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More Photos from the Trailing of the Sheep

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We spent a total of four days in Idaho’s Sun Valley, during the annual Trailing of the Sheep festival, and had a blast. Whether we were eating lamb, meeting ranchers, touring galleries and museums, or just enjoying the lovely weather, we kept busy and took a ton of photos. Sun Valley is certainly a photogenic little place.

Villa-Sun-Valley
Hailey-Idaho
Idaho Truck
Hipster Biker
Coffee-Sun-Valley
Breakfast-Omelette
Classifieds-Sun-Valley
Diner-In-Sun-Valley
Big-Camper
Classic-Idaho-Cowboy
Idaho-Cowboy
Hailey-Fire-Department
First-Telephone-Idaho
Oregon-Boot-Ball
Post-Office-Sun-Valley
Slots-Sun-Valley
Old-School-Sun-Valley
Henry-A-Wallace-For-President
JFK-Idaho
Nixon-Lodge
Obamas-In-Sun-Valley
Disc-Shooter
Idaho-Flowers
Idaho Lama
loading Hay
Oldtimer-Sun-Valley
Starbucks Ketchum
Library-Ketchum
Gold-Wagon
Tire-Wagon
Lamb-Cooking-Class
Lamb-Idaho
Great-Restaurants-Idaho
Steak-House-Sun-Valley
Fancy-Cowboy
Animation-Gets-Me-Off
Art-Galleries-Sun-Valley
Sneakers-Idaho

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November 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm Comments (0)

A Walking Tour of Historic Warren

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After learning the year-round population of tiny Warren, located in the western foothills of the Salmon River Mountains, I was shocked. “Twelve?!” I couldn’t believe even that many people lived here.

Warren is the most remote town that we visited in Idaho, stationed at the end of a dirt road 45 miles out of McCall. It’s a moderately popular summer getaway which empties out almost entirely once snow sets in. Understandable, since the only road into town closes for winter. After that, it’s either snowmobile or airplane.

Idaho-Warren

As with many of central Idaho’s tiny towns, Warren had its heyday back in the 1860s with the discovery of gold. Prospectors moved in from every corner of the country — Californians, Missourians, Secessionists from the South — but they were all out-numbered by the Chinese. Over 1200 workers from China flocked to Warren, establishing their own saloons, restaurants and barbershops. One prominent member of the Chinese community, Ah Sam, even became an honorary mayor of Warren.

The Forest Ranger station in McCall had equipped us with a pamphlet titled the “Warren Historic Walking Tour”, which describes the ancient buildings which are still standing, and relates some of the more colorful stories of the town’s past. As we walked past the Green House, for example, we read the following about the overly conciliatory judge who resided there:

Andy Kavanaugh assumed the office in 1895 and was distinguished by never rendering a verdict. Kavanaugh threw all his cases out of court on the basis of “hearsay evidence” because “it made a lot smoother living in the community.”

Perhaps my favorite of Warren’s buildings was the old schoolhouse, noteworthy for its backwards “N” — particularly embarrassing, since this was where children were taught to write. In the 1930s, townspeople rejected a proposal that the “N” be corrected, huffing that “this is the way it’s always been!”

Warren School

At the schoolhouse, I pointed out an odd bit of playground equipment to my mom. It looked like a medieval torture device, but sent her into a fit of nostalgic ecstasy. “Giant Stride”, she squealed, running toward it like the schoolgirl she actually was the last time she had seen one. Apparently, these deathtraps were all the rage in the playgrounds of 1950s-era Indiana. It’s like a tetherball set, but taller, and with six ropes instead of one, and they’re metal chains instead of rope, and instead of a soft ball on the end of each, there are heavy, metal stirrups. Of course, it’s incredibly fun — I swung around on it for awhile, cursing the dumb kid who must have wrapped a chain around his throat and forced the nationwide ban on this awesomely dangerous toy.

