Atlanta ID to Alturas Lake #1

I was nine in the summer of 1954, the year mom and dad took on the task of herding three kids and guiding three horses over our first trek through the Sawtooth Mountains of central Idaho.

Atlanta, Idaho, is some eighty miles from Boise, up a very rough road along the Boise River. Dad was thirteen years old when he first saw Atlanta and his mother ran a laundry there until he was fifteen. He loved the rugged mountain setting of towering peaks and rushing cold water, all sprinkled with hot springs here and there.

Atlanta 1952 INT

By 1954 we had camped in Atlanta several times, so I didn’t think much of yet another summer vacation in the remote reaches of Idaho.

Atlanta camp INT

The first hint of this being an unusual camping trip was Dad talking with locals about horses. And then having horses in our camp while we loaded wooden boxes with raw potatoes and cans of food and our Coleman camping stove and a can of white gas for the stove and pans and can openers and knives and matches — only to double check and check again that we had everything.

Packbox INT

Then, next morning, dad put what looked like small sawhorses on the backs of the horses. The sawhorses were called called packsaddles and had little legs that stuck up from them. Where these legs crossed made a notch to catch rope loops — rope loops that were attached to the wooden boxes holding our heavy 1950s camping gear.

Packsaddle INT

Photo: A special thanks to Trailhead Supply of  Kalispell, Montana.

Mom and Dad were careful to make sure the weight of each box was real close to the weight of the box on the other side of the horse. Then they mounded the loads ever higher with quilts and canvases thrown over the tops of the boxes and the backs of the horses. Finally the entire kit and caboodle was secured to the packsaddles with ropes.

My beautiful picture

And we were off !

5 thoughts on “Atlanta ID to Alturas Lake #1

  1. Dorothy Burrows

    I think your parents would love the fact that you are reflecting on these wonderful experiences they gave you.

    Reply
  2. james knosp housley

    What a great childhood memory.  There’s nothing so valuable as a good Mom and Dad. J

    From: Deans Great Wahoo To: jimknosp@yahoo.com Sent: Tuesday, February 16, 2016 7:41 PM Subject: [New post] Atlanta ID to Alturas Lake #1 #yiv5816322762 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv5816322762 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv5816322762 a.yiv5816322762primaryactionlink:link, #yiv5816322762 a.yiv5816322762primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv5816322762 a.yiv5816322762primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv5816322762 a.yiv5816322762primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv5816322762 WordPress.com | deansgreatwahoo posted: “I was nine in the summer of 1954, the year mom and dad took on the task of herding three kids and guiding three horses over our first trek through the Sawtooth Mountains of central Idaho.Atlanta, Idaho, is some eighty miles from Boise, up a very rough r” | |

    Reply
  3. rangewriter

    What a fabulous trove of historical photos of the area. Do you still go to Atlanta often? My hair dresser owns property up there. I rarely go, but it is definitely beautiful.

    Reply
  4. deansgreatwahoo Post author

    It is great to have these photos from my kid hood isn’t it, Rangewriter? I still make it to Atlanta about once every five years. The last time being last summer. Don’t count on any accommodations up there!

    Reply

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