Today we drove  60 miles from Spokane to the Crystal Gold Mine RV Park in Kellogg,, Idaho where we are staying for the next two nights. We drove past beautiful Coeur D Alene, Idaho on our way.  IMG 9886

As we approached Kellogg we saw lots of smoke and were told that lighting had caused a forest fire.  This is the first time we have ever seen planes fighting a fire and there were six of them that flew over us.  The one pictured below actually sprayed our motorhome.

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By the time we arrived in Kellogg the sky was beginning to clear as the fire was on the west side of us at that point.

Crystal Gold Mine

The Rv park where we are staying and the Crystal Gold Mine share the same location.  We toured the mine in the afternoon.  We wore hard hats with the names (bottom row) Puddin, Bashful, Stinky Miner and Trouble.  Top Row - Sneezy, Slim and Bam Bam

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The old mine was closed from 1899 to 1999 and totally sealed up.  Over those one hundred years filled up with water.  Supposedly, no-one knew that mine was here.  When the owner was creating the RV park, he was looking for a water source and noticed a trickle of water coming from the base of the mountain.  He used a backhoe to dig into the side of the mountain and all of a sudden  water gushed out of the mountain and shot the back hoe 100 yards towards the interstate. (The driver wasn’t hurt).

FLASHBACK:  In 1967 my hometown of Montgomery, WV was flooded when an overpass  from the bridge over the railroad tracks to 2nd Avenue was being constructed.  The construction crew inadvertently hit an old underground coal mine shaft and the water gushed down the mountain and flooded the middle of town.  Many of the department stores had basements and all of the basements flooded, including my dad’s office of the Bureau of Mines which was located in the basement of the Post Office)

Anyway, water was left in this shaft of the gold mine and  two rainbow trouts were placed there to show the tourists how clean the water is.  Those two fish should be a lot bigger because they are fed on every tour that goes through.

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Our guide pointed out the different minerals in the mine.  He said the gold was mined from the seams of quartz.

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Along with the VERY small amount of gold we saw, we also saw silver, manganese and copper.

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Afterwards we were able to have an hour to pan for gold.  None of us found any gold, but we did find some small beautiful rocks that the owners dumped in the mix.

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In the evening we played Phase 10 until our quitting time of 10:00.

Trip Statistics

  • We drove 60 miles from Spokane to Kellogg..  Trip total distance travelled in motorhome is 4,461miles
  • We didn’t drive the CRV today.  Touring total is still 1832 miles.  Total trip for both vehicles is 6,293 miles
  • We stayed at the Crystal Gold Mine RV Park  for $41.15.  Total campground cost is $1,590..47 or an average of $39.62 per night
  • We’ve spent $2,366.23 on gasoline.  The last fillup was $3.599 per gallon
  • We’ve spent 801.88 for tours and admissions and $1,236 on groceries and eating out.