Friday, May 15, 2009
If It’s Friday…
If it’s Friday, I must be off to Ontario, Oregon in just a bit. This truly has been a hectic week: off to Cascade (yes, the Cascade of Boise-Cascade for those familiar with big lumber businesses in North America); that’s roughly a 150 mile round trip—odd too, because Cascade lies almost due east of Indian Valley, & “as the crow flies,” it’s not that far but because there’s a large & imposing mountain in between you have to go north & then south again in order to go east.
There is a direct route to that area—actually coming out in Donnelly, about 15 miles north of Cascade. It’s called the Middle Fork Road (after the middle fork of the Weiser River, which it follows). This is a rather spectacular route for scenery, but it’s only a shortcut in terms of miles, not in terms of time. The road isn’t really wide enough for two vehicles to pass at many points—it’s obligatory for the west bound traffic to stop & pull over as much as can be safely done to allow an eastbound vehicle to pass—& at a certain point the “road” really isn’t properly graded—it’s little more than a logging road around the aptly named “No Business” summit, which is around 7,000 feet. From there you descend a few thousand feet into Donnelly (which itself is a bit less than a mile high).
Those of you from the US may recall that our previous president, George Bush (& good riddance is the mildest thing I can say about him) made a trip to Idaho sometime early in his second term & spent time at the Tamarack Resort. This resort is near Donnelly, & it aspired to be a “destination” resort; Andre Aggassi & Steffi Graff were seriously considering investing in a high end hotel to be built in the resort’s “village.” Then, of course, the economy went bust & now the resort is bankrupt—I believe they’ve even auctioned off the ski lifts. Donnelly & Cascade are slowly returning to the sleepy state they’ve maintained for years.
The point of that story is that there was a serious movement afoot to pave the Middle Fork Road in order to enhance access to Tamarack from the Boise metropolitan area. The move was spearheaded by ex-Governor (& later Bush Secretary of the Interior) Dirk Kempthorne—who, coincidentally no doubt, was an investor in Tamarack. Thankfully the plan was shot down by the Idaho legislature—proving the old saying that even a broken clock is right twice a day, the most conservative forces in the legislature defeated the plan because of the massive amounts of Federal loan money it involved. There were other reasons for defeating the road plan, but no point in quibbling.
I also was at the Council Senior Center for music on Wednesday, & travelled again to McCall yesterday for a doctor’s appointment; now off to Ontario. This has definitely had an impact on the blogging schedule here & also on my visits to other folks’ blogs. The weekend looks quiet, but then a lot of traveling Monday thru Wednesday. Wish me luck.
The pic at the top of the post was taken on the Middle Fork road several years back by our good friend Margot Kimball