Salmon, ID. The Ultimate Turn & Burn

A “Turn & Burn” is what I call a long distance drive to an inspection (which the inspection lasts from 5 – 20 minutes) only to get right back in the car & head home. Salmon, ID is the furthest point in my territory that I cover & it seems like I’ve been out there quite a bit this year. Here’s a map of the route showing miles & drive time. MAP

It’s up by the Montana border. 5&1/2 hrs each way thru some of the most scenic windy mountain roads you’ll ever drive & over 500 miles round trip. It also happens to include, hands down, some of the funnest stretch of road to drive in the state of Idaho. Pictures don’t really do it justice. You just need to drive it. It’s an awfully long day, but totally worth it. But there is this small town in the middle of the trek that always make me think about what it must have been like during the Lewis & Clark era. It’s Clayton, ID.DSC08745Ever hear the saying “In the middle of nowhere.”? Well, it refers to Clayton, ID. The whole town sits on about 100 yards of asphalt in the middle of a mountain range in the middle of no where. I always think about what it must have been like going & finding a place like this & only having what you’ve packed in & having to start cutting down trees to build yourself a cabin for shelter. It was a whole different type of people that had no other choice but to live like this. No electricity, water only from the river, digging a hole to relieve yourself in, & having to hunt for food & forage. All this to mine metals from the earth.

The odd thing is, after driving thru this town over 60 times in the last 8 years, I’ve never seen one person. Not once. Sure there’s smoke coming from the chimneys in the winter, cars & trucks parked in different locations. But not one person. But I guess it makes sense when the deer & elk outnumber people 100 – 1.DSC08744I took some pics of the town itself, but the sun was starting to drop in the sky and the pics weren’t that great, so I decided to leave it a mystery. You’ll get to experience it when you do the drive.

DSC08743Here’s a sign you don’t see to often. Most of the drive to Salmon follows rivers all the way up. Mountains galore & wild life all over the place. I always see some kind of wild life every time I make this drive. Usually deer & elk, but I’ve also seen wolves & even bear. When I got up to the shop these guys were enjoying the shade of the building & were literally within 10 feet of where I took this picture.DSC08711It’s a very long day & very tiring, but it’s always worth it! The truck I went out to see this time around wasn’t too exciting. But I went back in my picture archive and found this truck that I saw out there 3 years ago. It’s very rare that you see a frame bent like this…DSC07728Any guesses as to what happened? Give up? Well, this is what happens while driving the windy roads I mentioned (oh, I forgot to mention that 95% of these windy mountain roads have no guard rail. Even if it’s a 200ft drop!) & not really paying attention & going over the side, rolling down the side of a mountain until you hit a giant Pine Tree with the floor of the truck, wrapping the frame around the tree. The tow bill on this one cost the insurance company over $4,000. The loss happened out in the middle of no where (but not Clayton) it took 3 tow trucks working together & 2 guys with chainsaws to remove trees & stumps to get this truck back up to the road. It went down the mountain about 100 ft before the tree stopped it. The good news is that the guy driving & his dog were both OK. Just shaken up some. Yikes…

About clymerdude

A Property Damage Appraiser in the State of Idaho.
This entry was posted in Scenic Attractions, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Salmon, ID. The Ultimate Turn & Burn

  1. tysonhugie says:

    Population 7 – I wanna go to Clayton! Your “middle of nowhere” comment reminds me of a place here in my own state called Nowhere, Arizona. It’s along Hwy 93 and there’s, well, absolutely nothing there except for an abandoned building that used to be a store. Good stuff. Dang, that Tundra’s frame got tweaked a bit.

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