Category Archives: 2012-11, November 2012 (Princeton)

The Crags by Pack Train

A Regular Tries the Bighorn Crags a New Way

Story and Photos by F.A. Loomis

Growing up in the Donnelly-McCall vicinity of Valley County, I was curious about the other side of the known universe, the eastern side of the wilderness area northwest of Challis. Sure, we had Big Creek, Monumental, the South and East Forks of the Salmon, Chamberlain Basin, Mackey Bar, and Flossie Lake. But what about that area fire fighters described as alpine heaven, that Middle Fork of the Salmon, which rafters had praised for the greatest day hiking they had ever done, and bighorn sheep enthusiasts had talked of as home to some of Idaho’s finest big-game prizes? Continue reading

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Growing up Connected

What It Means to Belong

By Dana L. Harris

I grew up in 1970s and ‘80s in the tiny town of McCammon, in the heart of southeastern Idaho’s Marsh Valley. It was a different time back then. We all trusted each other, because we knew each other, and our parents knew each other, and their parents knew each other, and our family histories were the living embodiment of the town’s founding history.

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Princeton–Spotlight

An Idaho Town That Survived Because It Had a School

My knowledge of Princeton begins with a monkey. My paternal grandfather, Robert Karr, was born and raised on Hatter Creek, which flows into the Palouse River on the south edge of Princeton. The four-mile walk into town took him about an hour, and on occasion he’d pick up bottles along the road to sell at the Princeton Tavern. A woman named Juanita ran the tavern, and Grandpa remembers her as trim and tidy, with a flowered dress and curled hair. Juanita had a monkey. Continue reading

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What Do You Do?

More often than occasionally I’m asked, “And what do you do?” An icebreaker, I suppose, that I should be prepared for.

Naturally, the person is asking what I do for a living. I hem, I haw, and then blurt an explanation that leaves the impression I’m a parolee, adjusting to life on the outside.

It’s not like I haven’t done things, been things. Maybe I should just choose one and go with it for the next museum reception, funeral visitation line, or church bazaar. What we “do” apparently defines us. So, I thought I’d review my vocations. There must be one that will elicit an, “Oh, that’s nice, I’m a racecar driver,” instead of bored and confused stares.

I polished chrome and welcomed members at the old Alpha Health Spa in Idaho Falls. On a quiet day, I stood too long in front of the sunlamp in the dressing room—during my break, of course—hoping to dry out my pimples before the junior prom. Some said my powder-blue leisure suit clashed with my new-look, shiny red face in the dance pictures.

I scrubbed turf from the grooves of golf clubs at the country club. I was one of the best, I must say. I can still see the glint of my braces in a polished nine-iron.

Still a teenager, I landed a job at Norton Fruit Company. This wasn’t my first job. I was wise to the ways the new guys were hazed by the old-timers. The creaky warehouse was packed with dry goods and fresh produce. The order-takers, the elusively exotic upstairs girls with long red fingernails and poofy hair, lowered clipboards filled with orders from their windows, always dancing my clipboard on a string, just out of reach. Eager to shine, I’d run to the ethylene-filled banana room and the swamp-cooled vegetable room, load my truck, a listing beat-down steed, and deliver happy fruit to Earl’s Food Liner, LeBaron’s Café, and Tam’s Frost Top.
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Spuds under Siege

Do Other States Dare Challenge Our Supremacy?

Story and Photos by Paige Nelson

I just can’t wait for spud harvest,” was the most popular phrase on the first day of school at South Fremont High. At South, and at many other potato-town schools like it, classes let out for two weeks—a break unique to Idaho and her iconic crop.
For some of the kids at my school, spud harvest was just a vacation, but for me, the farmer’s daughter, it meant work. Nor did the job end once the spuds were dug and the kids went back to school. Idahoans must remain hard at it to ensure their crop reaches the dinner table. And sometimes, that table is right here in Idaho. Continue reading

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Do I Believe in Ghosts?

By Gaye Bunderson

“The thought of ghosts creeps me out,” admits Jay Michaels, and I couldn’t agree more. Michaels contributed a small story to a compilation of tales, nonfiction accounts, poems, and essays about spirits that may—or may not, depending on your beliefs—inhabit the Gem State.
The book, Hauntings from the Snake River Plain, is the creation of three of its authors, Bonnie Dodge, Dixie Thomas Reale, and Patricia Santos Marcantonio, collectively known as The Other Bunch. On June 1, 2011, the women sent out a “call for stories” on the topic of hauntings in our state. In the book’s introduction, they write that their request was met with “tremendous enthusiasm.” Continue reading

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Panorama

Low-Tech Adventure by Hand and Eye

Story and Photos by Les Tanner

As I focused my camera on the scene spread out before us, I said to Bill, “This is really a waste of film, you know.”
“Why do you say that?”
“It’ll just be a snapshot. My photos always turn out that way.”
“That’s because the camera doesn’t see what you see.”
“Sure it does.” Continue reading

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From Couch to Wallow

A Neophyte Tests the Dirty Waters

By Rachel Gattuso

Nervous is an understatement. I eye the huge mud pool in front of me, which marks the end of Boise’s third annual Dirty Dash, high above the city at Bogus Basin. But it’s not the mud that worries me.

This will be my first-ever organized run, and the five miles of alpine terrain that come before the victory dip are a terrifying prospect. Initially, the Dirty Dash sounded like a great way to get off the couch and into shape, prompting me to sign up with two friends. I’ve trained a little (a mile a day counts, right?), but the steep inclines and wooded territory here are intimidating. Continue reading

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Face the Falls

A Newbie Kayaker Encounters the Snake River in a Testy Mood

By Rebecca Maxwell

As we crossed the Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls, my stomach leapt into my throat, my heart sank, and my breathing increased.

If it were possible to become any more anxious, that’s what happened when our put-in site came into view several hundred feet below us, in the canyon. I had been riding in an SUV for two hours from Boise and knew I couldn’t back out now, but as we wove down into the canyon, I resisted an urge to jump out of the moving vehicle and hitchhike home. Anyway, I told myself, I wanted to spend the day on the river with my friends, especially Jocelyn. Swallowing fear and angst, I tried to focus on getting mentally prepared for what lay ahead. Continue reading

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A Family Found

Where to Look? Try the Museum

Story by Richard Bauman

This is something you’ll want to see,” I said to my wife, Donna, as we viewed exhibits in a gallery at the Glenns Ferry Historical Museum.

We were in the first floor gallery dedicated to the town’s schools, where I was looking at an eight-by-ten, black-and-white glossy photograph of thirty-three members of the Glenns Ferry High School senior class of 1939. The picture was probably taken in the early fall of 1938. At first, Donna didn’t see what I saw. Continue reading

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