by Doug Hawley
I had been told that there
was a strange land just miles east of me. My life
as an actuary had been such a bore; I decided to
see if the legendary land would knock me out of
my funk. I had been told there were rubies, opal,
gold, silver, garnets, jade and topaz there for
the taking, as well as strange people practicing
strange rituals and religions1.
After only a few miles I
found a beautiful lake with boats surrounding the
shore. According to local experts, the lake had
been formed from a catastrophe of monstrous
proportions millennia ago2. The people
there assured me that the stories I had heard
about their land were true, and I should beware
of people that looked like me, but were full of
hate and evil3. Unbelievably polite,
but strange talking people were rumored to live a
little to the north4. I was fortunate
that the natives that I saw on my journey were
I decided to travel south
first. Unbelievable I experienced time
travel. On my way through country that was
beautiful, but largely devoid of humans, time
leaped ahead an hour in only a minute5.
Either that or I had become unconscious for an
hour while still driving.
At last I reached human
civilization not that different from what I was
used to. Many people lived along a reptilian
river6. I learned that everything
along the river had a volcanic history and the
possibility of future earth ending eruptions7.
Despite no large cities, the region had atomic
power going back to 19558.
On our way east along the
river we passed through an unworldly and hellish
volcanic landscape which was so alien that it was
compared to the surface of the moon9.
We finished our
explorations by continuing east to the City Of
Rocks10, consisting of rocks which a
somewhat whimsical observer had likened to
buildings, and others took for granite,
accurately as it turn out. The only habitants
appeared to be a variety of birds, lizards,
snakes, mammals and a few amphibians. There were
unconfirmed rumors of humans climbing on the
rocks rather than living in them. I was happy to
learn that the territory harbored some marmots.
In addition to being entertaining animals, my
sisters ex-husband once referred to my
father as a marmot.
Truly impressed by this
magical place, I asked a native what the land was
called. Rather than tell me directly, he first
said that it was a made up name which was falsely
credited to an aborigine group11.
We call it Idaho.
1. The narrator started this trip in Spokane,
Washington, USA. The aforementioned gems and
metals are all found in Idaho and all religions
are strange to him.
2. Coeur dAlene Lake was formed by the
gigantic Missoula Floods.
3. North Idaho has been the location of some
white power groups. They may be gone now.
4. Canada, eh.
5. North Idaho is Pacific Time, South Idaho is
Mountain Time. The narrator forgot that he had a
car clock that was kept correct by wi-fi.
6. The Snake. The name is a misunderstanding of
the Shoshone sign for salmon.
7. The Snake River Valley was formed by the
potential super volcano that is now under
8. Arco, Idaho.
9. Craters Of The Moon National Monument And
Preserve Where astronauts were trained to
explore the surface of the moon.
10. City Of Rocks National Reserve. Rock climbing
has been prohibited, but then so has running red
Bio - The above story is only partly