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Old 09-05-2012, 08:53 AM   #32
TheAdmiral OP
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Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Sand Hollow, Idaho
Oddometer: 1,097
California Lake (Idaho) Labor Day Weekend Ride

After driving around a while, we find a spot on Lake Creek, near (ish) Burgdorf, ID, north of McCall a ways.

Couldn't leave until Saturday afternoon due to my work schedule, but we find a nice place.

Sunday, the crew is up bright an early and ready to head out. About noon that is!! I've been up for about 6 hours already.

Kid 6, FM, and myself want to ride (mostly) while Kid 5 wants to fish. We will eventually come to a good compromise. I pick a route that will take us to a fire lookout, dirty, dusty, rocky, roads, then hopefully find a fishing spot. (I don't have a clue where to fish at this point). Our route

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As luck would have it, I guess (dusty), we find ourselves on an ATV Poker Run route for the Warren area fire department. The good part is our "early start" put us at the tail end of the hoards of ATV/UTV/motorcycle poker parade. We only had 1 group behind us at the start not counting the poker run sweep team.

Our first turn off the main road will take us to the Carey Dome Lookout. Bad part, we are now behind the last poker run group and have to wait for the dust to settle.

Heading up the lookout road (Finance Minister and Kid 6)

Now here's the real lucky part. We run into a poker run checkpoint. Lookout goes left, poker run head right at this point. Ladies are real nice. I ask which way does the poker run trail go. They tell me, "War Eagle Lookout" (I'm interested) and California Lake, (I'm real interested now. Might satisfy Kid 5 if all goes right). I ask, "any good fishing at California Lake?". "Why yes" the ladies tell me. Execellent, now we have a good fishing destination. All parties should now be happy!

Before arriving at the fire lookout, I get a photo of it looking through an old burn

This fire lookout is a rare steel frame lookout and has the living quarters in a cabin on site. Turns out the lookout is manned this year. By Bill. Great guy

From the lookout, Bill points out the Herman Fire to the N.E. of here across the Salmon River. The fire is about 5 miles on the other side of the far ridge (Oregon Butte is the high point to the right. The Herman fire is part of the Maguire fire complex west of Dixie, Idaho.

Here is the back side of the storage building, fire cabin, and lookout. Bill points out the cool cloud formation.

Bill tries to take our picture

Finally gets us in the "photo pose"

I found out if you stay too long, Bill puts you to work!

Few lookout informational photo's

Headed past the last poker run checkpoint, wave to the ladies, and head on the trail the poker run used

No need for directions, but there was another poker run checkpoint here also. They were leaving as we rolled up as the sweep team had already passed us and went through here

Bit of the trail on the way to California Lake. I think this use to be an old mining road, and is very rough in places.

So from my last photo at the "log trail improvement zone", I turned around and got the girls coming through California Creek. Getting closer to the lake!

Finally made it to the lake so Kid 5 can do some fishing. Well, I did too since I was there.

A little lunch before fishing

Kid 5 catches a Rainbow Trout with Kid 6's assistance. This one stayed on the barbless hook long enough to take the picture before it too fell off back in the water. We weren't going to eat them anyway, so no real loss. Bragging rights are to be had by Kid 5, she's the only one that was catching anything . . . as usual. She's fish lucky I think!

And me . . . I'm still trying to get the fishing line untangled . . . again

So after doing some fishing, we head back basically the same way we came. Here's another trail photo. Probably the most dangerous area on the trail.

Nice view from here of the marsh/meadow down below

Here's part of the Idaho Centennial Trail West (motorized portion). We were on it for just a short time. The non-motorized (east) portion goes through the Frank Church Wilderness area.

The small white marker on the tree denotes the Willow Creek trail (#138) with the trail in the background. This is the upper portion on the California trail. Tomorrow I will try to find the lower portion down by our camp.

And before we make it back to camp, I get a photo of Marshall Lake. Down the road we found the trail (hiking) into the lake that we had missed earlier in the day.

Next morning (Monday) while all the girls are still sleeping, I head out to find the Durden Mine and the bottom portion of Willow Creek trail #138. Before I get to the mine there is a fork in the road. I take a left and find the bottom portion of Willow Creek trail. Some day I will come back and ride the trail from one end to the other.

After finding the Willow Creek trail, I find the remnants of the old Durden Mine.

Looks like this was a storage hut mounded up or dug in

I find another cabin. Looks like the walls caved in as I can see what looks like a doorway frame laying in front. Also cool to see the logs are still filled with pitch or whatever they used to fill in the gaps in-between the logs.

And one last photo of Willow Creek as it runs past the old Durden Mine

Well, that's all folks. We all had a fun time riding, fishing and camping. I shan't complain! Take care all!
For the record, I hate snakes!

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