Sightseeing in my own backyard

Nothing like sight-seeing in your own backyard.  Sometimes there is so much to see, we just have to take the time to look.  My backyard includes Big Springs and Mesa Falls, all of Island Park up through West Yellowstone, Montana.  Great places on the road north-west.  I’m so lucky,South-east Idaho is a great jumping off spot.

Island Park, Idaho has the longest main street in America at 33 miles long.  In most places it is only 500 feet wide, but it brings together many resorts and areas in to one tight-knit community.  There is Mack’s Inn and Island Park Lodge, Last Chance and Henry’s Lake.  There is so much to see and many places to visit.

Earlier this summer we got to spend a weekend at Lakeside Lodge for the wedding reception for a terrific couple.  What fun was had there, the Lodge was great with the food and entertainment and making us all feel welcome.  The bartenders were awesome, and what a beautiful setting.

Our trip this week brought us from West through the first few miles of Island Park for a quick side trip to Big Springs.  Big Springs is a constant 52 degrees all year round and boasts some big fish hanging out to be fed by the visitors.  It is home to the Johnny Sack Cabin built in the early 30’s by a German immigrant, it was built by hand with a remarkable use of the wood, leaving on most of the bark in the building process.  In 1957, Mr. Sack died leaving the cabin in the hands of the government, through the efforts of local citizens, it was saved and is used as an example of great craftsmanship.  The cabin is available for visiting during the summer months.

Our next little detour off Main Street or Highway 20 as most know it was on to Highway 47, the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway.  I visited Mesa Falls a few years ago and was awed by the beauty of the falls, but this experience was even better. Mesa Falls is beautiful from all angles, but there was something new there.  A fantastic walkway that was recently built gave some new vantage points to see the falls.  Thanks to the Forest Service for a great addition to an already beautiful spot.

The road ended in Ashton, Idaho, with a stop at the local Frostop drive-in.  Worth a stop, the mug still goes around and the place is fastidiously clean.  Give yourself a treat and stop for a snack before you tackle the Main Street if you are headed north.

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