Bicycling Adventure: Wallace, Idaho
On September 1, hubbie and I took a bicycle trip on the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, an old railroad line that is now a popular bicycle path. We got on in Kellogg, home of Silver Mountain Ski Resort and the world's longest gondola.
When I first became acquainted with Kellogg, Smelterville and Wallace, Idaho, back in the mid 1970's, it was an economically depressed silver mining area. The air was polluted. You could see a distinctive, reverse tree-line. Trees would grow above a certain area on the hillsides, but not below it. There were newspaper articles about kids having lead poisoning. Then there was a terrible mine explosion at the Sunshine mine, and the mine was closed for a time, reopened, closed--read its history in Wikipedia. In the community's attempt to revive a dying location, local businessmen got together and built Silver Mountain Ski Resort.
Hubbie and I rode from the trail head at Kellogg to Wallace and back, a 23-mile (round trip), leisurely afternoon bike trip.
We were thirsty by the time we got to Wallace, so we stopped for a micro brew made by Wallace Brewery.
Wallace's claim to fame were its brothels, which continued to exist until 1987. More on that, later.
Here's a picture of the Oasis Bordello, now a museum. We took a tour and learned some very interesting things about prostitution in the area. This bordello was shut down in 1987. The madam suspected a FBI raid, and so she and her girls fled, leaving absolutely everything (except their money). You can tour the girls' rooms. It's said that they made about $100,000/year. They were on a prostitution circuit, which meant they were rotated out of the area about every four months. They worked a 16-hour shift, seven days a week, and saw up to 40 men each night. Prices for their services were listed. In 1987, for $15.00, a man could spend 5-8 minutes with a prostitute, and have standard sex. Sessions were timed with a kitchen timer. As I glanced in the rooms, I noticed reading material. Any guesses about what that was?
Torrid bodice rippers.
We started our trip with lunch at the Red Robin in Spokane, and ended it with dinner--a Cinnabon--at the West Valley Mall in Spokane.
It was a delightful Saturday in early September.