domingo, 18 de agosto de 2013

Planning our trip through Melmont

melmont ghost town hikingwithmybrotherMelmont was founded in 1900 around the Melmont Coal Mine, producing coal exclusively for the Northern Pacific Railway. For a few years, the small town boomed, boasting a train depot, hotel, post office and schoolhouse. Although the mine yielded upwards of 750 tons of coal per day, when the railroad shifted away from coal-driven trains to more modern diesel models, the town crumbled. By 1915 the post office was shuttered, and by 1920 the mines were largely closed. A forest fire cleared out all but a few cement foundations around the same time. In 1921,the Fairfax Bridge opened above the Carbon River, bypassing Melmont’s railroad bridge and connecting Fairfax to the state highway system. When it opened, the Fairfax Bridge was the tallest in Washington, and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

The trail begins on the north side of the bridge with a short scramble down to the Northern Pacific’s railroad grade. From here, Melmont is an easy one-mile stroll upstream, following a wide path under mossy alders and young hemlock. However, because ATV traffic churns up a lot of earth, during the wetter months a thick layer of mud can cover the trail. Although the mud can be a little messy, it is not so bad that it will make your hike more difficult.

Shortly after you leave the bridge behind, you’ll pass a large rock retaining wall followed quickly by a structure most refer to as the “Dynamite Shack.” As you push onward, the trail splits just above an open field that was once the residential area of town. Heading uphill will lead to the crumbling foundation of one of Melmont’s schoolhouses, while pushing onward will lead to the site of the hotel and the remains of Melmont’s bridge. Either way you choose, enjoy wandering the area and finding traces of the 100-year-old town.

We hoping to camp out in Melmont in the coming weeks, I will keep you updated ^_^

No hay comentarios.:

Publicar un comentario