A Nick in the Desert
By Diana Hooley
A strong agricultural state like Idaho has hundreds of little farming communities, but not many can lay claim to two significant historic trails running through them. Indian Cove may not have a post office or a gas station, but both the Oregon Trail and the Centennial Trail cut across the farm fields and sagebrush plains of our valley. Not that this fact alone commends Indian Cove. Many people have commented on the wild and rugged beauty of the area and on its niche-like quality, tucked as it is next to the Snake River Canyon.
Forty-six years ago, when I first met my soon-to-be husband, Dale, I had a confusing conversation about where or what Indian Cove was exactly.
“Let me get this straight. You went to school in the town of Glenns Ferry and you pick up your mail in Hammett, but you live in a place called Indian Cove.”
I looked at him carefully to see if I understood.
“You’re used to city and towns back east. Just wait. You’ll see,” he smiled, confidently forecasting a future with me in this Indian Cove place.
We did have a lifetime together, and I eventually did understand about this farming valley. The first time I came here in 1974, I stood in a potato field listening to the repetitive “tuw tuw tuw” of pressurized sprinklers shooting water around me. Things were growing here—and yet at the same time it was so peaceful. I could get attached to such a place. Lunch was at the house of Dale’s parents. We had iced mint tea and baked chicken on a picnic table beside their home. When I stood up, I could see a sliver of the Snake River beyond the alfalfa field. The canyon rose in the distance, a monolithic wall of rock and sagebrush.