During autumn in Idaho, the days are still warm but mornings and evenings call for sweatshirts. An eighty-degree autumn day doesn’t have the sharp edges of an eighty-degree summer day.
First frost can be as early as August. Rising early requires a light, because the sun is grabbing an extra forty. Continue reading →
I drive north four-and-half miles on Highway 93, the only paved road from Salmon, until I reach the Lemhi County community of Carmen. In 2015, its population is an estimated 392, and almost every corner seems to hold a house, yet the community is still secluded enough to provide plenty of space between the homes. Most of them are situated behind trees or down dirt roads, creating the illusion that Carmen is empty, maybe even uninhabited. The neighbors keep to themselves in this quiet place, yet they welcome newcomers with open arms. The residences extend along the highway, known locally as the Big Flat, which looks just like its nickname until the land reaches the hillsides and the cliffs, used long ago as buffalo jumps by the people of Sacajawea, the Lemhi Shoshone, also known as Agni Dika (Salmon Eaters). Buffalo jumps were cliffs over which tribal members would drive the animals, while others waited below with bows and spears. Nowadays, the cliffs are much admired by tourists and by residents like me, who drive past them often. Continue reading →