Saturday, July 18, 2009

On Thursday, Mom, Lorri, Earl and I took a tour around the Stanley area.

The first stop was the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery about 5 miles south of town. A couple of outside ponds held adult Chinook Salmon...yum! (Unfortunately, I'm sure they'd frown on anyone throwing a line in!) The Visitor's Center had some interesting displays, but the most interesting part of the whole self-guided tour was a chance to step into one of the large trailers outside the rearing ponds where an automated adipose fin clipping operation was going on. A young man explained the whole process to us.

The large automated fin clipping trailers cost about $1.1 million, but can be moved from hatchery to hatchery (the adipose fin is clipped to distinguish hatchery-raised fish from the wild population). Using sophisticated computer-aided photography, the machine sorts the sub-yearling fish by length. Pneumatic gates divert the fish in tubes toward one of six snipping lines. Each fish then slides down to the end of a tiny chute, where an automatic clipper precisely clips the fin. Those that somehow slip through without getting their adipose fin clipped, are done by hand. These automated trailers can clip about 90,000 fish per day.

We then headed east on SR-75 to Bonanza and Custer, two mining towns that are now ghost towns. Our first stop was the cemetery in Bonanza:

We then went further up the hill to "Boot Hill." There are only three people buried here: Agnes Elizabeth (Lizzie) King, Richard King (Lizzie's first husband) and Robert Hawthorne (Lizzie's second husband). A sign at the site told the bizarre story of these three people plus Charles Franklin.

The next stop was Custer where several building remain. One of the buildings now contains the museum and another, what used to be a saloon, contains a gift shop.

Brockman Cabin


Empire Saloon (Gift Shop)

Yankee Fork Gold Dredge


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