We finished off our day in Warren at its bustling saloon. Literally everyone in town must have been there. A very cool place, quirky like only the bars of very small towns can be. They had old Chinese artifacts on display, and a book compiling the editions of the defunct Warren Times.

Warren was a far more entertaining day trip than I had anticipated. The beautiful Warren Wagon road which leads there from McCall is almost worth the drive itself, but the town has a lot to recommend a visit. Just make sure and pick up the Walking Tour brochure in McCall, first.

Location on our Idaho Map

Wareen Id
Warren-Idaho
Ghost-Town-of-Idaho
Fire Truck Warren Idaho
Transformer-Idaho
Flat-House
Flea Market
Gold-Mining-Stories
High-Tech-Ghost-Town
Idaho-Old-Log-House.jpg
Wild-West-Porch
Western-Tool
Idhao-Architecture
Idaho-Wood
Rusty Idaho
Rust
Take a Seat
Idaho-Mining-Town
North-West-USA
Idaho-Out-House
Idaho Bottles
Idaho-Flowers
Idaho Sharp
Old-Machine-Idaho
Giant Stride
Horse-Shoe-Festival
Baum-Shelter
Ah-Sam
Chinese-Idaho-Bottles
Idaho Snake Skin
The-Face-Of-Idaho
Super-Cute-Dog
Funny Sign Idaho

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September 17, 2012 at 6:49 pm Comments (3)

The Gold-Rush Town of Idaho City

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Gold Mining Books

In the late 19th century, the largest city between San Francisco and Saint Louis was Idaho City — a boomtown constructed after the discovery of gold in the Boise Basin. With a rowdy population of miners from California, Washington, Missouri and China, Idaho City was the kind of place where whiskey was cheap and lives even cheaper.

Blacksmith Idaho

The Boise Basin gold rush of the 1860s was one of the biggest in American history, and Idaho City was its nexus. Prospectors arrived from around the world, and the city’s story is filled with murder, gun fights, unbelievable wealth and thievery. Over two billion in gold was extracted from the area, and it’s not hard to imagine the scenes which must have played out… especially when you consider the fact that whiskey was cheaper than water in those days. The only thing more unscrupulous than a greedy miner, is a drunk greedy miner.

Today the town is something of a living museum. People still reside and work there, but there’s a definite focus on the past. The first building we visited was the County Council office, which used to be the town saloon. The bar is still in place and looks surreal amid the bustle of current-day office life. One of the clerks took a break from her computer to show us inside the old walk-in safe, where records streching back to the town’s founding are kept on file.

Across the street is the county courthouse, dating from 1873. Here again, one of the office workers volunteered to take us on a short tour of the historic building — locals here are apparently accustomed to tourists. The courthouse was fascinating, and looked much as it did back in the day. Justice was quicker and more vicious back then — after being convicted, felons were immedately hung over the judge’s desk.

Idaho City is so picturesque and atmospheric that it almost seems fake. Mostly, it reminded me of Frontierland in Disney world, and I half expected a gun-totin’ Goofy to come ambling out of the saloon. Almost every building had a story, from the schoolhouse to the Idaho World building, home of the state’s oldest running newspaper. There was a grand two-story Masonic Temple right next to the county penitentiary and, around the corner, the “Pest House”, where sick unfortunates were locked up. The old post office has been converted into a museum, which is supposed to be great, but was closed during our visit. And we saw the Pom Yam house, owned by a rich Chinese merchant — according to local lore, his ghost still floats around.

I suppose it’s a good thing that the lawless, gun-happy days of the gold rush are behind us. But for anyone nostalgic for that era, Idaho City is the perfect place to spend some time.

