Day 254 – Idaho Heartland, August 27, 2011
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 Yellowjacket. According to an
Indian Legend, the stone arch was once two insects. Ant and Yellowjacket 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.
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,
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