Friday, June 29, 2007


Apparently, certain parts of the great state of Idaho are the last of the great American wilderness, with the exception, of course and practically as always, of Alaska. Timothy Egan, author most recently of The Worst Hard Time, about survivors of the horrific Dust Bowl years, talks it up in his travel article today for the New York Times. Though he doesn't mention the specific town near which I spent all of my summers growing up, he does rhapsodize a bit about the St. Joe River, also known in some circles as the shadowy St. Joe, gracing many a postcard in the Harrison General Store. The St. Joe River winds its last couple of miles through Lake Coeur d'Alene, a truly wonderful place to spend an afternoon on a little boat, meandering upstream through narrow river banks, gawking at the llamas wading off the shore of the llama farm, counting turquoise blue dragon flies, watching the remnants of what was once a thriving logging region.

Frighteningly enough (according to Wikipedia at least - I have to admit I haven't done any further research in to this), the EPA considers Lake Coeur d'Alene to be polluted due to mining in the vicinity, and advises people that they should not eat fish from the lake and should shower "extensively" after swimming in its waters. Mind you, we used to eat catfish, perch, sunfish or trout practically every day during the 6-8 weeks we spent on the lake every summer, and eschewed bathing indoors in favor of soaping up and jumping off the end of the dock in the twilight hour just before the sun completely set and the bats came out. I suppose some might argue that this explains a lot about certain members of the McNeil clan.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Wait, so you mean that's NOT a haircut? ;- Just kidding--love you, Em!