I don’t mind living in the middle of nowhere … it’s leaving that sucks. You have to get serious to leave Salmon, Idaho. The Idaho State girls hockey championship in Idaho Falls last weekend was one of those serious occasions. Luckily for me and my two 15-year-old passengers, the breathtakingly beautiful part of the drive — 60 miles of Highway 28 that follows the Lemhi Mtn Range — featured visibility of about 3 feet courtesy of an incredibly rare 2012 snowstorm.
Once we’ve passed Leadore and been blown sideways on Gilmore Summit (elevation 7169 ft) about 60 miles east of Salmon, the realization that Idaho Falls is still 100 miles away hits the passengers in the back seat like a ton of bricks.
“Why do we have to live 8 million years from anywhere?” the one who shares my DNA wails. I’d like to assure Her Royal Highness that she is overreacting, but — although I grew up on the Snake River Plains, for god’s sake — I have to admit that somewhere between the Idaho National Lab desert and Mud Lake I’m in need of a suicide watch myself. I picture myself living in Mud Lake …
and I get the weepies.
Right before I slipped into a despondent stare-straight-ahead-and-drive coma, it occurred to me that my attempt to listen to the entire Mumford and Sons Sigh No More album was not helping matters at all. The quartet’s driving banjo and haunting vocals on the single White Blank Page had the three of us moaning Why do we live 8 million years from anywhere in unison. I unplugged the iPod and threw it in the back, breaking the hypnotic spell. “Fix the music!” I commanded.
By the time we passed the Mud Lake LDS stake center, the Pilot’s windows were vibrating with the Lemhi County teen girl version of club music — desperate times call for desperate measures, and all that. It is truly best to not even try to pay attention to the lyrics of Ke$ha’s Booty Call. We were able to limp into I.F. with a concessionary Shut Up and Drive ala Rihanna.
On the return trip, Mother Nature was in a more cooperative mood, and the Lemhis provided their own soundtrack welcoming us home.