Location on our Idaho Map

-Cheap Flights To Idaho

Back In Time Idaho
Boise-Basin
Chinese-House-Idaho-City-Ghost
Idaho World
Idaho-World-Newspaper
Easy-Rider-in-Idaho
Diamon-Lill
Entering-Idaho-City
Idaho-City-Church
Idaho-City-Jail
Silver-Star-Saloon
Sad-Prisoner
Simply-Fun-Idaho
Pest-House-Idaho-City
Pest-in-Idaho
Mangler Idaho
Idaho-Antiques
Historic-District-Idaho-City
Main-Street-Idaho-City
Cowboy-Bathtub
Barrel-Wheel
Idaho-City-Ice-Cream-Parlor
/Idaho-Kitchen-Tools
Nastolgic-Idaho
Miners-Exchange-Saloon-Idaho-City
Old Saloon Idaho City
Old Safe
Idaho-City-Records
/Idaho-City-Archive
Court-House-Idaho-City
Old-Writing-Feather
Last-Death-Sentence-Idaho-City
Shady Lady Idaho
Stamp-Mill-Mining
Steam-Boiler
Ore Car
Wild Wild West Wagon
Bottle Neck Art
Modern-Photography-Idaho

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September 11, 2012 at 10:28 pm Comments (3)

The Western Idaho Fair

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With a history stretching back to 1897, the Western Idaho Fair is one of the state’s biggest annual celebrations. Concerts, competitions, rides, games, crazy food and an overabundance of stinking, dusty farm animals occupy the large fairground for a week on the northern end of Boise. We couldn’t resist checking it out, and showed up on the fair’s final day.

Bending Over

We started at a horse show, which we hoped might involve trick riding or barrel racing. But it was more like the Westminster Dog Show for horses. Riders simply walked their steeds around in a circle while a panel of experts them on… something. Their gait? Musculature? I have no idea and apparently wouldn’t make a good horse judge, seeing as how my favorites finished dependably in last place.

The entertainment factor picked up considerably at the next event: the Mountain Boarding Big Air Show. Three extreme dudes put on a death-defying performance, hurtling down a steep ramp and leaping over a truck. We had missed the fair’s concerts earlier in the week, including Styx and Weird Al Yankovich, but this was a decent consolation prize. And I needed it! Because after realizing that we’d lost the opportunity to see Weird Al live, I was practically inconsolable.

We headed deeper into the fair, past stands selling Idaho Tater-Dogs (hot dogs shoved into potatoes) and wound up at a petting zoo. A wide variety of creatures were on-hand, from baby pigs to the giant Brazilian Zebu. I’m not much of an animal-toucher, but enjoy petting zoos because there’s nothing better than watching a toddler with a cup full of food pellets get too close to the goat cage. Curiosity, bravery, glee, terror, anger and disappointment, all in the span of about five seconds.

A giant exhibition hall in the middle of the fairgrounds held the arts and crafts competitions, with photographs, pumpkins and quilts joining ceramics and floral arrangements. And we made sure to tour the various animal halls, where I saw what must be the world’s largest rabbit, and tried to figure out the qualities that make for a blue-ribbon chicken.

-Hotels In Idaho

Fair Tickets
Waiting For Business
Real Cowboy
Clean Horse
Happy Cowgirl
Horse Show Idaho
Pretty-Pony-Tai
Mounting A Horse
Idaho Cow Girl
Talking Horse
Cowboy Fashion
Golden Horse
/Idaho-Saddle
Idaho Belt Buckle
Cowboy Idaho
Texas Longhorn
Talking Cow
Water Buffolo
Zebu
Happy Petting
Fuzzy Cow
Nose Ring Bull
Not Trusting Cowboy
Psycho-Goat
Peep
Egg Hatching
Eggstravaganza
Feeding Goat
Cartoony
Staring Contest

1919-Ford-Model-T

Antique Washing Machine
Milk Machine
Drunk Cowboy
Extreme Idaho
Mountain Boarding Idaho
Juggler Idaho
Idaho Clown
Fair Dude
Western Idaho Fair
Insane Ride
Rides In Idaho
Dumbo Ride
Starship 3000
Idaho Rodeo
Waiting For The Ride
Food Stands Idaho
Basque-Sandwiches-Boise
Basque Food Idaho
Corn Dog
Easy Rider
Idaho Bear
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August 31, 2012 at 6:13 pm Comments (0)