Podunk Meets Paradise

Musings from Central Idaho

Archive for the tag “Salmon River”

We Need More Crime in Podunk

When I wrote about the ballot initiative to make building a wave park in Podunk a crime, I have to admit I thought some of my fellow citizens had gone bat shit crazy. But then I checked out the Police Blotter in the Weekly Disappointment.

  • Bull reported out on Highway 28 at mile marker 111.
  • Black calf reported out on Highway 93 south near Lovers Lane.
  • Red cow reported on the road at about mile marker 110 to mile marker 111 on Highway 28. images
  • Horse reported standing in the road on Big Flat.
  • A bear cub was reported running loose in the area of City Park and Highway 28. After several tense moments, local law enforcement handed the response to Idaho Fish and Game officers. The bear cub was in the vicinity of the golf course with officers and others in pursuit.
  • Caller stated her name is Peyton Manning, the quarterback for the Broncos, and stated “she” came and took her son even though she was supposed to have him for the weekend. Caller would like to talk to an officer.

My fellow citizens, if it were not for stray animals and hallucinations, we would have no need for a police force. Judging from the newspaper, we in Podunk are “undercrimed.”

We need more crime.

Caller reported Peyton Manning constructing a kayak park adjacent to City property. Officer requested.

Kayaking Crimes in Podunk

Last year, when a Montana state legislator launched a crusade to ban yoga pants in our neighboring state, those of us south of the border got a good, competitive chuckle. “Oh Montucky,” we laughed, assuring our Idahoan selves that our neighboring state had just pulled ahead in the race to the bottom.

But now I can call out CANNONBALL!! as Podunk makes a splash in the shallow end of the pool. Yoga pants, yoga schmantz, we’re trying to make kayaking a crime right here in River City.

This photo was shot from a hidden camera at Kelly's Whitewater Park in Cascade, Idaho. Is this thereto what we want for our children in Podunk?

This photo was shot from a hidden camera at Kelly’s Whitewater Park in Cascade, Idaho. Is this thereto what we want for our children in Podunk?

Allow me to introduce Proposition 1, an Initiative to Criminalize and Penalize the Establishment of a Whitewater Kayak Recreational Park on City of Salmon Property.

In the words of one of my favorite literary giants, Dave Barry, I am not making this up.

And for those who think Podunk takes liberties with the truth, I’ll extract the words from the November 3 ballot verbatim, which in Latin means “to copycat.”


My personal favorite part of the voter’s pamphlet explaining Proposition 1 is the proponent’s statement. Wait for it….

“We are not against a Whitewater Kayak Park. However, we want to insure that the City of Salmon does not become involved with a Whitewater Kayak Park or any improvements related thereto on property owned by the City of Salmon.”

First of all, I make it a rule to never trust anyone trying to use the word “thereto” in a 21st Century sentence.

Second, can you really say you are not against something if you are trying to criminalize it?

Rep. David Moore told Montuckians he was not against yoga pants, they should just be illegal to wear in public, especially if they are beige, and don’t have a pocket (OK, I added the pocket part…I wish my yoga pants had a pocket).

Gentle Readers of Podunk, I challenge you: give me your best examples of things you are not against, but would like to make a crime. I need some time to think on this one.

Hope Springs Eternal

Tomorrow, March 13, voters in Salmon, Idaho, will have what may be the 17th chance to pass a bond to build a new Kindergarten — 8th grade school. The trick is in Idaho, we need a super majority or 66.6% of voters to check the yes box. So the kinds of things we might be able to get a super majority to agree on include:

a) When duck hunting, I would rather have a black labrador retriever than a calico cat

b) We should restore our right to drink beer while driving a pickup truck that is 1985 model or older

c) Ketchup is a vegetable

The sort of things that are harder to super majoritize include taxation, education, forward looking statements, the importance of stretching, etc.

It’s just this kind of podunk pessimism that caused me to snort when our dear friends decided to hold a mountain top wedding on March 10 in Central Idaho. For the record, a March 10 outdoor wedding would be a gamble in Phoenix, Arizona. In the mountains of Central Idaho, a March 10 outdoor wedding, much less one in the Salmon River Mountains, just plain makes you wonder how much they really wanted to get married.

When what passes as your limo has to chain up to get to the makeshift chapel, you know you are pushing the envelope…


To add to the risky business, the couple plans to live and work in Salmon. The bride grew up here and she and her groom think they’ll try their hand at raising milk goats, selling cheese, building things.

So how ludicrous when March 10 boasted blue skies and high 60s on the ridge; when all the trucks made it up the snow-covered road without incident; when no one could imagine a more beautiful wedding…


In their bravery, the newlyweds and their families caused me to hope. If they could pull off this hare-brained scheme, maybe their livelihood in Salmon could pan out, too. Maybe this attitude of “anything is possible” would become contagious, and we’d all become infected with it. I swear as I was thinking these sappy thoughts, a bald eagle flew behind them, high above the Salmon River where the steelhead were migrating upriver.

What if people who believe in the podunk-meets-paradise dream become the super majority? Oh, sweet Jesus, let them be registered voters.

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