Not much is required for a good Zip Line course. A few high-altitude hills or trees. Some poles stuck into the ground. Wire. Harnesses and helmets. That’s about it. Nice views are a plus, but optional. After all, when you’re flying through the air at 45mph, looking around isn’t a priority. But the mountain vistas on display during our run through Silver Streak’s course were too beautiful to completely ignore. Most of my zips went like this: terror (“WAGHHHHHHH!”), admiring nature’s beauty (“AHHHHHHHH!”), and back to terror (“AAYYYYGGGHGHGHHG!”).
Big Ed Pulaski was probably as famous as it’s possible for a firefighter to be. He invented the Pulaski: the hatchet/pick-axe tool which has become the fireman’s most important weapon. And as a young man, Big Ed’s accomplishments were even more notable; unless you’re unimpressed by something like saving 40 men during the biggest wildfire in North American history.
The history of Wallace is synonymous with that of silver mining in the Coeur d’Alene Mountains. The town was founded when silver was discovered, thrived as long as the mineral was abundant, and faded once the mines closed up shop. The Sierra Silver Mine Tour confidently describes itself as “the most popular, interesting, and instructive tour in the Northwest”, and offers an excellent primer to both Wallace and the industry which defined it.
Word had spread around Wallace that the Feds were on their way in, and the town’s bordellos had to close up fast. Under the vigilant eyes of Madame Ginger, the working girls of The Oasis grabbed what they could carry and left everything else behind. Their departure marked a sudden and unexpected end to prostitution in Wallace. The year was 1988.
Without a doubt, Wallace is among the most unique towns that we’ve ever set foot in. The entire downtown district is on the National Register of Historic Places. It had active bordellos until 1988. And leading theoretical physicists agree that Wallace is the exact center of the universe!