After many many trips to Idaho we have finally decided it is time we explored more than the Teton Valley area of SE Idaho. As usual we took the secondary roads, driving north on Route 28 out of Rexburg to Salmon, then route 93 across the border into Montana, into the quintessential western town of Darby, Mt.
We had breakfast and chatted with some locals. It seems to us that Darby, in it’s uniquely western way, is not all that different from the small towns of NH. The ethos, if you will, of rural towns across the nation is similar. Darby is going through the same economic difficulties as other small towns but people are struggling together and trying their best to make it work, knowing they will come out stronger at the other end. Darby isn’t thriving right now, but it’s doing OK and will survive on it’s own terms. It’s a really pretty little town.
North of Darby, in Lolo, Montana, we swung west on Route 12 to Lolo Pass and back into Idaho.
From Lolo Pass route 12 wanders for many miles along the Lochsa River through the Clearwater National Forest.
As it was getting late in the day and the weekend was coming we grabbed a site at the first campground we passed. Turns out it’s the best campground in the forest because it is over a mile off busy Route 12 and right on the Lochsa River. We found a site on the banks of the river and settled in for a couple of days.
The snow is still melting in the high country and the Lochsa is a beautiful sight. We’ll stay here for a while and do some exploring. There are a lot of hiking trails and some natural hot springs.