We can’t always travel to the places on our bucket list. But we can go there with books! I started the Fifty States Of Fiction challenge with the aim of reading one book from every state in the country. Each week in 2017 I’ll be here to talk about a different state, share with you some geographical fun facts, and explore how a novel, play, or personal narrative captures the essence of the area. Want to follow along? Check out this free printable calendar I’ve created just for you! Let’s get started!
Today’s State: Idaho
Nickname: Gem State
Motto: “It Is Perpetual”
Bird: Mountain bluebird
Entered the union in: 1890
Now, pack your bags everybody. We’re about to explore Idaho as Tom Spanbauer portrays it in The Man Who Fell In Love With The Moon.
Everywhere Dellwood Barker goes he leaves a dime behind to thank the place he’s been. There’s a dime in the Union Street jail cell out past the Mormon church of Owyhee City. There’s one up at Buffalo Head, the massive rock formation just beyond the arroyo trail and the chaparral ledge. There’s even one in good old Excellent, Idaho, the birthplace of Out-In-The-Shed, the Berdache Indian son of Ida and Billy Blizzard. In the years between the first gold rush and the Second Coming, Excellent is a quiet town. Ida’s Place serves whiskey and women as the town’s only (and pink-painted!) hotel. Dr. Ah Fong supplies the people with opium from his house in Chinatown out past the wire fence and three jumps across Hot Creek. Damn Dave and his Damn Dog cause the occasional scene out in the streets. But when ore is discovered and the white men take to Gold Hill with their shovels and picks to suck out the mountain’s supply, nothing in Excellent will ever be the same.
Have you read any other books set in Idaho? Have you traveled there yourself? Make sure to let me know what the Gem State means to you in the comments! Check back here next week to explore Illinois through literature.
And remember, if you want to keep up with our schedule as we travel the country, you can download my free printable calendar.
See you all next week!