|Painting of Lewis, Clark and Sacajawea by N.C. Wyeth, 1940|
The Nez Perce provided food and shelter, and after the expedition team had recovered, gave them cottonwood canoes which proved much easier to handle in the Clearwater and Snake Rivers before reaching the mighty Columbia River. I had followed part of the trail when I traveled out West in the late 1980s. I had come in from Missoula along US Highway 12 and was utterly captivated by the long running canyon through the "smokestack" of the state, which the Clearwater River had carved out. You can stop at places like Lochsa Historical Ranger Station. I crossed into Washington at the towns of Lewiston and Clarkston on the opposite banks of the Snake River.
|Clearwater River along US Highway 12|
The territory became sharply divided between the southern Mormon half and the northern anti-Mormon half, each trying to push the other out. It was against the backdrop of this bitter rivalry that Idaho gained statehood in 1890, with the anti-Mormon faction winning out, much to the chagrin of Utah, which still found itself excluded.
childhood home near Boise in the central part of the state.
Idahoans feel more comfortable with Ernest Hemingway, who was attracted to the state in 1939. He made his home in Ketchum, where he lived off and on until ending his life in 1961. Sadly, Hemingway didn't have very kind words for Pound after the poet "ran off the rails" during WWII, especially when you consider that Pound gave Hemingway entry into the literary world, as he had done others, and would give his shirt off his back to defend these budding writers. Pound would find some measure of redemption in the Beats, who would embrace him the 60s, and in his many cats.
Idaho still feels like a pretty remote place, attracting survivalist groups and other right-wing wackos, determined to survive the "Apocalypse." One group has even planned a 7000-person walled Citadel, seemingly modeled upon early Christian lines, to ward off all evil, a throwback to the 19th century pioneer days of the state.
Fortunately, much of Idaho is under the Bureau of Land Management, allowing free access for all outdoor enthusiasts.