I have a hard time accepting that towns die and are abandoned. People pour their hopes and dreams into their homes with families and friends. They marry, have children, and live their lives. Then the town slowly dies and they walk way leaving everything. On this trip I’m visiting some of these remnants of the past in mining towns. I can’t explain to myself what intrigues me about the abandoned towns. But I go and walk the old streets and see what remains. Many times it is only stone foundations that remain and a hollow in the ground, a little reminder of the people who lived their lives at the place.
I went to Georgetown Lake to camp and explore the area. Northeast of the lake is the abandoned town of Southern Cross.
East of Philipsburg are the remains of the town of Granite. It took a bit of searching to find to road that headed up to the remains of the old town. I finally found the road with the following warning.
Huh? Off I went. The road wasn’t bad. I think it was there to warn people who aren’t use to driving on gravel/dirt roads.
- Georgetown Lake is nowhere close to being in the middle of nowhere. This is a summer vacation hot spot.
- Cost to camp at the BLM Stuart Mill Bay Campground was $18/night. Seemed high for no utilities except vaulted toilets. But I reminded myself that I had a waterfront home for the night. Something I could never afford in Seattle.
- During my search for the Red Lion Mine I drove up County Road 242. I stopped at the Cable Mountain Campground. I thought it was a nice place with some sites good for solar. Beyond the campground there are places to boondock.
- I missed seeing the Red Lion mine. When looking at Google maps back at the campground I saw that I stopped just short it. My directions were to drive four miles on the County Road. Wrong. I saw I should have driven about 4.6 miles. You may also want to try to see the Big Bill mine if you go to Red Lion.