One day I hitched my wagon to a star
and set out in the footsteps of our forefathers.
I veered off the historical Lewis & Clark Trail, and walked a few miles down the path of our native brothers and sisters: the Bannock, the Shoshone, the Blackfoot.
I dodged the pungent sagebrush, sidestepped rattlers and battled the willows.
At last, I found myself lost in the sweet song of the Mountain Bluebird
and lush fragrance of the Western Whites, the Syringa and Lupine.
I climbed to the top of Mt. Borah
to see if I could pluck the moon from the sky.
Then looked to see if there were really snakes in the Snake,
but knew it is called that because of the way it winds.
I discovered the Hagerman Horse,
proof that God’s plan for this beautifully rugged land
was for cowboy and cayuse
to be hoof in hand.
I bravely went through Hells Gate and conquered Hells Canyon, then went for a walk on the Craters of the Moon.
I went far into the earth, where the air is so cool, where one could get lost
in the darkness if not for the lights illuminating the amazing formations.
I’ve spent weeks hunting the regal bull elk, the largest muley buck
and after much seeking,
found that the caribou was actually
a gold miner by the name of
Jesse “Cariboo Jack” Fairchilds.
I fished the mighty Salmon for steelhead, waded the Big Lost for colorful rainbows, gorged myself until my face and hands were purple
and ate a potato prepared every way imaginable.
Yes, even potato ice cream.
I was at the first rodeo in Granger,
The first gold rush in Pierce
and I’ve been to Paris at least a hundred times.
The best thing is, that every wonderful site, every sunset that glows
and every sunrise that shines,
every boot print and hoof print I have left behind me
has been in my own huge back yard.
I am proud to live in Idaho,
the last of the untamed lands
and the Gem of the West.