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They’ve been a part of western life since before Idaho became a state.  The current version of the Forest Service was created at the same time as the birth of Twin Falls.  It’s an organization with a storied past and tales of heroism.

One of the agency’s old trucks sits polished and ready in neighboring Bend, Oregon.  At the High Desert Museum.  I would highly recommend a visit if you ever get that far west.  The museum itself is hidden in a wooded area south of the city.  Admission was only ten dollars when I last made a visit.  I reserved my ticket and paid online via smartphone the night before my visit.  The museum features some live animal exhibits, including owls, snakes, and porcupines.

The truck fascinated me because the roads that were being traveled 75 to 100 years ago were rough.  Not only in the outback but also between towns and cities.  It took a special kind of tough guy (and they were mostly men) to serve.

An old friend worked for the Forest Service in the Bitterroot Mountains in the late 1970s.  Then he was almost crushed to death by a falling tree.  He moved back to our hometown while he recovered.  He intended to return to his old job and constantly told me how much he missed the job and the lifestyle.  Instead, he met a beautiful young woman and married and settled down.

About a year ago he sent me a book he wrote about his experiences.  I promised I would read it but as books arrive on an almost weekly basis, his work is piled among many on the wing of my desk.  I think this weekend I’m taking it home and reading it starting Saturday morning over a hot cup of coffee.

You can find more details about Roger’s book at this link.

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