Local History

A mixture of nature and history that I’ve encountered in my travels near and far.


Shorty Peak lookout offers spectacular views

Waking up on top of a mountain as the horizon turns orange with nothing blocking the view is an amazing sight–especially from the comfort of a bed within four walls. With windows across all four walls, a 360 degree view of the mountains and Kootenai Valley could be seen from…

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Eileen Dam a reminder of early mining days

Ninety years ago construction began on a monumental project that never came to fruition–the Eileen Dam. A rock failure caused the entire project to be left standing as a monument to the area’s early mining days. The Eileen Dam was constructed to provide electricity to mines in the Deer Creek…

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A train ride on the other side of the Selkirk Mountains

This gallery contains 15 photos.

Chug-a-chug-a-choo-choo. The train began to roll out of the Ione, Washington station on a beautiful October day on a short trip to Metaline Falls. Through the rolling countryside and next to the Pend Oreille River, the Pend Oreille Valley Railroad train chugged. Glimpses of the river could be seen through…

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Benchmarks lay the foundation for maps

“Where am I?” “How high am I?” These questions are easy to answer today with a GPS. People have always wondered where in the world they were located. Where is Bonners Ferry in relation to New York City? The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) was established in 1807 to provide the…

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The Alaska Highway

More than a highway–the only all-land route to Alaska Fairbanks 1000 km. Six hundred miles I estimate. There aren’t many road signs in the Lower 48 stating mileage to the next town 600 miles away but on the Alaska Highway it is normal (along with kilometers). As the only all-land…

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Petroglyphs: A primitive means of communication

Painstakingly scratched into the rock above the Colorado River in southeast Utah were depictions of big horn sheep, birds, bears, horses and human-like figures with bows and arrows. These petroglyphs, also known as rock art or Indian writing, were created by prehistoric and historic peoples over thousands of years. How…

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Dinosaur Tracks and Petroglyphs

On our way to California, we took the scenic route through Utah and Arizona. Southeastern Utah is amazing country with all the exposed rock. We explored dinosaur tracks and petroglyphs in several different locations. There were the Poison Spider Tracks made by dinosaurs 190 million years ago. Dinosaur tracks above…

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Fire Lookouts of Boundary County, Idaho

Standing on a high peak during a lightening storm is not recommended but not long ago, men and women endured the storms in small towers on those peaks by sitting on chairs with glass insulators on the chair legs. A risky yet crucial job when the only means of detecting…

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