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I am just a simple girl, living life everyday to it's fullest potential - vowing not to regret the things I do, and to embrace what the future has in store for me. Visit my website, for more information!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cabinet Mountain Ride 9-5-11

Northwest Photographic Adventures had it's most successful show yet at Schweitzer Mountain's Fall Festival over Labor Day Weekend! To celebrate the successful weekend, Chris and I decided to go on a ride with our ATV's. He had wanted to take me up to this spot he found a couple years ago, and I wanted to go on a new ride that I hadn't been on before.

We loaded up the quads, and headed to Hope, Idaho to ride up the Strong Creek Trail. Chris said he was sure I would like it, since it climbs straight up the mountain! And he was almost right... minus the part where it is super rocky, and my quad kept bottoming out - meaning I had to drive ON all the great big, sharp rocks, instead of hitting them with the bottom of my machine. About 5 miles up the trail, we came across our first piece of interest - the opening to a mine shaft overlooking Lake Pend Oreille!

Although gated off now, you can still peer into the mine shaft and feel the cool air escaping the dark unknown. From some quick research - it looks to be the Auxor Mine. I'm not convinced, however, and need to go to the historical society and do some real research! (You just cannot believe everything you read online!)

From here we continued on our ride, and found ourselves at the top of Wellington Road. We followed the trail and viewed the great vista's overlooking the basin and valleys below. We pulled off to eat lunch on a trail that nobody seemed to have ridden yet this year, and Chris was drawn to a rocky area just beyond a group of bushes and trees. It turned out to be another mine and you could easily tell it had been excavated. Being that I studied Geology in College - I was immediately drawn to the rocks along the ground. From the rock specimens I picked up and admired, to the large boulders that I needed to walk over to climb into this ravene - I can theorize that this mine was used for Galena and/or Lead products. There are no markings on the mine, and nothing noting what the mine is - let alone any information online... Bummer!

We ate lunch, and decided to go back and walk into the ravene and see what we could find... The anticipation and excitement about our new finding was too much for either of us! I, of course (being the rock-collector that I am) kept picking up rocks... and ended up keeping probably 8 of them! Chris' excitement interrupted my search, and I was surprised when he said he found the opening! I quickly scrambled over the rocks to peer into the black unknown! The opening, about the size of a computer desk, was the only indication of the large cavity lying just beyond it. The cavity, from what I could see, was approximately 8' x 30' - and seemed to go straight back into the mountainside. If I wasn't so scared that it may be the new home of a Mountain Lion - I may have checked it out a little more... but I don't play with big kitties!

We walked back up to the four-wheelers, and were surprised to see another 4-wheeler on the other side of all the fallen trees on the trail we were on... We assumed he was one of the elk hunters who belonged to one of the several elk camps we passed, cutting firewood for the night. We turned around, and continued down the trail... just to come across yet another mine!

This one was perfectly preserved! The opening was almost completely intact - and there was water streaming out of the entrace! There were wild-flowers growing along the edges of the water, and it looked so beautiful! About 15 feet inside the wooden entry were the metal bars blocking the mine shaft. But the tunnel went as far back as you could see! There are old metal rails lying all around the opening, which adds to the overall experience of this mine! This mine, just as the others, had no markings or signs indicating what mine it was - and again, nothing found online...

All-in-all, it was an incredible day to be out riding, and I'm constantly surprised by all of the history that our surrounding forests hold! It just intrigues me to go out again and again, in search of new hidden treasures!


  1. what an exciting adventure, if u are looking to identify the mines, u may want to contact Bob Selle he is a longtime Bonner Co. resident, and also has a column in the Bee, you can find his contact info there, he may be a good resource for u in the future too. I believe he is a member of the historical society.

  2. A great source for local history is GEOCACHING.COM. There are geocaches at both of your finds. I believe your first picture is the Jim Adit mine. The second mine is the Auxor mine. My wife and I were there just today at Auxor. We found your blog while looking for some history on the mine.

  3. Oh, Thank you so much! I'm adding it to my favorites right now! :) I was never 100% sure on which mine was the Auxor mine, and hadn't found any information on the other 2 mines. I hope you enjoyed my blog - just started it last month, but hope to add a whole bunch of new "adventures" in the coming weeks. :)