Catch Up Post #1 – Idaho City Pioneer Cemetery

Here we go, catching up on some of the things you’ve missed since April.  My husband took me away for my birthday weekend to Idaho City, which is a tiny town outside of Boise.  But during the height of the silver mining in Idaho (during the Civil War), it was a huge city!  It contained the largest Chinatown outside of San Francisco.  (Did I tell you all this?  I can’t remember.)  There are no signs of how big the city used to be – now it’s really just a stop on the highway.  The only mobile phone service is through a Verizon hotspot at the Visitor Center.  It’s kind of funny how quickly you get used to not having any mobile service, and then the wind would shift, or we would walk into the service area and suddenly my phone would start pinging as it downloaded emails, and I’d quickly get on Facebook.

Anyway, on our second day, we took a long hike around the airstrip and saw a wolf.  For real – about 50 yards away from us.  I was pulling out my phone to take a picture and husband was reaching for his gun, then his phone, and shoving me up the path at the same time.  The wolf took a look at us and then went on his way, and neither one of us got a picture.  He was so beautiful!  Our hike around the airstrip took us past this part of the river (the Payette, I think) – notice that there are no power lines in sight.  So peaceful.

After that hike, we drove up the hill to the Pioneer Cemetery   I wish I’d made some kind of notes when I took pictures, but I didn’t.  So I’ll just share the pictures, then tell you some of my thoughts about them on the other side.

As you can tell, I’m kind of drawn to the old monument style with an iron fence around it.  I really thought I’d taken more pictures, but these are all the ones I found on my phone.  These monuments were in the Irish Catholic section of the cemetery.  There was also a Mormon section (Idaho has the 2nd largest Mormon population in the US), a section for Baptists, etc., and a Chinese section.  There was also an area set aside for the miners, but most of those graves were marked with wooden markers, and they were destroyed in a forest fire.

It’s interesting to see the grand monuments right next to simple concrete markers -just a piece of concrete, like curbing, no names or anything.  There is a community group working to restore the cemetery – they are going through the old records and identifying the graves and creating real markers with as much information as they can find.  It’s a gigantic task, and they’ve only done a small portion of the whole site.

It’s very strange for me to look back at these pictures in light of everything that’s happened in the past few months – I was very happy on this trip, and things seemed so good for us.  I never would have guessed that just a few months later all this togetherness and happiness would be gone.  It doesn’t seem possible that things could have changed so quickly…and yet they have.  Strange and sad at the same time.  But always leading to better things, right?  Right.

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