From the river valleys to the high plains, mountain tops to dry fields, and through the lush forests, I have seen and felt the magnitude and majesty of this remarkable land we call Idaho!
Normally in late August, smoke from distant fires would fill our local air and obscure our view. Lately, storms have formed nearly every evening, filling the sky and each horizon with billowing clouds. Today was clear. A crisp clear that you can feel in your bones. The clear blue sky, that as you breathe in, feels fresh and alive! We drove to Swan Valley and to the Palisade Reservoir, which this time last year was nearly empty. This year, we were surprised to still find a reservoir living up to that title! Though the water was down, it was clear that this year was better than last. Water, our planet's precious resource, was in more abundant supply! Fall Creek Falls flowed beautifully into the braided Snake River, where life thrived on her shores and abundant water flowed freely. We dipped our toes in the river and reservoir, basking in the warmth of the afternoon sun while we listened to the flowing water lap against the rocky shore.
From Swan Valley, we drove the pass to Victor, then turned north to Alta Wyoming and Teton Canyon. There we ascended a slope to catch the panoramic views of the valley below and the peaks behind us. The Tetons shone brightly in the late afternoon light, like prominent citadels protecting the peaceful villages below. We marveled at the colors, sounds, and sights for a time, before heading further north. Driving north, we discovered the Ashton-Tetonia Trail, maintained by the Idaho State Park service. High up in the dry plains, this trail winds its way from the town of Ashton up through the hills then over to Tetonia. It can be walked, biked, or ridden by horse back or snowmobile (in the winter)! It was in these hills we happened upon a quiet grove of trees. So quiet, we paused and felt at peace as the world seemed to pause with us.
As we approached our junction with highway 32, we happened upon a ranch with horses and cows. With evening fast approaching, the fields shone gold, and the mountains a pale bronze. I had to get out and take pictures of the horses in this scene! Two young males approached and quickly made our day as we fed them grass and pet their well-groomed coats. We were in heaven!
Our drive home was spent reminiscing on our beautiful surroundings and the thrills of the day. 7 hours seemed to pass in an instant. We felt we had healed a little, grown a little, and learned a little. We felt alive and happy!
This post is written in a spirit of gratitude and peace. Idaho is stunning! Here's a few pictures as proof :)