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This week I’m joining Rural Voices for Conservation colleagues for our Western Week in Washington. As director of Salmon Valley Stewardship, I’ve been to DC a few times. Salmon, Idaho, and the surrounding areas are more than 90% public land so a lot of decisions that affect our daily lives are made in the Capitol City. I’ve come to believe rural community members should become more familiar with Washington DC, in much the same way people in Washington and other urban places should get to know their public lands.

I’m going to try to post about my trip daily, but I’m already a day behind. Day 1 started in my beautiful home town of Salmon. Because it’s summer (or near enough), I can get to Boise via my favorite route. I travel on Highway 93 south through Challis along the Salmon River, then over the 7,000 ft Willow Creek summit towards Mackay, passing Mt. Borah and the Lost River Range. Trail Creek Road is closed about 8 months of the year, but for now it serves as a beautiful shortcut to Ketchum, and the iconic Wood River Valley. Antelope and cows are more plentiful than cars. The snow drifts on the side of the road at the summit provide evidence of a good winter.

Trail Creek links one of Idaho’s most remote and rural areas with the hustle bustle of Sun Valley, and it’s Memorial Day weekend. Dodging tourists, I travel west on Highway 20 through southern Idaho’s Camas Prairie, where there’s still a few hints of the periwinkle blooms.

There are several Camas Prairies in Idaho. The one closest to my heart is the one in Camas County, Idaho, near Fairfield.

Photo courtesy Gini Johnson

At Mountain Home, I hit I-84. The 80 mph speed limit seems too fast, and I’m soon in Boise, the slow, easy pace of Salmon some 300 miles away.

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