After leaving Hope behind, the path southward down Idaho became one long, undulating journey through the many shades of dun. I drove mostly in solitude, seeing more cows than cars, past miles and miles and miles of hay stubble. With the combination of the wildfire haze and the pallid, wan disc of the sun, it felt more like looking over sand dunes in a dust storm. There wasn’t much break in the visual monotony, which was tiring to my eyes. The only real excitement were the gigantic farm equipment appearances on the two lane roads. Massive in size, taking up most of the two lanes, the likes of which I’d never seen. Some, with their twisted augers of steel, looked like giant interstellar communication devices on wheels or weapons of war from a Mad Max movie.
From there I crossed into reservation lands, historical markers popping up left and right along the way. I stopped for a museum, but it was closed. Grain bins and railroads were a common sight as well. The drive had tired me, particularly the squinting into the distance due to low visibility, and I stayed in a rest area in tiny hamlet at the edge of the reservation an hour short of my target city. This turned out to be a very good decision.
The next morning I took off, refreshed a bit from a good night’s sleep, and immediately confronted long, high grades descending into the area known as Hell’s Canyon. Miles and miles of twisting, steep roads, with the beautiful Snake River apparently determining the shape of the road, lol. It is stunningly gorgeous, and I wished that someone else had been driving so that I could swivel my head like the tourist I was. Although it was a difficult drive, the scenery outdid anything I have seen in my adventures so far. Giant conifers, deeply etched mountainsides and a river that is one minute calm and serene, soon punctuated with raging rapids and tiny islands in its midst. There are many places for gawkers and fishermen to pull off and indulge themselves. However, you can’t really see most of them in advance and trying to stop a bus going downhill in a space meant for a car or two wasn’t really an option for me. It is about this time I became aware of how annoyed many drivers behind me were, and the ‘slow driver pullover’ signs popped up. I used every single one that I could, watching ten or more vehicles rush past me in relief. We are all seemingly in a big hurry to get somewhere.
I finally arrived in Riggins, which is as cute as can be. I hope to return someday for a leisurely stroll around and about. Again, though, not much advance notice to stop and pull in somewhere. Fishing seems to definitely be the name of the game in that little town teetering at the edge of the river.
Soon after though, I did find a rest area where I took a nice break by the Little Salmon River and ate lunch, taking enough time to stretch my legs, do a little meditation, and frolic with a child. She seemed surprised to find a grown-up sitting on a rock by the water, and soon considered me a captive audience for practicing her rock throwing skills. The pure delight on a child’s face after a particularly strong rock toss was radiant.
I scrabbled around on the riverbank looking for things of interest. Of course, this big heart rock in the river caught my eye…
Fall was beginning to do it’s thing here as well.
Like the driftwood piled up on the waters edge at Hope, these rocks seemed out of place so far up the banks.
I find an archway of greenery by which to approach.
Rested, stretched and fed, I return to the bus to carry on and immediately encounter rock blasting road crews. It was interesting to watch, if a little concerning. I was glad to be on the side NOT passing under the falling rocks!
The adventure continues later, but it’s time for me to go for now. I’m off into Utah today to hopefully sell the van this week, gather my stuff and revisit some places I really enjoyed previously, before returning to my temporary home here in the RV park to await registration and licensing.
~SE somewhat in motion