06: Elk City, Idaho

In 1976, a buch of hippie tree planters invade a small mill town in Idaho. There they receive an interesting welcome.


A group of old timers and a few kids sat around the campfire. A couple of fresh logs were tossed on, sending a rush of sparks up to the sky. Robbie Richards pushed back his grey hair, and stretched his long boots towards the fire. Someone handed him a fresh bottle of Porter, and he began his story. The others, young and old turned towards him.

Dusk was setting in and the rain was pouring down like there was no tomorrow as Tim Booty and me turned onto route 14 outa Grangeville and headed toward Elk City in spring of ‘76. Tim was driving his dusty old green Saab 96. That thing had more creaks and rattles in it than an old horse buggy, but she ran just fine. Man it was coming down!

Now in 1976, that road to Elk City was not paved at all, so it took us well over two hours to go that forty-five miles of dips and turns and foot-deep pot holes as we snaked along the South Fork of the Clearwater. You couldn’t see the big trees along the road in the dark and rain, but you could just feel them looming silent above us as we edged along. Well, you guys all know what I mean.

Anyway, it was about ten o’clock when we finally reached town, and since we didn’t know where camp was, we headed strait for the tavern.


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