To wrap up our stay at Lookout Pass, we made another trip to Wallace and hiked Polaski's Trail. The trail leads to the mine where 45 firefighters took refuge when they were trapped by raging forest fires. This sign tells the concise version but you can easily imagine the terror behind the story.
It was a nice four-mile round trip for us.
The trail follows pretty Placer Creek with a gradual elevation increase.
Along the way we grazed on thimble berries and black raspberries. Here Maynard has Nancy test some for safety.
If you read the sign, it says that Pulaski held his men in the tunnel. Actually, when one man tried to run out in panic, Pulaski pulled his gun and threatened to shoot anybody who left. That took a lot of dedication and guts. He told the men to lie down and held blankets over the entrance as long as possible. Eventually, they all fell unconscious, and six of them suffocated. Even when the fire passed and they regained consciousness, can you imagine what they found outside the mine? The creek was full of ash to make it undrinkable and trees were down everywhere.
Although Pulaski is not really known for this heroic act, he later invented the Pulaski - a fire fighting tool that is still a standard today.
The trail had many information boards that went into more detail, some of them in Pulaski's own words. It was pretty much a perfect hike - the right length, pretty, interesting, and informative.