When the railroad was abandoned everything was left behind except the rails. What was left behind includes old spikes which can easily pierce a tire. Your top driving speed is about 15 mph due to the necessity of driving on the old ties and gravel and at the same time keep an eye out for spikes. You must also traverse several high steel trestles that have been rusting away since 1938. The drive turned out to be a tedious and very nerve wracking but we made it. The relief you feel upon arrival at the end of the road is tempered by the realization you must do it again to get out! Nevertheless, after parking on the top of a moraine leveled for that purpose, we gathered our luggage and set out for the lodge.. A ‘local’ told us the reason for this high parking location was the possibility of a flash flood when glacial melt water, impounded by a melting ice dam, suddenly gushes from the glacier when the dam melts. We then proceeded to walk across the dry riverbed on planks set out to mark the trail, met our van, and went to the Lodge where we promptly forgot about the possible flash flood as our rental car was safe on the high and dry morrine. We gave little though to the dry riverbed we had crossed.
Patty and I had a very interesting time as we explored the ruins of this large ore processing facility. We had guides to keep us out of trouble. I explained to the guides how I thought the facility processed the copper ore. I hope I was correct in my analysis of the purpose of the old machinery! I suspect I bored a lot of people to death. We hiked the trails that led us to the glacier. and when we left the hotel we were on high alert due to the chance of meeting a bear. Do you know how much a distant bush looks like a bear? A lot in our experience!
It was time for us to leave and I imagined the trip out would be much like the trip in. I was a bit apprehensive about the long slow drive but rationalized my apprehensions away by the simple fact we had made it this far OK and it would probably be OK on the way out. After all, our car was safely high and dry, so what could go wrong?