Every once in a while I will walk to a destination for which I normally drive my vehicle. Sometimes, I will take an alternate route to take in a new perspective on the way to one is that is known.
For example, it is 4.25 miles from our cabin to Stanley.
When I walk, I usually take the normal route – our private road to the U.S. Forest Road to State Highway 21 to town. Occasionally I leave the cabin and take a short-cut across the floor of the Sawtooth Valley to town. This route while much shorter and stunning in its natural beauty also offers boggy land, known creek crossings, hidden creek crossings, electrified fence, and large Bulls who dislike other males encroaching on their domain.
The advantage of taking the normal route in winter is the first 2 miles to Highway 21 are maintained via a large Snow Blower. We (the small group of land-owners) that border the Sawtooth National Forest, National Recreation Area, National Wilderness pay to keep the Forest Service Road and private roads open. The Snow Blower is not a Snow Plow. It is a medium sized device with a drivers cabin, on tracks with a huge slow-blower upfront. The implication is the road-beds are actually better in winter than at any other time of the year. Stanley Construction – whom performs the work – has refined their approach to levels of art-form. The road-beds are like travelling over the best rack-track the world offers. I call them the best roads in Idaho.
On this day I take the standard route. The weather is snowy with a grayish overcast tone, and the sun desperately trying to show itself.
A funny thing happened on the way to town starting on State Highway 21. This highway that is normally 100% free of litter or debris was covered with broken junk. I could not believe it. It reminded me of driving on the freeways through metropolitan Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York & New Jersey. I was certain I was about to come upon a sign that indicated I was on the I-95 New Jersey Turnpike and 1/4 mile away from the Vince Lombardi Rest Area and the next Toll Booth.
I snapped out my fog and came back to the realization that I was home in my favorite place in the world. I gathered things like caution tape and old newspaper likely used as wrapping. The remainder I propped onto the snowbank in order to retrieve at a later time.
After about a mile it dawned on me that someone had portions of their load fall onto the highway on the way to the dump for disposal. Sure enough, less than five minutes after coming to that conclusion a pickup truck headed towards me and my newly found artifacts. It was Jeremy and Geoff in their truck. Both are remodeling a cabin near town. Their trailer broke down on the way to the disposal station. They were returning to pick up the final items that had fallen onto the road. Between us we made sure every item made it to the truck-bed.
I am not sure that followup would have occurred in my native Detroit or former residences of Chicago, Los Angeles and possibly even today’s Seattle. Thanks Jeremy and Geoff.