After leaving the Mountain Man Trading Post that was located on the outskirts of small town Arco, LC and I turned back onto Hwy 93 and headed towards the even smaller community of Moore, population 196.
There's not much in Moore.
A few homes, a gas station that contains a large section of hardware supplies in back. A this-and-that store that never seems to be open.
A few other store fronts that have been empty at least since our first trip to this area back in March of 2013.
Moore is not much more than a drive-by town.
Most passers-by are either headed to Arco (or Blackfoot or Idaho Falls in one direction) or Mackay (or Challis and Salmon in the other direction).
There is nothing in Moore to make it an actual "destination".
Aside from the mountains.
If Arco is at the base of the Big Lost River Valley, then Moore is the place where the mountains are born.
Only 40 miles from Atomic City, it may as well be a world away.
We saw the camper as soon as we pulled off the highway.
Parked in the empty parking lot of an empty building, both LC and I looked at each other and smiled.
From a distance it looked to be exactly what we wanted.
From a distance.................
A moment after we pulled into the parking lot a man about my age, riding a four wheeler, came pulling into the lot.
We all shook hands and LC and I am began to circle the outside of the camper.
And the man began to talk and talk. And talk.
Professional performer. One man band. Bought the camper for $400 cash and $150 worth of 22 ammo from a guy at a bar down the road.
Ignore the asking price on the sign. Just want what I've got into it....................
I looked for a few minutes and left the camper-owner and LC talking and looking, while I went in search of a restroom.
On the way back to the camper I veered across the road, walked between two empty buildings, and stood looking out over the mountains.
God they were beautiful.
Stunningly, wonderfully beautiful.............
I had seen the painting on the side of an empty building many times as we drove by it.
Now, standing still, I looked up at it and studied it, and then wondered what the story behind it was.
It seemed so random. So out of place in the middle of isolated, rural farm country and surrounded by steep snow capped mountains.
There had to be a story behind it.
I only hoped that the story was a simple public service reminder, and not the personal appeal of a family who had been devastated by drugs.
I loved this little building..
Empty and I wish that I had the money to start a business there..............
We have told endless people that we didn't care what the inside of their campers looked like because we were going to gut it out and finish it the way we wanted anyway.
I don't want to cook inside a camper.
I don't care about a bathroom - I would go in the woods happily all day long instead of carrying nasty-ass tanks around with me and then having to dump and clean.
I had been an adventure racer for heaven sakes.
LC had spent three years in Vietnam.
We could go in the woods.
Inside didn't matter. The only criteria was that the exterior had to be solid.
Straightforward enough we thought.
Only apparently it isn't.
As with other campers - broken windows, severe water damage, crumbling internal structure, water logged roofs, dry rotted tires, doors so out of alignment that they won't shut all the way, metal siding pulling away from the sides.
Etc etc and etc.
As LC and I had walked around it and inside it, the used-car-salesman-one-man-band had kept talking a non-stop blue streak, pointing out the obvious things that were wrong with it and then telling two people who knew better, how these "minor problems" were all quick and easy fixes.
When I arrived back at the camper the guy was still talking a blue streak.
A wheeler dealer indeed.
Eventually we said that we would talk it over together and come to his house to let him know of our decision.
LC and I talked for a few minutes. We had already decided.
Disappointed at one more dead end we made a quick stop at used-car-salesman's house, and then headed back towards Arco and then home.
The search continues..................
An unexpected and unknown (but architecturally pleasing) structure in a back yard in Moore Idaho............
By the time we were 10 miles from the house, the sunny skies of the morning had changed to overcast.
It was the silent warning of things to come, because within 24 hours of this trip, our area was again covered in snow.
The Twin Buttes.................
Aside from the hallway, this is my dogs' favorite place to hang out.
She sleeps in the dirt in the green house. Watches the deer and birds through the windows of the greenhouse. Digs mighty holes in the dirt that is in the planter boxes.
And will be broken hearted when we begin to tear all of this out.
We LOVE this green house but it is so badly constructed that we really have no choice.
It is not obvious in these pictures but the green house:
1. Has support beams that have been extended by adding shorter beams to the bottom of the longer beams (with a piece of lumber nailed to the two, to hold them together). And THEN they have been extended even higher by setting them up onto cinders blocks.
2. The roof line of the green house is higher than the gutter system of the house.
3. There are huge gaps in the frame in many places where the green house attaches to the house. Which lets in cold air, rain and snow.
4. Planter boxes were built with a patchwork combination of lumber, plywood, press board, cheap chipboard (and the lesser grades are warped and beginning to crumble).
The plan? Tear down the green house where it stands. Build an outdoor patio in this space and about the same size. Build a smaller green house outside the firewood storage area - one side green house and one side lumber storage.
But our dog LOVES this place and she will be broken hearted when it's gone................