Going East To Go West

If you’ve lived on the Pacific side of the US for long enough you begin to think you’re in the West.  You’re not.  The west is here as you cross the prairies, the mountains and the deserts.  As I left Oregon for Idaho and headed for the Sawtooth and Ketchum I listened to On the Road written by Jack Kerouac in the early 50’s.  He describes leaving New Jersey and heading west to San Francisco via Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming and Colorado.  I’m going the same way but west to east.  I’ll be passing through some of the same cities he did but not hitchhiking!

The book is terrific and so is the reader!  I think the individuals who narrate audio books are very talented.  They modulate their voices as different characters speak and have such animated and amusing deliveries that I laugh out loud.  It’s wonderful to have them as companions.

My destination today was Ketchum.  A beautiful town with beautiful weather today–warm and sunny.  A dear friend welcomed me into her home.   I left Baker City in Oregon at 6 a.m. leaving behind the Powder River and the Geiser Grand Hotel.  Much of the road I followed was the Oregon Trail.

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What brave and strong people those pioneers were.  I’m not sure most of us could make the journey today.

I was interested in the wheat fields which are being mown and baled.  My grandfather, Troy Deneen Smith, arrived here in 1912 in time for the harvest.  He was about 27 at the time.  Kerouac describes seeing the “boys” along the roadside waiting to be chosen for a farmer’s crew.  Hard to make a living–hard work!   Tomorrow I drive north to the town where my grandfather spent the rest of his life–Mackay. 

I close with a picture of a beautiful painting seen today in the Gail Severn Gallery in Ketchum. ” Light on Silver Creek” by James Cook.

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