Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Camping Big Lost River Valley - Part 4

Early into our second full day in Salmon, LC and I decided that it was time to explore downtown Salmon.
As soon as we arrived downtown we picked up a narrow, steep, paved, residential road on the outskirts, and climbed a mile or so before turning back, just to see what was there.
The homes were an eclectic mix that ranged from upper middle class to run down mobile homes.
We turned back because the road eventually wandered steep into the mountains, and on this last full day in Salmon the plan was to explore downtown.
One interesting home that I photographed on the way up the hill.
Because of the way it was decorated I had originally thought that it was a small office building of some sort.
It was only after LC pulled the truck off the road and stopped so that I could take pictures, that I realized that it was indeed a home.
Bright orange car in the driveway beside the house, bright orange fish, bright orange reptile decorations on the chimney.  Apparently the person also liked the Broncos and golf.
Interesting home, and as I quickly snapped these pictures I had to wonder what the inside looked like............
Downtown Salmon was not exactly what I had expected.
I had expected much the same things that we saw in Cody, WY and that saw again in Sandpoint, ID
Lots of color.  Lots of icons from the area standing and posted on every hard surface.  Lots of photo ops, and flowers and art work decorating the streets, lots of colorful flags and artsy stores, and endless kitchy things that tourists love and that locals both good-naturedly and begrudgingly put up with for the sake of the towns' continued economic health.
There was some of that, but nowhere near as much as I thought that I would see.
This is a popular tourist destination but it is not in the same league as northern Idaho towns, and I suspect that the river (with its boating and floating and fishing opportunities) is the true star and draw of this town................
Maybe it is still early in the season, but I had expected much more tourist traffic (both vehicle and foot) than we saw in the few days we were in Salmon.
Leaving Kory in the truck and protected from the heat by the shade of an empty store front, LC and I planned to make it a fairly quick walk.
Our pup was in the shade and the windows were rolled part way down, but it was still summer and we didn't want to leave our girl for very long.
Part way down the man street I noticed a large metal sign declaring "History Park"
Curious, we walked underneath the sign and found ourselves in the center of a wide, grassy courtyard that was  decorated with informational signs and artifacts that spoke to the history of the region.
We spent more time there than we had anticipated, both of us interested in what we had unexpectedly found..............
After spending a lot of time at the History Park, we walked out of the courtyard and turned right, heading further down the main street in Salmon.
Almost immediately I saw something out of the corner of my eye, and when I turned to look, was surprised to see a gorilla.
Moving closer I read the sign and then looked up to take a better look at the building I was now standing in front of.
The gorilla was sternly warning me that nobody under the age of 21 was allowed to enter through the door.
When I looked up I saw the arrows.
Probably 20 of them, all piercing the top of a.........something..........made out of wood shingles.
Definitely one way for a bar to get people's attention!..............
The 7th annual Testicle Festival.
A testicle festival.........
When I got home from our trip I looked it up.  
I had images of the testicle festival being some kind of bull-ball-busting-thing (although I had no idea why someone would want to bust bull balls) but it turns out that the event is a drinkin', eatin' boot scootin' (to use a phrase from the link) affair that takes place each summer literally out in someones' field.
Coming up in just a couple of weeks:
The History Park, the Testicle Festival flier, and the arrows extending out from the external wall of a bar, were the only things that really stood out for me during our brief walk downtown.
There was more to see - the park where I had quickly photographed the bear statue - the bridge spanning the Salmon River - perhaps other things - but we had been gone long enough.
More to the point, we both knew that Kory had been in the truck long enough.
It was time to return to the truck, and as we headed back that way LC and I impulsively decided to drive down to the Sacajawea Center.  
We had visited during our first trip to Salmon last September, and the grounds were so beautiful then (and the day was so beautiful now), that we wanted to walk it again.
Last time we walked with our beautiful and sweet and dearly loved dog Jamie.
This time we wanted to walk with our beautiful and sweet and increasingly loved dog Kory.
More on the exceptional woman, Sacajawea:

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