As the Pioneers

A Day Trip to Prairie

Story and Photos by John Evans

Perched high upon caliche ground in the spring of 2020, my friend Tom and I, relative newcomers to Idaho, stood amazed by the hidden gem of Prairie on Smith Creek, a tributary of the South Fork Boise River. I particularly relished the sight of this immaculate, unspoiled territory because it was the fulfillment of a dream I’d had since age nineteen. That day at Prairie is now even more important to me than it was then, because I’ll probably never be there again.

As a teenager, all I thought of were the mountains, rivers, and lakes to explore here. I watched documentaries of the Snake River and other waterways in the high landscape, which convinced me that Idaho was the one state that offered it all. My state of Texas was too hot and too humid for my senses, and I felt that cooler weather with fresh Rocky Mountain air and four distinct seasons was for me. Somehow, I knew it was inevitable that the Gem State would one day be my home. Even so, I never did visit, and my lovely wife Judith and I didn’t move here until March 2014, after my retirement at age fifty-nine.

Judith, who is originally from New Hampshire, was obsessed with the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which was why she moved to the West before we met. She responded well to our relocation from Texas to Boise.

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John G. Evans

About John G. Evans

John G. Evans is a photographer and writer with two books of poetry: Vehemence: In Silence, We Weep and I AM: The Tiny Mustard Seed. John says his hope is “to render a healing component in other’s minds and hearts that everything works out for the better good.”

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