Fall break this year has been a bit of a staycation for us. Sleeping in, working on projects around the house, and just hanging out. One day, we took the Bronco for a drive up to the Uintas, just cruising up the Mirror Lake Highway.
After getting a late start, we made our way up Parley's Canyon, grabbed a quick lunch in Park City, then continued on to Kamas. By this time, the kids were getting a bit restless, so we made a short stop to get out the DVD player. However, the power outlets in the truck weren't working, so the kids were going to be stuck looking out the windows. Bummer. They weren't sure they'd survive, but they made it somehow.
The last time we were in the area, I had wanted to make a stop by Blacks Fork, but we never made it. This time though, we made sure it was included on our list of stops. Blacks Fork had been first settled in the 1870's, as part of the timber operations in the area.
Blacks Fork was first settled during the 1870's, serving as a supply and housing outpost for timber companies operating along the northern slope of the Uinta Mountains. Funding for the construction and influx of workers was likely provided by the timber contractor, thus making it a company town rather than a general community. Timber was in high demand for railroad ties, mining timbers, building purposes and charcoal production throughout the west.
More information on Blacks Fork can be found in the Ghost Town Database over at Expedition Utah.
When we arrived there, some folks had setup their trailer already, and were using the area as basecamp for their hunting.
The remains of the buildings up there were still in decent shape, and we didn't find much else other than the buildings. There was an occasional piece of glass or bottle cap, but all stuff that's very likely more modern trash. Did find a few spots where rocks had been placed to mark pathways, and a handful of the buildings had some good-sized trees growing inside them. We had a good time exploring and allowing the kids to just get out and stretch their legs a bit by running around.
Eventually, it started to get late, so we started to make our way home. We made a stop by the area that used to be known as the "Fairy Forest". We've visited in the past, but had heard that there's been a pretty big cleanup effort underway. The difference was incredible. There's still plenty of painted rocks out there, but most of the area has been cleaned up really well. Other than the paint, there's not much of a trace of anything else there. Give it a few years, and things will likely be back to normal as the paint fades and washes away.
Our original plans had included dinner in Kamas, but by the time we made it back, most of the places we'd considered had already closed for the night. That moved dinner to Heber, but by the time we arrived, the thought of a Dole Whip and Timp Burger in Midway was a lot more appealing, so off we went. After filling our bellies, it was finally time to head home, and to call it a day.