Brodh2O, alias Mommy Dearest has been nagging me to tell the story about opening up the Hwy 54 access to Bayview, many years ago.
Actually, most folks in Bayview already know about this, and is was well covered by the Spokesman-Review at the time, but oh well, I'll tell it again. This story resonates with many because it kind of is a David/Goliath story.
Back in the spring of 1995, I moved to Bayview. I knew exactly two people when I got here. I was used to seeing the highway to Bayview coned off by Farragut management, but only on week-ends, when I usually didn't leave town. Prior to that time,many efforts had been made to lift the blockade.
Wednesday, prior to the Fourth Week-end, I pulled up to the kiosk in the center of the divide, behind three motor homes. As they inched forward, visiting with the pretty blond that was greeting at that time, I realized I was late for happy hour at the Wheel. That ticked me off.
When I finally edged up to the lady, I asked, "Is this going to happen all Summer?" She replied that yes, it would. I pointed out to her that it is illegal to block a State Highway. She laughed at me and replied, "not if it goes through a State Park."
Well, having been in the Real Estate and Mortgage business for many years, I had some knowledge of right-of-way law. The next day, I called the State Police, talking to Captain Powell, then Commander at the Hayden Headquarters. I requested that he arrange the arrest and conviction of the parties at the park for this illegal act.
He stammered a bit, then said, "gosh that's a state agency. I'm going to have to get guidance from Boise on this. Put your complaint in writing and I will forward it." I could feel a runaround coming on and asked, "and how long will that take?" He estimated two weeks.
That afternoon, Thursday, I dropped off the written complaint and left to work my way through the roadblock. At my office, around 11:00 AM,the following day, I received a call from Captain Powell. It was a conference call including the regional manager of the Parks Dept. and the Idaho State Transportation Mgr. for North Idaho.
Bottom line, they agreed to remove the cones after I suggested we could live with one lane open for through traffic. Some of you will remember the small black sign that went up Friday afternoon, just in time for the holiday weekend.
One month later, the park abandoned the center kiosk as a safety measure, replacing it with a former outhouse on the headquarters side of the road, where it still stands. I thought that appropriate.