Day 254 of Year Long Roadtrip Following Scenic Byways in the USA
Ant and the Yellow Jacket
From Dworshak State Park, we followed the Clearwater River through the Nez Perce Indian Reservation and made a roadside stop at the Ant and the Yellow Jacket. According to an Indian Legend, the stone arch was once two insects. Ant and Yellow Jacket fought over who had the right to eat dried salmon in the area. The Coyote, the all-powerful animal spirit, ordered them to stop. They failed to heed his warning, thus he turned them into stone while their backs were arched and their jaws locked together during combat.
White Bird Battlefield
From the stone arch we turned south on Highway 95 and twisted past the golden hillsides to the White Bird Battlefield. On the rolling hills in 1877 over 100 cavalry men and civilians clashed with a group of Nez Perce Indians and their chief White Bird. Instead of making peace, a civilian fired on the Indians which caused an ensuing battle. The Indians wiped out a third of the government troops and suffered no casualties. Brief and brutal, this battle was the beginning to the Nez Perce War.
After a short stop at the battlefield overlook, we continued south, skirting the Salmon River which snakes between Hells Canyon National Recreation Area on the west and National Forest on the east. Given the warm, sunny day, we eventually stopped in the shade and dipped our feet in the cool river. The sea green and emerald river was lined with both sandy and rocky shores as rollling hills, once mined for gold, towered above.
Further south, we landed in McCall, a small ski town situated in the forest hills next to Payette Lake. My phone occasionally worked in the area, so Petey and I took a stroll along the lakeshore and eventually located a cache. There were too many muggles around on this glorious Saturday afternoon to snatch anything that close to the lake, so a slight detour took us off the beaten path to a bird’s nest cache.
After killing a little time, I was finally able to reach my dad’s cousin Sandy and her husband Keith. In my forty years, I had never met them. We had the greatest time chatting and basically going through the family tree! They treated me to a tasty dinner at the country club across the street from their log cabin house built in the early 1900s. Sandy calls herself a plant freak and her yard proved her right. A white picket fence surrounds a well-maintained lawn and garden of flowers and plants. Keith is one of those handy types (I wish I had that talent) and they both teach skiing at the resort in the winter. I hope I’m as energetic as they are twenty years from now! ETB