Saturday, September 28, 2013

I know it isn't Idaho

I know it isn't Idaho
Where the sun goes when it goes
Down, over the river

It is the place that got away. Chances are, I would grow desperate with the ephemeral summer, the population barely scraping one hundred, the avalanches that close the road. I can't help it, though-I love this corner of Idaho.

Strange birds on the fenceline
It's going to get cold tonight
I know it isn't Idaho

A bunch of my friends and I took the long drive, down the canyon, across the prairie, to seize the last of summer in the high country.

Please ignore the blemish on the camera lens. I need to crop this picture, but it was too pretty not to include.

Who could leave it all behind
Metal flesh bone and brine
I know it isn't Idaho

I did not realize how much I had forgotten. On the way to Sawtooth Lake, an entire little lake had slipped my memory. I had forgotten all the sweet little ponds on the way to the North Fork of the Baron. In the White Clouds, I had somehow recalled the hike to Fourth of July Lake as being completely flat, a trail for beginners. Not so much. I went for a run the last morning, confident I remembered where the Nip and Tuck Road took off from the highway. I ran right past it in the early morning darkness.

Things have changed, too. A huge fire swept across the mountains, and everything looked different. In place of the endless lodgepole, hundreds of aspen are emerging.

Horses heart blood and wine
That's the color of the sun when it's dying
Down, over the river, down over the river*

Where I live now, I know it isn't Idaho. Probably the Idaho I dream about really isn't the Idaho that exists. We all have places that tug at our hearts, even if we know they might not be good or right for us. Some of you will know what I mean.

*Jeffrey Focault--Idaho

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