A few times a year I get an inspection assignment on the far reaches of my territory, Salmon, ID. As some of my older readers have seen, & know, this is a pretty long drive for me. It’s about 5 & 1/2 hrs each way that is usually done in a “Turn & Burn” (drive there & back on the same day). It’s also a drive that consists of 90% windy mountain roads that are littered with animals and guard rails lack a strong presence on the sheer drop offs. Oh, & rock slides and avalanches thru certain parts are not unheard of either. Overall it’s a very tiring drive, but one of the most beautiful I’ve done as well. So let’s get started…
Along much of the drive to Salmon, ID is following multiple rivers. There’s also many campgrounds to take advantage of the clean air & wonderful views. If you haven’t noticed by now, Idaho is an Outdoor State. Meaning that the things to do outside are seemingly endless.
It seems like half the state is national forest just waiting to be camped in, hiked thru & boated down. The drive to Salmon is no exception. I estimate it would take about a week, to do this 5 & 1/2 hour drive, if you stopped at every possible “Picture Postcard” opportunity. The two above pictures were taken somewhere near Lowman, ID. Getting down to this section of the river was better suited to the RDX at home, but I’ve had the TSX in worse terrain, so I was confident I would be able to make it back out.
The main towns from Boise to Salmon are all spread out about an hour apart. Which makes it very convenient to be able to stop for gas, food or just a stretch. There are a few ways to get there, but the fastest route, the way I go, looks like this… Boise, Idaho City, Lowman, Stanley, Challis & Salmon.
There is a stretch of road that often gets closed down in the winter called Lowman’s Pass, due to Avalanches. In the winter, I always have to check the Idaho state transportation website to make sure this pass is open. Otherwise, it’s about a 3 hour wasted round trip before you get to the first sign that says the pass is closed. Plus the extra 2 hours having to go the longer way. But here you can see the remnants of an avalanche from last winter. So the threat is legitimate.
As always, you can click on these pics to blow them up to full screen. These pics are a perfect example of pics that need to be full size to really appreciate. Just imagine the weight of all that snow & it’s riddled with felled trees. And this is just what’s left from the actual avalanche! Getting closer to Stanley things open up some & you can see views like these open fields of wild flowers.
This spot is a perfect mix of scenery & beauty. You can plainly see the river and the mountains behind the TSX. But what this picture doesn’t show you is the other mountain & hundreds of acres of pasture land to the left…
You can see about 100 head of cattle grazing away in the middle of the pasture on the left. I often wonder if they know just how lucky they are. Compared to other cows that are stuck on just a few acres of dirt with 100 other cows. Regardless, if I could build a cabin right here, I would.
The hot water runs down the short slope & merges with the cold river water. You can see here where someone took the time to arrange some rocks in the river for a little sitting area directly in the path of the merging hot water. I may have to try this out some time.
Here are some of the information placards around the old bath house.
While at copart I also saw this silver TSX with the right front suspension ripped out. A sad end to this awesome car.
Just a 2000 something Mazda 3 series right? Big deal, right? Well, yes & no. The car itself is a decent little commuter and belongs to a very nice girl I met for an inspection. But what’s so special about this particular picture is the internal number the camera has assigned it. “DSC00001” This internal number is first in the camera memory and only resets back to this number after hitting “DSC09999”. Again, what so special? The picture above, is the 4th time I’ve seen this internal number on this camera. Meaning that this Mazda right front corner shot is the 40,000th picture that I’ve taken with my little Sony Cybershot DSC-H70 Camera. In fact, I’d say about 80% of the pictures taken on this blog were done so with this little Sony camera. I’ve only had it for about 4 – 5 years, dropped it a few times & accidentally kicked it once, but it has been a great little camera & I felt that Sony deserved a shout out for building a quality product! We’ll see how long she lasts.
In closing, as always, be safe out there & get ready for next weeks post were I meet up with pro blogger Tyson Hugie for a car swap with his 2013 Acura ILX 6 speed manual thru some of my favorite mountain roads here in Idaho!