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Old 04-13-2009, 05:19 PM   #1
Ladybug0048 OP
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Location: Spokane Valley, WA (the dry side of the mountains)
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Chasing Ghosts

When some people hear the word ghost it conjures up thoughts of spirits, apparitions, dark shadows, things that go bump in the night and for others ghosts might be unpleasant memories of things in past. Ghosts aren’t really something you can reach out and touch, probably can’t get a picture of and most likely you won’t be able to engage them in a meaningful conversations but chasing ghosts can be fun.

For me I prefer the friendly side of ghosts like my childhood favorite, Casper, the friendly little guy who was always looking for the positive. I want to find and meet the ghosts of days gone by - - - ghost towns, historic cemeteries, abandoned lumber camps, vanishing boomtowns, legendary million-dollar mines, historic sites, dilapidated homesteads, unused fire towers and any other relics left behind by the founders of our beautiful Northwest.

Like so many other areas the Northwest is dotted with remnants of an era when explores, prospectors, miner, loggers, farmers and others came west seeking their fortunes. Very few became rich but they did leave behind a rich history begging to be explored.

Spending the cold winter nights cuddled up with my computer, maps and books made my winter a little more bearable. My goal is to visit as many of these historic treasures as I can find but first I needed to figure out where the best of the best are located. I love the internet and Mr. Google ! ! ! ! ! I marked ghost towns on mapsource and now I can play connect the dot and start chasing my version of ghosts.

Washington State alone gives me plenty of Ghost chasing opportunities and I haven’t even started to add the lookout towers to this map. I also have maps started for Idaho, Oregon, Western Montana and Southern British Columbia. This should keep me entertained for a while.


If you choose to follow along you will be treated to bits of history about the places I ride when I can find the information. In other words this is a ride report that will include reading material along with pictures.

(Disclaimer: Any bits of history I add are my take on what I have gleaned from books or the Internet and may or may not be factual.)

The Adventure begins and you’re invited to kick back, grab a beverage of your choice, and join me as I chase my friendly ghosts - - - -

I mapped out this route for a day ride to Milan, WA for Easter Sunday.


I pulled my Suzuki DR200SE out of the garage for it’s first ride of the season and headed to the gas station to top off the tank because some bonehead forgot to fill the tank at the end of last season.


The tire pressure needed to be checked, it was a tad low after sitting all winter, air added and it was time to ride.


Ahhhhhh yes, you can tell it’s been a long winter when I start taking pictures of mundane things like filling a gas tank and checking the air pressure in the tires.

Across the street from the gas station was one of the many structural fatalities from the winter’s record snowfall in Spokane. Flat roofs in snow areas just don’t make sense.


Meet the Superbug

Even though I have a couple other bikes and they are great bikes, this bike dubbed the Superbug , is my choice for this type of riding more times than not. The Superbug can do it all, a bit slower, but if I get myself into a tight place it’s easier to turn around. If it decides to take a dirt nap, which could happen, it’s a heck of a lot easier to pick up. It’s been set up for traveling (thank you Oldtimer) and I can pack it up to go camping just like I would one of the bigger bikes. Hurray for the Superbug .

Ladybug0048 screwed with this post 04-14-2009 at 07:58 AM
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Old 04-13-2009, 05:24 PM   #2
larryboy
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Go SuperBug!!!!
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Old 04-13-2009, 05:27 PM   #3
ozarkrider
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I'm in. Let's go!
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Old 04-13-2009, 05:43 PM   #4
shaker962
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i think we have another geocacher here

something tells me that we have a geocacher here.
excellent hobby that goes right along with adventure riding .
keep up the good work,,, great rr
shaker962 ,,,aka terry
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:21 PM   #5
Ladybug0048 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryboy
Go SuperBug!!!!
Hey Larryboy
You'll get the chance to meet this silly bike up close and personal at the Barnacle Bistro post grand opening shin dig. It'll be in the middle of two week trip when we arrive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozarkrider
I'm in. Let's go!
Cool, let's ride

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaker962
something tells me that we have a geocacher here.
excellent hobby that goes right along with adventure riding .
keep up the good work,,, great rr
shaker962 ,,,aka terry
Bingo, you hit the nail on the head. Geocaching is a great way to find hidden treasures that have nothing to do with the cache that's hidden. On this ride, I went after 3 and scored 0 - - - Often the case but I have a heck of a good time playing.
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:27 PM   #6
Ladybug0048 OP
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The GPS took me down a dirt side road through farmland and I spotted old trucks, I like old trucks.


