My Public Idaho; or, Ida Hoes Very Well

by cowboylands

Idaho is more than potatoes, although they have damn good spuds. 

It’s a rich and varied state, which is a polite way of saying it kicks the asses of popular vacation states. It has potato fields 

and Sawtooth mountains overlooking ranchland. 

It has lakes and ponderosa pines and Douglas firs and all sorts of thingslakeIdaho such as an old state penitentiary you can tour.

Solitary confinement, maximum security, death row…and a very complete collection of weapons from paleolithic times to Desert Storm. Not for the faint of heart. I also recommend their exhibit on prison tattoos. So gritty it hurts.  

It’s a land of sagebrush.

And forgotten feed terminals.


And the site of one of the worst dam disasters in North America: the failed Teton dam (source of photo on right: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation–I hope they are reborn as slugs).


God bless the historical museums, who hold the things we once held dear. 

Pioneers thought the Craters of the Moon a cursed land 

and the City of Rocks, weird, but rather nice.


The Shoshone Tribe, among others, found themselves crammed into a small corners of this paradise. Some fought back, and others adapted. (Bad photo, but I love how a sacred rite is explained in terms even a white man can understand.)

It’s got dust storms from Armageddon. But it’s a good place to go when the end of the world is nigh. 


Unless the end of the world is caused by any of Idaho’s nuclear-waste holding grounds, toxic-chemical seeping mines, or EPA Superfund sites, such as this phosphorus slag dump above Soda Springs. Yes, that’s molten slag they are dumping–approximately every twenty minutes. 

The rest is my private Idaho (or saved for another trail-happy post). There were also cowboys. *satisfied sigh*



all photos but one copyright 2008 es


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