Thursday, August 19, 2010

Time traveling Thursday

We pretty well have today's schedule thought through so we don't have to do no "thinking out loud" here on El Blog.  We've been enjoying this Motel Interlude and now it's time to do some time traveling again.  One of the best things about coming here is the journey to and from Salmon.  We drive through the longest north-south valley in the entire Pacific Northwest!  The mountain ranges that tower on both sides include some of Idaho's highest and most picturesque peaks.  The glacial moraines that drape the foothill slopes are geometrically enchanting.  There's plenty of history along the highway because a big chunk of the route is the official Lewis & Clark Trail and also the Nez Perce Trail.  There are many visible remnants of the long vanished Gilmore and Pacific Railroad and the tiny hamlet of Leadore reeks of a bygone era.  You can visualize the pre-settlement homelands of the Lemhi Shoshones and you know the flowing water is already filled with spawning salmon that have traveled over 700 miles from the ocean while climbing a mile above sea level.  The long largely lonely valley was once home to extensive buffalo herds and some caves along the way document the longest continuous record of buffalo hunting in North America dating back beyond 10,000 years ago!  There's even a ghost outpost of early Mormon Manifest Destiny.  Almost all of the early Mormon "missions" survived and many prospered and have become fairly large cities.  Not so with Fort Lemhi.  Brigham Young sent a mission up yonder along the Lemhi River was back in the 1850's.  It failed to survive and only a few remnants of their thick fort walls are left as evidence.  As LBRs know, we love history in all of its crazy forms and permutations.  Not only is our route home today literally dripping with chunky nuggets of significant history, it's a wildly enticing ride through a backcountry wanderland.  We'd love to be on top of every peak, up every canyon and camped beside those flowing waters.  Ah, so little time and so many places to go and things to do!

Cheers, jp

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