Friday, August 18, 2017

The death throws of the Spokesman-Review

During the retirement party at the Fort Ground Grill, DFO told me of a total of ten buyouts, all long term quality writers. Landers is gone along with Greg Lee who covered local North Idaho prep sports.

Gone is the iconic Clark and Huckleberries on line with Dave Oliveria. All of these so called volunteer early retirements suggests rats leaving a sinking ship. Get out whole while there are still options left.

The blogging community of which I am one is going to fly apart without Hucks as the glue that held it together.

I don't have the names of the rest, but you can draw a line under long term staff. I think Betsy will leave as well. It turns out Curly wasn't hired as an editor but as a funeral director as the S/R guts itself. Perhaps they will trek on with correspondents like editor Smith tried to do a few years ago or maybe they will just shut down. The once icon daily is in a death spiral.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Farragut History

Tuesday, August 1 was the fiftieth anniversary of the Boy Scout World Jamboree, held at Farragut State Park. 40 to 50 visitors gathered in celebration of the event where some of the original scouts came together along with current scouts and leaders. One such was a retired man from Australia who traveled from down under all the way to North Idaho for the original Jamboree, then came back this year for the reunion.

In recent years the park is undergoing a face lift, but the venerable brig, or navy for jail is the only structure left from World War 11. It was turned into a museum which is constantly evolving. A new wing commemorating local history and the scouts was opened a year ago and new exhibits abound in all areas. Erin Bair, park ranger and mother hen over the museum is still in fine form.

Between 2009 and 2015, a state of the art sewer system was built which allowed much expansion from when septic systems limited how much growth could occur. This five million dollar project brought forth many changes now in the works in many areas of the park. Two new dump stations which were made available to the public were installed. These dump stations are located near Gilmore and Snowberry Campgrounds.

Gilmore Campground now holds fifty camp areas with partial hookups. This is out for bit to enlarge to 100, double it's current capacity, with the new sites having full hookups. Scott Field, a group campground will soon host up to 600 campers. A new access off of Monagham will shorten the way in.

Sunrise day use area has had remodels of shelters as well as guest cabins re roofed recently.
The newest expansion will be started this fall when Tree to Tree, Idaho will start construction on an obstetrical course at Locust Grove. Among other attractions if will feature a zip line for easy aerial travel. This will be the second for profit concession ever at the park. (Currently, River Odyssey West is operating guided bike rides within Farragut, booked out of Coeur d'Alene)
Several favorite places in the park are Buttonhook Bay, a protected area at the extreme south end of Lake Pend Oreille and Beaver Bay, a swimming area.
After the U.S. Government deeded the former naval training base to the state of Idaho, it still hadn't been dedicated as a park until the hurried plan for a huge Girl Scout Jamboree for 1965 was developed. This followed by the world jamboree of boy scouts in 1967.

A four mile former railroad right of way formed another state park between Howard Road and the western park boundary. This Railroad brought recruits from Athol to the training station and was torn out after the nay closed the base. Ironically, a different railway was deactivated just four year earlier when the Lime kilns in Bayview closed down in 1938.

Today the park is managed and staffed with the best crew in years. They rightfully should take pride in the work they do and the attitudes of welcome that prevail.

Saturday, August 12, 2017


I was stunned by the sudden news that we only have one week left for our North Idaho blog, Huckleberries. It isn't just a blog site, it is the glue that holds our blogging community together.

Only time will tell, but I think many of our blogs will bite the dust when Huckleberries central gos away. DFO got me started blogging when I barely knew how to turn on my computer.

That in turn led to my 5 year stint as a correspondent for the Spokesman-Review. Now we will hear the sound of one hand clapping.

I grieve. 

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Boy Scout Reunion

August 1, 1967 marked the First World Jamboree in Idaho for the international Scouting movement. Between 40 and 50 attended this celebration, many who attended the first one in 1967. There were also many current Boy Scouts along with many in scouting leadership.

I met a former scout that traveled all the way from Australia for the first Jamboree, and returned for the reunion.

1:00 pm saw a flag raising, with the Friendship Tower in the background. There are actually two of the awesome towers, but one has been gobbled up by a spreading forest.