Monday, July 14, 2014

Quirky, historic Idaho City ...

Slightly weird in Idaho City (Dar Hoch)
Fulltime RVer Thom Hoch, writing in RV Sabbatical Journal, talks about a recent meandering journey through historic Idaho City and the Boise Basin gold mining area.

Thom and, his wife, Dar, are traveling in their Four Wheel Camper and 2013 Ford F-350 SRW (6.2L gas, short box, 4wd).
RVers Thom & Dar Hoch are their traveling rig.
For this leg of their summer travels, they were exploring State Highway 21, primarily a two-lane highway from Boise to Stanley. This scenic route, also known as the Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway, is labeled on the maps with those little green dots and marked "May be closed in winter." (Not recommended for big rigs.)

About 38 miles off I-84 is Idaho City, the 'Queen of the Gold Camps,' sitting at an elevation of 3,907 feet. Portions of the ID-21 highway originated in the 1860s, as a toll road connecting Boise with the gold mining areas near Idaho City.

"Our first stop was the NFS ranger station in Idaho City for ideas and tips, followed by a light exploration of Idaho City itself," writes Thom Hoch. "They like to say it was once the largest town in Idaho … just after gold was discovered here in 1862. Everyone from miles around who had a notion that it might be pretty cool to get rich quick moved in. And a short time later pretty much all of them left again about as poor as they were when they arrived. Only a small handful of miners made any significant money… as well as the whores, gamblers, and purveyors of ardent spirits who found a motherlode of a different vein."

Idaho City cemetery. (Dar Hoch)
Continues Thom: "What remains today is an interesting mixture of the old and the new, dilapidated old historic buildings surrounded by a few rehab’d or new ones, modern day merchants mining tourists, a museum, self-guided tours, and an old pioneer cemetery atop a nearby hill. With a partner who’s into genealogy and looking for ancestors wherever she goes, you can guess where we spent a good chunk of time this morning."

After a late breakfast (and a wonderful piece of home-made pie for later) at a local diner called Trudy’s Kitchen, the Hochs were back on ID-21 heading east toward Lowman.

- Learn more about historic Idaho City by clicking here.
- To follow Thom and Dar's adventures, go to RV Sabbatical Journal
- To read additional articles about Thom and Dar Hoch in RVWheelLife, click here.
- To read more about the RV lifestyle by Julianne G. Crane, go to RVWheelLife.com.
Photos: (Courtesy of Dar Hoch).

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