And a Tale to Tell
By David E. Metcalf
The line of hikers stopped suddenly and our voices went up in alarm. Was everyone okay? This was a pleasant southwestern Idaho summer morning in 1973 and we teenagers were on a hike to Jump Creek Canyon. My brother Loren and I, two cousins, Dan and Steven, and two of our pastor’s sons, Mark and Wayne, had packed a lunch and had headed to the canyon in the Owyhee Mountains, a popular place for locals to visit and hike, and only about a half-hour drive from where we lived.
Our homes were in the middle of irrigated farmland near the Snake River on its way through southern Idaho from its Wyoming origin near the Grand Teton Mountains. It flowed past us through Hells Canyon into western Washington and finally dumped into the Columbia River en route to the Pacific Ocean. We lived in the Homedale area, part of what is affectionately known as Treasure Valley, which certainly is full of treasure, although not gold, silver, or oil. Its treasure is the water, the soil, and the people of pioneer spirit who settled in the area, removing sagebrush and rocks, digging canals, watching out for rattlesnakes, battling mosquitoes in the summer, and bringing forth fruit from the ground with their hard work and devotion to the land and to their families. Its treasure is also in the memories of those who were blessed to live there, including me.