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03 April, 2008

Idaholy Cow!

This is that dogtooth mountain in Idaho. From far away. Maybe I'll edit in the haiku about it, but not right now.

On the cross-country trek, the day I entered Idaho was the most visually stunning. Crappy weather robbed Appalachia's beauty, and of course the Wyoming wind was embitter cold.

For one thing, the moment I spotted pahoehoe, elation fluttered around inside me and burst out in a laugh. And when the roads were clear and acceleration beyond 65 seemed less suicidal, having dozens of sections between you and the next vertical relief allows you to enjoy the view.

Winds were screaming down to Utah from the Northwest that day, but more so up high than at road level. There were immense, high level rollers and squalls blowing through underneath. But I-84 just follows the plains between mountains, low enough to have been too warm for the snow, and there was not much precipitation of any sort.

So you drive along and look at pahoehoe flows or potato fields, covering ground fast, and now and then you approach another range of mountains, easy passes even with snow. I'd really anticipated the Owhyhee mountains, but they were in cloud-shroud city. Instead there was that glowing white mountain southeast of Boise. No timber, so just pure white snow catching sun. Huge black storm behind, and scudding little light clouds just above. Mahalo akua for showing me that, even if Owhyhee mountains stay huna.

Leaving Idaho, same thing all over again. Up until Oregon got steep, it was easy driving, other than my mishandling chains. Beautiful country again, and nice weather until, as I say, Oregon inclined to snowy heights.

So anyway, Idaho is grand, and maybe photos shot from a pick-up don't do it justice, but now they're posted. And the view from an F150 is certainly an authentic American (made in Norfolk Virginia by-God) perch.
And 4WD with a few hundred pounds of cast iron and hardwood cider press (more authentic American hardware) sure makes it less worrisome driving up them icy mountains.

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