Author Archives: Francisco Lozano

About Francisco Lozano

Francisco Lozano moved to Garden Valley with his wife Donna in 2012. Born in El Salvador, he immigrated to Los Angeles in 1984. A former pastry chef, he also studied photojournalism at Los Angeles Community College, and says he is “loving Idaho’s outdoors and photographing it.” See his work at franciscolozano.zenfolio.com

Solitude

Two years ago, I once again took up watching the old TV series Little House on the Prairie. When I first saw it as a child in black-and-white, the program spawned fantasies of living in the wilderness.

But I lived in Los Angeles, and remained there for almost thirty years, until my wife and I moved to Garden Valley in 2012. No sooner did I realize we would relocate to the mountains of Idaho than I started watching that old show again, as if it would prepare me mentally for the change of habitat and the cultural shock I was about to experience.

Nowadays, I often find myself going alone into the wilderness, and have learned to cherish this solitude, although I realize it can be dangerous at times. Some places are accessible only by ATV or motorcycle, unless you have a horse, and on those occasions even my dog can’t come along. I now do some of the same things the children on the show did, such as going fishing alone at a creek with a lunch sack and sometimes with the dog. I had never fished in my life and, to my surprise, I caught two trout the first time I tried. Continue reading

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Drive-by Rescue

The flurries falling on my head made me feel like dancing in the snow. I looked up to feel them on my face, and the sight struck me as surreal.

I was as excited as a kid, because at forty-six years old, I was experiencing my first snowfall. This was in late autumn of 2013, out by Alder Creek in Garden Valley, where winter’s show was being preceded by fall colors. I had stopped the car because two elk were in the middle of the road.

It wasn’t long after this experience that the challenges of driving in winter conditions led to trouble. Continue reading

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Lentils and Rice

I had lost count of how many days we had eaten lentils and rice. The fire building duty that morning was assigned to a boy I’ll call John, a resident of Project Patch who struggled with self-confidence.

The assistant director of the boys’ dorm, Wes Smith, explained to me that when a young man built a fire, it also helped to build his sense of self. I had recently joined the direct care staff of this non-profit ranch for at-risk youth in Garden Valley and had plenty to learn in my own right—but it was taking John a long while to get the fire started. Continue reading

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