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silversand

Montreal

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Posted: 10/07/10 05:44am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Incredible !

That is one out-of-the-way and interesting place. Thanks for doing this expedition and illustrating it so well!

Hey, Whaz; it seems that you make appearances in the most spectacular TRs [emoticon]

That house reminds me of houses around us on our mountain (albeit completely covered in trees, of course) perched on cliff faces, using steel beams drilled into the mountain's granite upon which 3-story mansions are built (you gotta see it to believe it!)...

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billtex

RI

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Posted: 10/07/10 06:23am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanx...great report...I hope Dave is doing well.

A couple of ?
* How did they generate the electricity?
* How the h*&L did they get the materials up there? Do you build the tram first?

Thanx...I love this stuff...

Bill


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sleepy

Oak Ridge,Tennessee

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Posted: 10/07/10 06:32am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fantastic report, thanks for sharing it with us.

Give Sarah a hug for us.

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whazoo

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Posted: 10/07/10 08:02am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow, nice trip report through and through. I almost feel like I was there! And if anyone has ever seen a catfish out of water, that be me, gasping away at what little oxygen I could find while trying to keep up with Sherpa Sheep Camp and his long legs. The degree of steepness is insane and while the hike is an accomplishment in itself it's TOTALLY amazing that anyone built something like this up there.

Little know fact! The owners of the mine were into classical music and had a baby grand piano brought up. Can you imagine being up there and hearing a piano playing. Add a harp and you're in Heaven. The story goes that when the piano fell through the rotting floor it landed on...A flat minor. I don't get it. And besides, there was no hole in the floor.

Here's a couple extra pics. The first of which is the frame for the missing outhouse. Can you just imagine the updraft?
[image]

[image]

[image]

Sheep Camp has become Mountain Goat in my book.
[image]

Anyone wanting to go should know, there is no trail down to the house and the possibility of falling all the way down like Doug said, is very real. That's why I let Doug go first, to stop my fall. Hey, my Mama didn't raise no dumbb Whazoo.

billtex

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Posted: 10/07/10 08:19am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good to have you back Dave...nice hike!

whazoo

Idahome

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Posted: 10/07/10 08:41am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

billtex wrote:

Good to have you back Dave...nice hike!


Thanks Bill! And great to know you're still around as well. I will be writing a book soon on "Hiking With Vicodin". That and Celebrex made the day for me on the hike. It's nice to have these things available for us growing old-timers. Without that and Doug I wouldn't have tried to get there alone. He's a fantastic guide, plus he knows the Search and Rescue squad!!

seldomseensmith

Flagstaff, AZ

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Posted: 10/07/10 08:44am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sheep Camp,

What a superb illustration of the incredible lengths to which those early miners went to for a taste of gold. That is an amazing location - it really boggles the mind imagining the process to get even the tram built so the rest of the materials could be delivered.

I've said it before - the people who settled the west were a whole lot tougher than anyone alive today. Thanks for letting me go along. And hey, I didn't even break a sweat!


The Road Goes Ever On



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turtletalk

NC

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Posted: 10/07/10 09:25am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

thanks-We shared with our grandchildren for use in studying history in school-great report!

weymard

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Posted: 10/07/10 11:29am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Awesome ! very interesting . Thanks for sharing


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SheepCamp

SW Colorado

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Posted: 10/07/10 08:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One of the interesting things about the old mines is what they did as they developed the area. You will find large boilers sitting on a ledge at 12,000 ft. The question was asked by Billtex about their electricity. The San Juan Mountains are the home of Alternating Current (AC) electricity. Before it was proven in the mines around the San Juan’s, it was feared as being to deadly and only DC was available. The first AC power plant in the world was built just about 10 miles away over near Telluride at the Ames Power Station in 1891 by Thomas Edison. It was to power the Gold King Mine and is still in operation to this day. It is a hydroelectric plant that is powered by water coming down a pipe from Trout Lake along Hwy 145. Electricity was probably more common in this area than in many cities at that time. There may have been a hydro electric plant down in the valley that powered the Old Hundred mill and mine. Side Note: The San Juan County Historical Society just broke ground on a small hydroelectric plant that will be at the old Mayflower (later Sunnyside) Mill just NE of Silverton. The Historical Society now owns the mill and it is open for tours next summer. Also, DO NOT miss the Historical Museum in Silverton, $5 and worth far more.
If you look at the tram towers you can see the remains of the electric wires and insulators where the lines ran up from the valley. The tram house has a beam sticking up on the roof where the wire came to it. On the end of the boarding house between the lower window and door are insulators for the power in that building. If you look close, you can see a wire hanging off of one.

Ames Power Station

Between the mines, mills and railroads (there were 4 different railroads in tiny Silverton) there are year’s worth of exploring in this area. Come on up and take a hike!!


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