Idaho Memories in the Rain
Tonight I am seeing a lot of AR posts from Northern Idaho, Rain Silverhawk is on a selling streak with lots of recently sold posts, Mark Don McInnes, Associate Broker tells us about a very rainy week that they are having.
Seeing all of these posts reminded me of my own pleasant memories in the northern tip of this fine state.
I was just finishing up my 4th year of college and heading out there to work my second season with the Forest Service.
My job was not exactly a forestry position, rather it was a hiking position. I was hired as the lead man on a two man crew to hike as many miles of remote trails as possible, checking for problems like rock slides and fallen trees, then repairing the damages before moving on to a new trail the next week.
Occasionally we would get a few days off from these long marches in areas with very thin air to help with problems on the crews that were constructing new trails.
Like the YCC crew that found about a thousand yellow jacket nests while digging a stream-side trail near a campground. Or drilling rock and blasting out a mountainside in preparation for the Sierra Club volunteers that would be constructing new trail there later in the summer.
My partner on these long hikes was a high school kid who was also the local football star who made me feel like a bit of a wimpy flat-lander when we got up into the higher elevations, but with him along we were sure to cover a lot of miles, even if it nearly killed me.
We did not instantly become close friends, he had little respect for a college kid, and I was a little shocked by some of his militia stories.
Stories like the day that he and his buddies put on their cammo and brought their guns to school to do a school takeover, I knew that I was in a different land when he told me that not only were they not arrested but the administration thought it was kind of amusing.
Clearly this was a unique place and a different time than the one we live in now.
My boss here was a very impressive woman who made my partner and I along with wonder woman look like wimps. I still remember her nearly sprinting up 5 miles of steep mountain with a full pack to the sight where she was doing the blasting. Yes, she was also the blasting expert.
It was a great summer, with lots of sights to see, lots of steep mountains to climb, and lots of good people to meet.
One day my boss took me to a remote campsite that she said was recently used by the guy from the movie "the falcon and the snowman", while he was trying to escape to Canada.
My partner and his militia group were not afraid of much, not even the government, but he did tell me that everyone was afraid to go near the pot growing hippies who camped out in parts of the mountains growing their crops.
When I was not camped out on the trail somewhere, I lived in a bunkhouse in Bonner's Ferry with a great group of people from around the country like Eva, an Eskimo girl who was a forestry student at the University of Idaho at Moscow, and Billy and Kenny from Tuskegee University who were a little freaked out about grizzlies, and another Bob who introduced me to Christian Rock music.
I sure wish that we had Facebook back then, maybe we would still be in contact.
Well at least I have a few AR friends from this great place, maybe I should stop by and see what Marte Cliff and Janna Scharf are writing about today.
Though I took lots of great pics while out there, none could be found tonight so enjoy these from the morgue files.