|Flooding on the Mississippi River in Davenport, Iowa|
In 1971 my mother and I went on vacation to Colorado in the foot-hills just outside Boulder. A tiny community called Jamestown. It was home to some friends my mother had known since she ventured out west as a teenager. My mother was adventuresome. She was a restless soul who sought the romanticism of a campfire and the beauty of high mountains and clear running streams. A stark contrast to the relatively flat landscapes of the Midwest and the turbidity and polluted water of the mighty Mississippi River.
The Mississippi is a river for commerce. It is a vital conduit for supplying and transporting grains, corn, and other goods. The waters in the Northwest are also a means of commerce. The Columbia River begins in Canada and runs south into Washington state. Grand Coulee, Bonneville, and the Dalles evoke thoughts of the New Deal during FDR's tenure as president. It was then the Civilian Conservation Corps was started. There are many structures still standing today as a reminder of that time.
Idaho is diverse in geology. The south eastern part of the state has high desert plateaus, rugged rocky mountains. There are the Tetons and Craters of the Moon. As you head west sage brush turns to rolling arid hills. Sugar beets, potatoes, wheat, corn grow here only as a result of extensive irrigation, channeling, redirecting of the water resources that exist here. Northward you run into the jagged Sawtooth mountains and Redfish Lake. Sun Valley is a popular stop for snow skiers. Earnest Hemingway called this area home in the early 1940's.
From Grangeville and looking north, the state is a west slope for the Bitterroot Mountains. The Frank Church Wilderness, Mallard Larkins, are popular areas for hikers, backpackers, and those on horseback. Lewiston sits on the banks of the Clearwater River. The Clearwater was once the river for floating logs to the sawmill and onto the Columbia. There were loggers who floated and lived on large rafts during these runs.
North Idaho supplied wood, and precious metals during the late 1890's onto into today. Many of the logging mills with their teepee style kilns have mostly disappeared in the area. Logging has been modernized to include select cutting. Still North Idaho is beautiful to see. Wildlife abounds. If you're looking for a place with a relaxed and unassuming lifestyle then the area may appeal to you. Winters are not near as the bitter cold of the Midwest. Below zero temperatures are rare. Snow has at times been plentiful in and around Coeur d' Alene.
|Downtown Coeur d' Alene, Idaho|