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Mineral Idaho Ghost Town

By Cuprum Hermit - Posted on 29 April 2020

Confusion goes to Mineral
Sunday April 26 2020
   Prompted by a text from Special Ed looking to maintain social distancing for the betterment of Society I suggested that we could ride to the Ghost town of Mineral. This impromptu team quickly morphed into a group of four riders from the Valley. “Special Ed, Cuprum Hermit, Kapt Slow, and BillBart”. Being the inclusionary type that we are, invitations were sent out to a couple of potential club members from the upper valley of Cambridge. Thus, we were joined by GS Cowboy and Handicap.  Equipment consisted of 4 BMW 800-1200s and a couple of thirsty 990s.  After a quick rememberence of the last time I went to Mineral followed by a quick glance at Google Earth for some reason I was drafted into the role of navigation. The plan was a simple three site affair.
1.     Ride to the Weiser Sand Dunes to check in for that site.
2.     Follow the “somewhat visible” road along the snake river to Mineral to check in.
3.     Ride Rock Creek road out checking in at Weiser Hot Springs on the way back to Weiser.
  Meeting at Weiser with the Cambridge riders was unnoteworthy.  Rather than following suggestions of direct route we proceeded via my tried and true hunting method toward the Sand Dunes. This method is aptly named wander and shoot. Take a rough heading and sort out the roads until options limit to the proper road. It was at this point that we learned the depth of our team. Handicap who had limited motorcycle experience and nonexistant  ADV experience had just recently purchased a pristine GS 800. After digging out her snowmobile suit and helmet robbing the plate off husbands Kawasaki was primed for a breakout ride.
Full Disclosure- Handicap miiiiight have gotten a description of the ride as a nice gentle country tour with a group of geriatric cruisers.
Following the sand dune check in we mixed it up a bit. Special Ed took up the leadership role heading north. Contrary to my recollection the road seemed to be lacking in maintenance and we soon were appreciative of the HTP bash plate under the bike. The good news is we were quickly leaving all the other tourists as we proceeded. As the road was becoming quite challenging and Ed was opening the unexpected gate we received a call from half of the group that had stopped previously. It was at that time that we decided that perhaps we should use a less demanding route for the destination. Backtracking to the rest of the group we collected our thoughts and continued on toward Weiser in an effort to travel Rock Creek Road out to Mineral.
  In an unselfish act Special Ed felt that this would be a great time to administer a class to the group focused on tire repair.
This brought up a lively debate regarding tube vs. tubeless while universal agreement that Ed is pretty good at changing tires.
  Once mobile again the wander and shoot method was employed to find Rock Creek Road. After a few false starts and reverting to GPS Technology (Cheating) we were headed in the right direction. Low and behold we were passing the Weiser Hot Springs on the way out.  While posing for the check in photo in front of all the No TressPassing and Stay Out signs.  The reclusive new owner of the property rode out on his ATV to discuss our activities. It seems that he has purchased this property as a reclusive spot for his own pool parties.
 Wow- The last time I was there it was a public swimming pool. How things change in 40 years. All is well that ends well. We stayed on the road unlike the unidentified rider that previously went into his yard to take photos. Must have interrupted his séance.
Onward to Mineral Ed set a reasonable pace that the group tried to match. This pace consisted of freeway speeds on gravel interrupted by panic for blind corners. Unfortunately it was during this run that Handicap was confronted by an unforgiving tourist in an F250. Speed was slow but managing a bike for the first time on gravel only gets more difficult when forced into the borrow pit by an intellectually challenged 1P driver.
Dusting off the beemer was a quick affair and Handicap’s spirit came through. Kapt Slow was quick to point out that a can of rustoleum does wonders as a south of the border body and paint job. This was particularly valuable information due to the fact that her husband has not seen the bike yet.   On we went.  Stopping in the hot sun for a much needed break we enjoyed the barren river landscape with a snack. It was at this point that layers were reduced to facilitate survival.
The remainder of the ride into Mineral went without incident and photos were taken for check in.
Having achieved our goal we then briefly discussed the possibility of routing to Mann Creek but wisely decided to exit via known route.
Arriving back in Weiser we refueled and parted ways with the Cambridge contingent. As we were only 2 hours behind schedule we wanted to add to the adventure. This included back roads to Emmett stopping at the plane crash site near Little Willow and then commenced to stage a rally on the old Freezeout grade.
In summary I support Handicap winning the Mineral Challenge as she jumped into this activity with gusto and perhaps will personally vet the information given before joining another ride.
Cuprum Hermit
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