Wednesday, May 25

Salmon Trip, Day 1: Road Trippin'

(This is a travelog of my adventures at Kelly and Caleb's wedding.
Link to Salmon Trip, Day 2; Salmon Trip, Day 3; and Salmon Trip, Day 4).

We started out Thursday morning by having breakfast at Goldy's, where there works a very hot South American waiter (happily married, of course). After breakfast and some farting about in town, Tyler and I were off, hoping that the beautiful weather would hold for the rest of our drive to Salmon. It became apparent, however, about 12 minutes outside of Boise that we were driving into a big system of rain clouds. We stopped at the Wal-Mart in Mountain Home to get some batteries and film for our cameras. Walmart is home to some hilarious displays, such as a stack of toy horses that looks like a great big toy horse orgy. Ther was also a wall of Darth Vader noise makers, and we had fun making as many of them breathe loudly at the same time as possible. I purchased a toy red and white Minicooper for $1.97, only to find that the manufacturer attached a platform to the bottom of it so I couldn't roll it around. I didn't have a screwdriver, so the platform stayed on it the whole trip, much to my annoyance.

After Wal-Mart, we hit the road to Hailey and Ketchum and, ultimately, Stanley. Have you ever noticed how many wierd little cafes there are along the rural highways of Idaho? And how many of them look like they've been closed since the '80's? When were these places ever open? Did they get much business when they were? What inspired people to build them in the first place? Who ever thinks, "Wow, a run-down cafe in the middle of nowhere! I bet the food's outta sight!" These were the questions Tyler and I tossed around on the way towards the Hailey-Ketchum metro area.

The airport in Hailey is bigger than I could have imagined, and there was a humongous private jet parked there. I couldn't help speculating on whose it was. Arnold Schwarzenegger? Teresa Heinz Kerry? Bruce Willis? Anyway, I really wanted to eat in Hailey or Ketchum because there were tons of yummy looking restaurants serving Thai and Vietnamese food, but Tyler wasn't hungry and said they were probably overpriced anyway. We waved at the restaurants and said goodbye to exotic food for the weekend.

There are a lot of buildings crammed into a small space in Ketchum, especially, and the whole area looks like Aspen, Colorado--except the ski lifts and vacation homes and condos and yoga studios and spas and golf courses and art museums and overpriced bars, restaurants, and stores don't feel so much like they are right on top of you in Aspen. This is what I'm used to and expect when I go to the mountains. Touristy and wealthy. It doesn't bother me; I love ski towns.

After wondering whether we could see any Janet Jarvis neighborhoods from the highway, we stopped at the SNRA headquarters to use the bathroom. I wish I'd taken a picture, because they were the creepiest bathrooms I've ever seen. There were like 5 tiny goldenrod-colored stalls crammed into a dark, low-ceilinged space the size of my closet, and I was compelled to push open the door of each, lest a zombie be lurking in one of them,(there wasn't). The phone outside had a sign on it saying, “You are calling from NRA Headquarters,” which Tyler and I thought was pretty funny. When we finally figured out how the hell to get out of the confusing parking lot, we were back on Highway 95 heading towards Stanley. We passed much fresh snow on Galena Summit and thanked our lucky stars that no deer jumped in front of our car.

We cursed the Bridge Street Grill in Stanley for being closed at 3:30 on a Thursday afternoon, (awesome burgers, y’all), and had an unremarkable lunch at the Stanley Lodge instead. It snowed briefly and lightly while we were inside. After that we drove into some serious rain, and Tyler drove faster an more maniacally every time I cringed--and I cringe a lot since I get really nervous when I’m not at the wheel. We came to Challis, aka the asshole of Idaho. We didn’t even see a rainbow, which happens a lot in Challis.

We got a good laugh at the expense of the Sidlo family, who has adopted a section of Highway Litter Control near Challis, (“That sign just said this area was sponsored by the Sildo family! Could you imagine if your last name was Sildo? It rhymes with dildo!” “You’re a dildo! And anyway, it said Sidlo, not Sildo,”). We finally got to Salmon, where we had a happy reunion with Noellie at our sweet wood-paneled motel, the Wagons West.

After Kelly’s wedding shower, Noel, Tyler and I headed to the Owl Club for some good old drinking fun.

I was glad to see they had installed a curtain in the ladies room, because the way it used to be you risked being seen on the pot whenever someone opened the door. There's a machine in the bathroom that dispenses Freedom Ticklers, and Kelly M. thought this was so funny she had to have one. Caleb's friend hauled a guitar into the bar and a singalong broke out. I learned a new song over the weekend. I'd never heard "West Virginia" by John Denver before, but after about 300 repetitions, I'll not soon forget it.

There were some seriously drunk people in the Owl Club, including one guy who knocked his barstool over on me and later tried unintelligibly to talk to me when I went to order a drink. There was also a woman who was falling out of her clothes and taking some liberties with her barstool. She told me about how she'd stopped traffic on the highway between Idaho Falls and Salmon earlier that day to rescue a calf that was wondering around in the road. I thought that was pretty cool. Some old white-haired guys stumbled in a little later and couldn't communicate with the bartender to order more drinks, so plastered were they.

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