Monday, October 4, 2021

Idaho Cruising

Last weekend I took at two and a half day road trip through beautiful Idaho. I left Friday after classes and drove to Mountain Home. I had one stop in mind. It all depended on the sun.

I took the exit for Eden off of I-84. The sun was just setting

A lot of farmers were still out and about. It looked like potato harvest was going full throttle. 

A got to Minidoka Internment Camp (where Japanese-Americans were held during WWII) with just enough light for me to briefly explore.

Honoring the names of camp members who served in WWII fighting to defend freedom, while their family members where held here without freedoms.

The fire station that later became a farm building

Next morning I drove through downtown Boise with a stop at the state capitol.

Lewis and Clark meeting Chief Twisted Hair of the Nez Perce. As I would learn later in the day, relations were not always so cordial.

This statue of Lincoln was erected in 1915 by the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic. I'm thinking it may have been in response to the many Confederate statues going up during this time of Jim Crow.

An impressive legacy.

Thanks to the gardener who planted the zinnias.

And thanks to the artists who created this mural.

I have always wanted to go to Emmett Idaho and so I did. It is in a beautiful valley north of Boise. From Wikipedia I learned that it was not named after some distant Emmett relative, but rather the first name of the son of the first postmaster of the small mining and agricultural community. 

Emmett Idaho from Freezeout Hill.

The name Emmett is everywhere. 

I then headed north along highway 55 which follows the north fork of the Payette River. Most of my travels followed the path of rivers.

I stopped in McCall for a picnic lunch.

I then followed the Little Salmon and then Salmon River north via Highway 95 to Grangeville.

Just before Grangeville I stopped at the White Bird Battlefield--the first of many battles that resulted in the displacement of the Nez Perce from much of northern Idaho. 

The battle hill.

Below is the small town of White Bird which sits where the Nez Perce were encamped.

The battle site from above.

Notice the zig zags of the White Bird grade on the right and the faster and newer US 95 on the left.

From Grangeville I drove along the Clearwater River via Stites and a small corner of the Nez Perce Reservation.

Then I followed US 12 along the Lochsa River--a tributary of the Clearwater. It was a beautiful winding road through forested mountains which followed close to the path of Lewis and Clark.

 I drove up and over the Yolo Pass.


While driving I finished listening to this wonderful book about the intersection of biology and indigenous beliefs and practices related to land, plants and animals. I highly recommend this book. It made me want to be a better steward of this earth. It was a great fit for driving through the beautiful Nez Perce lands.

I underestimated the drive time this day of travel would take. So sadly I ended up driving from Hamilton Montana to Salmon Idaho in the dark. I spent the night in Salmon. Next morning there was the river to great me.

A nice Book of Mormon name (originally spelled Limhi)

I imagine the Ten Commandment monument was removed to here from a more public location.

Morning along the Salmon River.

Sawtooth Range.

Took an unplanned side trip to see the beautiful Redfish Lake--named after the red Sockeye salmon that spawn here 900 miles upstream from the Pacific.

The Salmon River begins down in the valley.

Drove through Sun Valley. Finally a few more fall colors. Last time I was here was for a family ski trip when I was in elementary school.

Big Cinder Butte

Final stop of the day was to explore Craters of the Moon National Monument. I remember a stop here on a family vacation as a child. Nearly 60 years later and I returned.

Silent Cone

Big Cinder Butte from the beginning of my hike around Broken Top

Big Sink

Broken Top

Broken Top

Big Cinder Butte from atop Inferno Cone

Spatter Cones

The top of Inferno Cone

Spatter Cone

Inferno Cone

Back home via Blackfoot and then I-15. A wonderful drive. 

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