6/21/01 9:38:10 PM Pacific Daylight Time
Today I walked around 15 miles and I am beat. It wasn't so much the
15 miles that I waked, but the rest of the day after I got back to town that wore me out.
The nice hairdresser lady took me around sight seeing. First we drove 20 miles out of town and way down a gravel road clear off the beaten path to see the Ward charcoal ovens.
At Willow Creek, six charcoal ovens were built in 1873 to produce charcoal to use in the smelters which processed the ore. The beehive-
shaped ovens are 30' high and 27' in diameter at the base. The stone walls are 20" thick with 3 rows of vents around the base used to control drafts. It took 13 days to fill, burn, and empty a 35 cord kiln of pinyon and juniper. The ovens produced about 30 bushels of charcoal per cord of wood.
Eventually, charcoal ovens were phased out due to depleted ore deposits, a shortage of available timber, and the discovery of coal. These ovens were most likely used until around 1879.
Other uses for these ovens were for shelter during foul weather, and as a hideout for stagecoach bandits!
Then we stopped at Willow Creek Trading Post and saw a herd of about 35 buffalo.
From there we headed another direction and drove back in the hills to Cave Lake. We did a little bit of hiking there.
Then we headed back toward town and stopped at Cummings Lake.
After that we headed back into town then out the other direction to try and find those mining carts that I saw on the train ride. Easier said then done. We drove out to Lane City, a ghost town, and parked there. Then I walked on the train tracks a couple miles and couldn't find it. Walking back, I saw a fellow who lives out there drive by. I flagged him down and asked him where those carts were and he told me to jump in, that he'd drive me right to them. We met up with the other lady and he took us both right to it. I'd have never found it. It was farther out than I thought.
Then he drove us back to his house and showed us a building full of old classic cars. The ones I liked were a green 1931 Model A Ford Sedan, and a blue mid-20s Dodge Ragtop Coop made by the Dodge brothers. We visited for awhile longer. He was very interested in my walk because he, too, has epilepsy.
By then it was 7pm and nothing sounded better than a wonderful, hot, clean shower.
Y'all take care and have a great weekend! KB
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