I should have known that Idaho was up to no good because of the nonexistence of an appropriate state line sign. All it said was “Idaho State Line”. But then again, what would have been depicted on said sign if there would have been one? A potato with a gun?
Crossing the border from Oregon into Idaho, the scenery seemed to change almost immediately. Maybe I just perceived it that way, since Idaho was the first State I was about to travel through I knew essentially nothing about.
Over the following six days, I traveled mostly through some variation of a canyon landscape, with a river flowing in the middle and the road following suit right next to it. Arid and barren in the beginning, it ended in an almost one hundred mile stretch through Lolo National Forest with services about fifty miles apart.
I saw “2nd amendment” flags draped against windows inside motor homes, NRA bumper stickers, TVs being stuck on FOX News, dear heads and fur displayed as trophies on walls at restaurants and cafes and plenty of other references towards what are obviously the resident’s favorite pastimes: hunting and fishing.
In all fairness though, despite the fact that these things don’t resonate with me, I have to mention that I did not encounter more or less friendliness amongst the people I interacted with. Most of them were amicable, nice, maybe a little less inquisitive than what I was used to from California and Oregon. Of course, there are the morons on the road that honk at you or the truck drivers or RV pilots that find it a good idea to pass within a few feet of your left shoulder, notwithstanding the low amount of traffic and plenty of space for them to give me more room. But there are idiots everywhere, what can you do.
Eventually I managed to put the roughly 400 miles from Baker City, Oregon, through Idaho and to Missoula, Montana behind me in six days. Sometimes you have to decide when you want to stick around and explore or rather trust your instincts, move on, and save the leisure time for some place you feel it is worth it for yourself.