Some of my fondest memories are of riding my horse through the sagebrush on our family ranch, which sat between Shoshone and Richfield. Recently, when I went back to visit our ranch, I flashed on images of my father walking down a dirt path next to the Little Wood River wearing a white shirt, straw cowboy hat, and a shovel perched on his right shoulder. Continue reading →
Four years ago, when I first visited Stricker Ranch, formerly called Rock Creek Station, I had no idea it would become one of my favorite places.
Since that first visit, I’ve returned many times to the property, which lies along the Oregon Trail about six miles south of Hansen in Idaho’s Magic Valley. I always enjoy imagining the history of the area, walking the trail, and talking with the caretaker, Gary Guy.
On a sunny but chilly day in early winter of 2012, Gary agreed to answer questions for a book I was writing about purported hauntings in the area. By then, we met as friends. I had heard stories about the old-style ranch house being haunted, and one of the first questions I had for him was if he had experienced anything paranormal while living there. Gary, who has a white beard and was wearing a light jacket that day, quickly confessed that he was a skeptic, but yes, something had happened that he couldn’t explain: shower curtains had moved of their own accord.
“Hmm,” I said. “Tell me about it.” Continue reading →
Since moving to the Magic Valley in 2008 from Seeley Lake, Montana, my time has been spent pursuing the interconnected hobbies of rail photography and railroad history, while admiring the area’s many scenic wonders. This pursuit of trains has taken me to many sleepy towns and pockets of natural beauty that are bypassed by the Interstates.
In many cases, these sights are either just out of view of the freeway or only a few miles’ drive away. Old towns now almost forgotten, such as Soda Springs, Lava Hot Springs, Minidoka, Shoshone, Gooding, Bliss, King Hill, Hammett, and Weiser, abound with natural charm. Each of these little burgs has a story to tell, history to be explored, and grace to be appreciated. Continue reading →