerce keeps rolling.   In some ways, it was reassuring.

Past mine waste
Trail heading into Kellogg.

Using Coeur d 'Alene Trail
People are friendly when you do see them, but much of the trip was solitude.

Social life in small towns
Just trying to imagine what social life in small towns is like.

Piles of mine waste for miles.  Most of it being mitigated in some way.  Trees planted, runoff captured.  There were several things that looked like sewage plants.  Settling ponds, aeration systems.  A showcase of
environmental science. 

Water in the rivers that empty to Lake Coeur d'Alene is getting cleaner.

Trail passes through towns along the way.   Cataldo, Smelterville, Osburn, Kellogg, Wallace, Mullan and a few more.

In Kellogg someone recognized me as I stepped into the bike shop.  He remembered my web site and a talk I gave in Bellingham. 

He was driving through Kellogg and stopped into the shop to ask, "why are so many cars parked around Kellogg?"

It's the sales lots for Dave Smith Motors.  Big Internet based car sales company.

Alternative transportation crossing
Looking west along bike path in Kellogg.

Two alternative modes of transportation crossing.  Bike path and Kellogg Gondola ride.  In 1997, I went through Kellogg and rode the gondola lift.

mine compressor
Machines, machines.

Compressor from one of the mines.  Now on display at Kellogg, ID.  Gondola ride in background.


bike path under freeway in Wallace, ID.
Under I-90 in Wallace is used for many things.  Parking, the trail, there was a flee market, while I was in there.  Elevated freeway made the town quieter.

Wallace  prided itself as being the town with the last stop light along I-90 between Seattle and Boston. 

Finally, the freeway was finished there.  Elevated onto a somewhat artistic overpass. 

Trail goes underneath. 

They had to be creative as the valley is quite narrow. 

Wallace has a lot of historic buildings from its mining heydays.  I-90 basically goes above that compact little town.


Recently, here in Bellingham, I heard someone give a lecture about city planning in Vancouver, BC.  He proudly proclaimed Vancouver as the "first stoplight" along I-5 (called 99 in Canada).  Vancouver has not allowed freeways to take over.

Wallace historic rail depot
Historic rail depot in Wallace.  Now used for offices.   I-90 overpass behind depot.  Wallace has many historic buildings.

Bordello Museum, 1997 Wallace, ID.
Image taken 1997.
Bordello Museum.  Image taken on an earlier bike trip in 1997.  Wallace has a colorful history with houses of prostitution.  A few of them lasted clear up to about 1991, so I hear.  Picture taken when I went through Wallace, on another trip in 1997, a bordello has been turned into the "Bordello Museum."

trail near Mullan, ID.
Forested trail between Wallace and Mullan.

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