Podunk Meets Paradise

Musings from Central Idaho

Podunk, Paradise, or Both?

From the January 19, 2012 Recorder Herald Police Log…. Caller said there was a black cow out on the side of the highway around mile marker 127 or 128.

Man reported traffic going up the draw. He thought it was poachers because the seasons were over. He didn’t know why anyone would be going up at that hour. It was a couple of hours till daylight.

Salmon, Idaho has a population of about 3,000 people. But to be fair, the county we’re in — Lemhi County — has closer to 8,000. We have more cattle than people, and more scenery than sense, usually. The Salmon River runs right through town, and the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness to the West hides the sunset from view. To most locals, the alpenglow that dazzles the Beaverhead Mountains to the east is the sunset. I came here from southern Idaho’s big horizons so I argue every now and then about the legitimacy of sunsets, never to any satisfaction.

This place is incredibly isolated. I don’t know why anyone cares where the nearest Walmart is, but if you did, you’d travel 150 miles to Missoula, Montana. The isolation serves all kinds of purposes, some bad and some good.

Salmon is foolishly beautiful, full of the brave people and cowards that lurk in big cities as well as tiny ones, kids who are brilliant and ones that don’t stand a chance. I never imagined myself living in a neighborhood where people complained of elk in their yards, but here I am, and of course completely in love with it all.

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One thought on “Podunk, Paradise, or Both?

  1. M. Tucker on said:

    Good and bad, the finer points outweigh the rest. Great thoughts Gina. I am off to enjoy the sunset..ahem..alpineglow.

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