Another winter structure fatality


A turkey crossed in front of me (itís the black speck on the left) and scampered into the brush on side the road. Both sides of the road had no hunting signs so he was going to be OK. Itís turkey season in the neighborhood.


To create my routes I decided not to take routes Iím familiar with but instead to set up Mapsource to take me where Iím going, using the routing option for minor roads. This is all part of the adventure as the mapping program took me to:


I turned around to try again and found this



Winter is over but snow still lingers but hopefully not much longer.
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:59 PM   #7
10guy
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So you ran into snow and......?
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Old 04-13-2009, 07:03 PM   #8
Crusier Dude
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Hey LadyBug, glad to see you out riding.

Hi LadyBug,

It won't be long HOPEFULLY till that DARN SNOW goes away. I also like pictures of OLD TRUCK'S.

You always take some really nice pictures on your rides.

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK....

Les in Boise.
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Old 04-13-2009, 07:03 PM   #9
GB
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Bye bye snow...

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Old 04-13-2009, 07:10 PM   #10
Ladybug0048 OP
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I was finding roads I had never been on before and I was enjoying it. The day started sunny but by the time I got the bike out it was overcast and it was now down right cloudy and sprinkling on and off. That wasnít so bad but the temperature was dropping too. Oh well there was riding I wanted to do.


As I got close to Milan I spotted this


Then I found this


I wanted to go there and I spotted a road on the other side so I went looking for it but was disappointed by this.


I found Milan


There were a few occupied buildings with for sale signs in front of them and a few abandoned buildings


I wasnít able to find much information about Milan just that it is named after a city in Italy and in 1900 was an important shipping point for the Great Northern Railway. At one time there were two sawmills in the community and two more just a few miles away.

A few miles from Milan I found this, I donít know what it is but I thought it looked cool.


On to Elk and a stop to take a picture of their Welcome sign. Iíve always like the sign so why not.


With Milan found the next thing was to see if I could find a geocache on School District property with the hopes of finding an old school house or at least what was left. No luck, the route I used to try to get to the waypoint ran into private property at a lake. It was a fun ride on dirt roads and I did find and itty bitty water fall for my itty bitty Superbug .


More old vehicles


I decided to see if I could figure out the way to the cache and I found this




There were the remnants of four cars here. It was like who ever lived here just vanished leaving home and vehicles behind.

I decided to venture further and see what else I could find






When I got home I discovered what I had found was Scotia, WA. I couldnít find any information about Scotia but I do know this was located about 1000 yards from where the railroad used to run. The railroad is gone and the tracks were pulled out a few years back. I would have liked to walk around the building but I was unsure if it was private property or not.

As I was checking this area out the sprinkles changed to rain and finally a downpour. It was time to put the camera away.


I was cold and I wasnít certain the rain wasnít going to turn to snow so home I went. The west portion of the route I plotted was not done and Iíll do that another time.

It was a good ride. I had fun but Iíll sure be glad when it warms up here.


In doing the research for ghost towns I wasnít able to find a clear definition of a ďghost townĒ, other than a true ghost town is one where no one is living other than maybe a friendly ghost or two. Then thereís the vague description of living ghost towns where there are people living there however the town has been ďdeclaredĒ a ghost town. Ah heck, I donít care if itís ďtrueĒ, ďdeclaredĒ, or just a dot on the map Iím going to check out these little treasures stuffed away on the back roads that are forgotten by most people.

This is just the start, a drop in the bucket so to speak, and there will be plenty more to come as I continue on with this questÖÖ..


