For the past five or six years Larry has gone to Dragon*Con over Labor Day Weekend. Things were just the same this year. He left for Atlanta and the boys and I were left behind to find fun for ourselves. I was so stir crazy and wanted to find a quick day trip the boys and I could go on. I searched the Internet for things to do in Ogden, I didn't find much that looked very interesting. I thought about going to Logan but decided against that as well. I pretty much gave up on the idea all together until Natalie called and mentioned that Jay had been toying with the idea of going to a ghost town in Ophir. I was SO excited and jumped all over the the idea. They may not have really wanted to go but I don't think Natalie could turn me down after I got so excited about the possibility of a day trip.
Larry had the camera so I relied on Jay and Natalie to take pictures. Jay captured the excitement of the day and posted it to their blog http://rudelfamily.blogspot.com Below you can read all about our ghost town adventures. (Thanks, Jay, for making this post easy for me!)
With John and Donna gone to California, and Larry attending Dragoncon, Shannon and boys and the Rudel clan decided to go on a little quest to see a ghost town. Ophir is located on the other side of the Oquirrh Mountians south of Tooele. This was quite an adventure and definitely more than what we bargained for.
The original glory of what used to be the town has all but
weathered completely away except for a few buildings.
The kids thought they were on a tram in Disneyland. It looks like they are totally entertained.
However, the tram is up on blocks and hasn't moved an inch in the past 10 years.
Not really sure why the tram is there in the first place?
Ophir also has an old-fashioned phone booth, the kind that Clark Kent would use to change into his Superman outfit. The Mayor informed us that the phone company would charge him $200 a month for keeping it operational, so he said that the booth would grow old just like Ophir.
This is the old time school house. The kids thought it was really neat. I don't think they have ever seen a chalkboard and certainly not the inkwells. They also had a Dunce Hat on the corner desk.
All the kids fought to wear it. Have you ever seen such an attentive group of students?
Strider taking everything in stride. He looks like he might be a road worker one day!
This is Walt, the Mayor of Ophir. Where do you begin with him? He most likely thought that we were a bunch of polygamist with the 5 kids, 2 females and 1 husband. We also told him we were from the other side of the mountain and that we both used to teach in Herriman. When we approached his house he called the kids over. He had a trap-like contraption and wanted the kids to look inside to see if he had caught anything. Natalie said this was similar to the mongoose trap John used to have. Of course, as soon as he opens the door this stuffed rodent-looking thing flies out of the trap scaring the kids to death. As we entered into a casual conversation with him, he became interested in sharing the entire history of Ophir with us. He gave us the Grand Tour of this ghost town turned RV Camp resort for the holiday weekend.
This is a marker Walt erected to certify that in 1887 on this exact spot "absolutely nothing happened".
Walt informed us that we could not spend the night in Ophir because the Hilton was full!
The Ritz was also booked up for the weekend.
I know things are going down the toilet quickly in Ophir. However, this IS the toilet in the Ophir jail.
The boys were all intrigued by this" crappy" contraption.
This is one of the many mine shafts in Ophir. Walt wasn't going to let us leave without showing us a mine. Again, we got more than we bargained for.
The kids are apprehensive about entering the mine. The sign said Danger! Keep OUT!
Walt is wondering why a dead dear is hanging in the shaft!
Without missing a beat Walt said, "Well, does anyone want to pet the nice deer?"
The mine is about 2 miles down and 2 miles south. It has a lot of sumps (underwater lakes)
and faults in the mountain above so it blows very cold air out of the shaft.
It was like instant A/C. The deer was there because it was cold.
The kids would have liked to take this old mine car down the shaft.
The Rudel's in front of a mine shaft.
Sydney not agreeing to smile which created a few tears.
The Rudel's in front of a stone building.
Walt teased us with saying the road over the Oquirrh's to Butterfield Canyon was a great drive for scenery. However, the road was less than desirable. In other words, lunch $22, gas $25, new shocks and struts on Shannon's van $625, new oil pan $423...... but the view was priceless.
The kids on the edge of the cliff. The view was better than Dead Horse Point, near Moab.
Overall, it turned out to be a 7 and 1/2 hour adventure that was fun and exciting.
Just glad the van made it down the mountain and no one fell off the cliff.