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Returning to Where it Began

Last week my friend and publicist Peggy Washburn and I took a two day trip from Boise to Challis, Idaho. We wanted to visit the town where my family and I raised BUMMER, Our Pet Bighorn Sheep.

When we left Stanley and headed down the road that runs from Stanley to Challis and on to Salmon, the memories started to come. We passed the place where the hot springs run into the edge of the cold river water. How many times had we gone down and soaked in the warm water where the hot spring water and cold river water mixed. What fun we had back then.

We drove on up the road until we came to Clayton. What an unexpected surprise that was. The town of Clayton was not anywhere near the same. The one room school house where I used to visit when I was the School District Reading Coordinator, gone. The restaurant where the food was so good,

gone. The only thing left of the town were some homes and the Clayton sign with the population of 7 marked on it. Can you believe it only 7 people listed on the population sign. But what could I expect after 50 years have passed.

We continued our drive on down the river highway and turned onto the Main Street of Challis. The first thing we noticed was the big sign which read: EXPLORE HISTORICAL CHALLIS, and that is exactly what we planned on doing but that would have to wait until the next day. Before retiring for the night we stopped for dinner at Shyla’s Hideaway Bar and Grill.

I noticed some people sitting in the booth next to us as we were waiting for our order to arrive. But I didn’t think too much about it until Peggy leaned over and said they are talking about Challis during the sixties. I perked right up and said, “That is when we lived here in Challis and BUMMER, Our Pet Bighorn Sheep came to live with us.”

I went over to their booth and introduced myself. As it turn out only one of them was old enough to have lived in Challis when we were living there. Non the less, they told me about some friends that had passed on (which was sad to hear) and some friends that were still living there in Challls. They also told us some places to visit.

I want to thank Ellen Corgutelli, Peggy & Gregg Hurless and Hazel Crane for the friendly welcome they gave us on our first night in town. I will do the next half of our trip next week on my blog.

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