The temptation, during the next few years of celebrating
the Lewis & Clark Expedition, is to focus on the explorers'
journey along the Clearwater River and among the Nez Perce
of north-central Idaho.
A new scenic byway approved by the transportation board last
week will bring appropriate attention to another area near
Salmon that was instrumental to the expeditions success.
The Sacajawea Historic Byway, which follows a portion of Idaho
33 north of Idaho Falls and the entire length of Idaho 28
to Salmon, will recognize, in part, the role Sacajawea played
in the historic journey.
This passage through the high country of eastern Idaho
offers a wealth of engaging stories, many of them considered
legacies of Idaho and beyond, according to the Salmon
Valley Chamber of Commerce, which sponsored the byway application.
There is Chief Tendoy, Sacajawea, Lewis and Clark,
the Alma Shoshone, the flight of the Nez Perce, the Reverend
Samuel Parker, stage routes and the mining boom of the late
1800s they served, fossils of the extinct North American lion,
Native American rock art and much more.
The scenic byway proposal identified 41 places of historical,
cultural, scenic and recreational interest along the 132-mile
route. Among them are:
The sponsoring group will have to judiciously winnow those
41 outstanding points of interest to about a dozen for display
on scenic byway signs that will be placed at both ends of
As you turn onto the byway from Interstate 15 your
exit from the fast track lane of life will become quickly
A series of dips and turns reveals the mysteriously
diverse nature of the land where there is more than first
meets the eye. Your ascent into Birch Creek Valley leads you
to the world of ancient rock and prehistoric man. Two mountain
ranges flank your sides like rigid sentinels standing guard
at the entrance