Wednesday, 8 August 2012

From peak to crater. Jackson Wyoming through the fields of Idaho

Jackson Hole skifields dominate the main street of Jackson.

So do four elk-horn arches on each corner of the central square.

Stagecoach rides began in the morning and horses clip clopping could be heard into the evening.

The local evangelical church has a modern bronze of the nativity in the garden and people are invited to walk a nearby labyrinth.

On the road out of town a ranch for sale... We noticed lots of acreages(term used here for properties) for sale. Many small towns sported businesses for sale. Small gas stations, motels and stores boarded up and looking forlorn.

The ripe wheat reminded me of the harvest when I was young. We would sometimes eat the wheat grains that were intended for the chickens.

Potatoes are the State vegetable for Idaho. The volcanic soils and moisture from the snow melt and warm sunny days and cool nights promote their growth. It seemed strange to see acres, surrounded by desert, of lush green potato foliage alongside acres of golden wheat awaiting harvest. Huge pivot irrigation systems were common.

We saw butte rising out of the desert in the haze.

We rode westward to Arco and passed by the INL Idaho National Laboratories site and atomic museum. The atomic energy commission established a National Reactor Testin Station in 1949 and in 1951 Arco was the first town to have electricity supplied from a nuclear reactor. It doesn't now. 50 unique reactors we're built but only three are active now.

The mystery if these numbers on the hillside overlooking Arco was explained by Mary Beth who we met by chance as we 'cooled off' in the first shade we had seen for several hours.
Each year the Butte High School graduates climb and paint their year on the rocks. The numbers are up to 30' tall. The tradition started in 1921 and the only year missing is 1944.

A few km away we cameo the first of the craters on the edge of the Craters of the Moon National Park.

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