The Mountainside Was Ours By Barbara Morgan People say we Boomers enabled our Millennials to excess, buying them chemistry sets and computers. Encouraging worm dissection on the back porch Science and Nature Club. Enthusing about their thespian productions.
Each year during the third week of June, roughly 350 musicians from thirty states and their fans congregate at Weiser for the National Oldtime Fiddlers’ Contest and Festival. Fiddling arrived in Weiser with covered wagon emigrants in 1863, and contests were reported as early as 1914. The current festival and contest, first held in 1953, now ranks among fiddling’s “Big Three,” alongside the Grand Master Fiddle Championships in Nashville and the World Championships of Fiddling in Crockett, Texas. Continue reading →
Those were the days, my friend; we thought they’d never end.” I liked that song.
I‘ve been there.
In 1954 the Weiser River was running clear when the spring chinooks turned into it from the Snake, a rare thing. Much of the drainage of the Weiser had been devastated by abusive logging and grazing, and when the hard rains came or the snow melted quickly in the spring the red mud flowed into the river and I never saw the Weiser high and clear. Streams in the wilderness may be up and flowing through the willows and yet be so clear you can count the pebbles on the bottom. But they know not the cow and bulldozer.
We got the word from Fred Einsphar on May 30. He had a ranch along the river from about halfway between the town and Galloway Dam, and he was a sportsman. Herb Carlson, Clare Conley, and I were there early the next morning. There were no other anglers.
Herb and Clare had spinning tackle. I had my nine-foot, five-and-a-quarter-ounce Winston and a three-and fifth-eighths-inch Hardy Perfect reel filled with backing, monofilament, and a shooting head—my steelhead tackle. I intended to use nothing else. I believed that salmon would hit a fly as well in Idaho as in the tidewater pools of the Eel and this was the chance to test my theory. Continue reading →
The last thing I expected after finishing the Seventh Annual Weiser River Trail Bike Ride last June was to be perfectly brined from the experience—a flawless crust, of which I was not even aware.
I had often thought of riding a bike on the trail, which at eighty-four miles is the longest rail trail in Idaho, climbing from desert hills near Weiser through desert canyons, rich farmland valleys, forested canyons and alpine meadows, all on a gentle riverside grade. What I wanted to do was ride the upper twenty-eight miles past Council and heading toward New Meadows, because not only did this section lead mostly under shade trees, but it was the steepest downhill stretch on the route. Continue reading →