Babymoon to Wallace, Idaho
Courtney and I took a weekend vacation to Wallace, Idaho, a town 2 hours west of us near the Montana border. We are calling it our baby moon. It was a good reason to experience a different place and support their local economy.
We stayed at the Stardust Motel. The Stardust sign caught my eye the last time I drove through the town, and I started following the staff updates on Instagram. The staff are friendly, and the accommodations are nice.
Wallace, Idaho has a remarkable mining history and is close to Ed Pulaski’s tunnel. Ed Pulaski is a mythic figure in the wild-land fire community and has a tool used in fire line construction named after him.
Ed’s story is this:
In 1910 there were gigantic wildfires in north Idaho and western Montana and all through the I-90 corridor. Many well-established mining and logging towns were burned up and many people were killed.
Ed Pulaski was the supervisor of a 40+ person crew that was fighting the fires. When the line they were trying to hold blew up on them, he lead the crew on a retreat down the canyon through embers and smoke. The front of the fire gained on them. They couldn’t outrun it, so Pulaski made the decision to hole up the men in a tunnel he knew about.
When several of the men tried to dispute the decision, he pulled a gun on them and said that if they refused they’d lead other men to their deaths, and it was an order. All but 6 of the men survived.
The trail leading to the tunnel is beautiful—there is stream running down the canyon with waterfalls. The vegetation is thick and there a many large cedars, and also ash, fir, and pine. Ferns stand out in the under-story, and there were mushrooms and lots of lichen and moss. It also includes interpretative signs.
Snow had accumulated on some of the sections. The last quarter mile of the two mile trail was especially slippery and it was relatively steep, so we decided to turn around rather than risk a fall or any exertion that could harm Courtney and the baby. This means we did not actually see Pulaskis tunnel, but that’s okay, because we decided we’d have to bring Emerson and Maryanne back.
After we finished our hike, we took some photos and walked around town. The place has Victorian Gothic feeling to it, especially in late fall, which is something I appreciate. The sky was grey, socked in with clouds with flurries of snow and rain falling. The larch were yellow in the hills.
We ate a chip, queso and guacamole, appetizer at a Mexican restaurant. We picked out a couple records at one of the many elegant antique stores. We had dinner, then breakfast the next morning, and we drove back over Lookout Pass on our way home. All in all it was a pleasant time.
( You can click the photos and navigate them left or right)
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