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Old 04-13-2009, 07:15 PM   #11
Reddog*
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It's always fun when we see
Look forward to seeing where these take you.
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Old 04-14-2009, 03:59 AM   #12
Ladybug0048 OP
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Location: Spokane Valley, WA (the dry side of the mountains)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10guy
So you ran into snow and......?
That was about it, nothing exciting, didn't fall over or have to turn around. I was staying at lower elevations and hoping not to find snow, this has been a very loooooooooooong winter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusier Dude
Hi LadyBug,

It won't be long HOPEFULLY till that DARN SNOW goes away. I also like pictures of OLD TRUCK'S.

You always take some really nice pictures on your rides.

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK....

Les in Boise.
Hi Les,
I'll be headed your way the first part of May for the IAMC poker ride. Will I see you there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reddog*
It's always fun when we see
Look forward to seeing where these take you.
I'm looking forward to seeing where these will take me too. It'll be a slow start as I'm not so patiently waiting for the snow to melt so I can get further up into the mountains. In the meantime I'll hit some of the low level goodies.

The updates on this will be sporadic but I'll share what I find with you. Some might be boring some not but the end result will be that we'll get to see what the Northwest has to offer.

If anyone has suggestions of places to go please feel free to post them up.
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:55 PM   #13
Ladybug0048 OP
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Saturday April 18, 2009 Ė

Went chasing ghosts last weekend with a few ADV friends. Knowing the riding would be a pace a bit brisker than the Superbug is capable of it was time to bring out the big gun.

Big gun:


The F650GS doesnít have near the personality as the Superbug but it was the right bike for this ride.

ADV friends or I should ADV friendís bikes, friends were all eating breakfast and left there bikes out for photo op.


Riding into the Eastern Washington Palouse farmland.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palouse


Time for a ghost stop


It really hasnít been that long ago when there were still battles between Indians and white men in the Northwest. This is such a beautiful area with a nice creek running through but having such a violent past Iím not sure how friendly these ghosts would be. As far as Iím concerned itís all very sad.



Hangman Creek


Onward to happier places.



Knowing I would be riding to Steptoe Butte I did my research to determine what ďghostsĒ I might find along the way. I knew there was an Indian legend about the top of the butte but I couldnít remember the exact words so I called on my good friend Mr. Google.

Ah yes, here we go: Native Americans called the butte "the power mountain." It was believed that a journey to the butte bestowed a gift of power from the mountain's guardian spirit.

There it is, thatís Steptoe Butte, the big lump in the middle of all this rolling farmland. A time long ago Native Americans used the top of the Butte for signal fires. In my imagination can I can see the smoke signals coming off the top of the Butte as we ride toward it.
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:27 PM   #14
Klay
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This is a fascinating and very entertaining project you have going here.

-Your loyal fan.
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:28 PM   #15
Ladybug0048 OP
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Along with the power spirit at the top of the mountain thereís the spirit of a man that went by the name of Cashup Davis. If there is such thing as a friendly ghost Iím certain Cashup is a friendly spirit and he's up there enjoying the visitors that arrive. He left England and his privileged background in 1840 because he believed in the American concept of freedom and self-reliance and settled in the Palouse near Steptoe Butte.

The Butte fascinated him and he loved to entertain which inspired him to create a grand hotel at the top of the Butte in the late 1800s Cashup at an elderly age died in the hotel at the top of the butte. The hotel burned down after his passing and was never rebuilt. More about the butte, the man who loved it, pictures of the hotel and tales of the Indian uprisings in the area - - - > Linky





Iím certain Cashup would have approved of the gathering of motorcycles on top of the mountain.
Our ADV group


A Triumph group that showed up (they park a lot prettier than we do)


Liv2rydktms now has a bottle of wine with her avatar on it.


With views like these itís no wonder Cashup loved this mountain top.




All this fun works up an appetite so off to lunch we rode.






Whatís an ADV ride report with out the obligatory food shot? $1.00 tacos at the Conklin Park Marina on Couer dí Alene Lake in Idaho. I donít think there are any ghosts here just hungry people.



Iím just starting with these wonderfully interesting ghosts and Iím thoroughly enjoying what Iím learning about the things that are so close. I can see one bit of information will lead me to another bit of history and another ghost to chase. Thereís a town named Cashup after Cashup Davis not far from the butte, itís now on my to do list and will be done soon.

Yep, this is fun and Iím sure there is a lot more to come.

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