Heading out the door for a walk in the crisp early morning I started to grab my camera then remembered I still hadn’t posted about an early Wednesday outing way back in October. With Thanksgiving tomorrow it’s a good time to remember the visit with our son and daughter in law, the two grandkids and the blessing of spending a few days with them.
The Wednesday of October sixth dawned bright and full of the promise of hours ahead to spend with the grandkids. After breakfast we helped load the kids in their vehicle then stopped and picked up picnic supplies on the way out of their small town. Heading south we drove down an arrow straight road, with only two or three sharp turns, for twenty miles.
It’s interesting how a person thinks they have a good impression of a place visited while growing up. My mother’s sister lived with her family less than an hour from where G&S have settled. Growing up we periodically visited them in the summers. Ed and I also took mom and the kids to visit Aunt B and her kids and grandchildren in the 80’s. My fondest memory of visiting them was when I was eighteen and on my way to college we stopped to visit a few days with Aunt B. My cousin had a Quarter Horse, Pepper, whom he used to help nearby ranchers with their herds. My cousin reluctantly granted me permission to take Pepper out for a solo ride. Away we went, my heart soaring on a good horse who stepped out eager and spirited. Riding along the canal road aways I spied a small bridge and on the other side was a wire gate and a track leading up into barren bench-land. Turning Pepper we crossed the bridge, soon had the gate closed behind us and were winding along the track leading onto the ridge. Once on top I let Pepper have his head and away we dashed. Topping a rise I saw a group of cattle scattered across the grass hollow. Having dreamed of herding cattle from the back of a horse I nudged Pepper towards the nearest cow..
The seconds collapsed into a small dot of time as the world blurred past. Pepper took charge zooming in three circles around the cattle, each circle smaller until the cattle were collected into a tight knot. My breath was gone, left behind at the beginning of the first loop. I was merely a small passenger on the back of a horse doing what he loved. My legs were jelly from hanging on and maintaining balance through those dizzying circles. Exhilaration and joy rode within for the rest of the morning as we explored the ridge and hollows before finding our way back to Aunt B’s.
Back to the story at hand! I’d always thought of that part of Idaho as rather flat. Sure there were some valleys and ridges but by and large, flat. As we traveled like a crow straight south to the Snake River my head kept swiveling taking in the sight of snow covered mountains stretching across the northern end of the wide Boise valley as well as along the southwestern side. Sure I’d seen the hills north of Boise, but behind the hills were grand mountains I’d never seen (or noticed?) on previous trips. Stunning with fresh snow. (Sadly I was not able to capture the grandeur of the mountains to the north and to the west there’d been a large forest fire smudging the sky with smoke.
See how the cliffs simply drop straight down? Yep, it’s the same a few feet in front of Ed. (shiver) DL confidently manuevered the car down the narrow road cut from the side of the canyon as I closed my eyes tight and prayed no rocks would fall from above or the brakes give out.
In 1901 the Swan Falls Dam was built across the snake. Before then there’d been a ferry for the brave souls that actually went back and forth from rim to rim. There was a huge gold mine in the Owyhee Mts and this was the closest, quickest route for prospectors. Before them Native Americans had wintered in this portion of the canyon. It was so still and peaceful beside the river. We all felt our burdens and cares falling away as we breathed in the calm, ate our picnic and chased the many butterflies.A grand old cottonwood tree perfect for playing around.
Finally! It took several days with bits of half hours snatched here and there to get the warp measured, sleyed and threaded through the heddles. Tomorrow morning, after making rolls and putting them to rise, I’ll beam the warp and begin weaving. Can hardly wait!