Day 16: The Swan Valley

An old shack in the middle of the Swan Valley, Idaho.


A story behind: Wedover is a strange town. It sits on the Utah / Nevada border in the middle of "nowhere". The "nowhere" is really the middle of Great Basin desert: 700 km of diameter large dnd hot desert.
The eastern part of the town is located in Utah - a state where most of the population belongs to Mormon Church which greatly influences Utah culture and daily life. So it is a quite, normal and a simple good-living small town. The western part of Wendover belongs to Nevada, a state where prostitution, hazard and crime hit the national´s high. 10 cm behind the Nevada-Utah border a huge Nugget Casino rises with its large and blinking colorful sings inviting you to gamble, spend money and join the party.

In the morning we left Wendover and joined Interstate 80. After 45 km we turned north and drove road 233. For the next 160 km we were practically alone on the road and met as many as 2 cars on our way until finally arrived at the gorgeous Sawtooth National Forest and a tiny village of Rosette ( 10 houses and a red brick church ). A couple of miles later we joined Interstate 84 and entered a state of Idaho. We crossed Curlew National Grassland ( "A land of many uses" as the sign was saying ) and drove north to Pocatello. At Pocatello we stopped a at Applebee´s and had a nice lunch. Agnieszka ordered her favorite White Peach Sangria with Sutter Home White Zinfandel to drink. Oh, it was goooood, very good. And this is where America stays at its best: they bring it big, very big, like an almost a liter big glass of sangria so we all could enjoy it.

After lunch we hit the road again. Our surroundings has changed. We soon forgot about hot, flat and desert-like landscapes of Utah and Nevada. Idaho was all about vast grassy planes with woods and rivers and cattle. But it was not until Idaho Falls that the landscape became heavenly beautiful.

The Swan Valley lies between Caribou and Snake River Ranges surrounded by the rocky mountain peaks of 3000 m.
In the middle of the valley we found this old shack standing in-between the corn fields. The sky was made of tiny black and white puzzle-like parts ... I stopped and took a picture. I could feel we were approaching the Tetons National Park, one of the most stunning landscapes in the United States.

Date: August 21st, 2010.

Maciek.