Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Exploring our "Home Town" of Orofino, Idaho

The town of Orofino, Idaho has been our “home town” for the last two months and wow does time fly! It seems like we just arrived here in the lush hills of north-central Idaho eagerly readying ourselves for our three-month work camping gig. And now we are trying to squeeze in everything we can with only a month left.

We had never heard of Orofino before we signed on to this job, in fact, I think the only Idaho city that my geographically challenged mind could name was Boise. Orofino (population 3,073) sits along the picturesque Clearwater River framed by green hills and emits the aura of an outdoor-loving community where the community warmth is reflected in the “Welcome Fishermen” signs.  The town has a rich history that includes the presence of Lewis and Clark on their famed Corps of Discovery expedition, an early mining rush (Oro Fino means Fine Gold), and the still thriving lumber industry.  Hunting, fishing for steelhead trout and salmon, skiing, and snowmobiling draw visitors and locals outdoors in the winter, but it is the summer time that transforms this town into an outdoor mecca a buzz with people.  The 54-miles Dworshak Reservoir is the hub of activity. (Hence one of the reasons we are leaving in late June).

What other town do you know has a
"Proud Heritage Plaza?"
The town’s Chamber of Commerce brochure boasts that there is plenty to do if you are not an outdoors person like (and I quote) “plenty of unique shopping, dining, and indoor relaxation opportunities.” But beware this claim is a stretch unless of course you consider unique shopping the consignment or Hallmark stores.  And I don’t dare venture to guess what they mean by “indoor relaxation opportunities.”

Nevertheless, we love our adopted little town and it has everything we need (like the grocery, hardware, bait and tackle, and liquor stores and a handful of restaurants).  Our trips to “town” are usually just once a week (since the 45-minute drive takes us away from fishing catching too long) and the highlight is lunch at a local establishment. There are only about a half dozen restaurants in town so it has not taken us long to blow through our list of eateries and Urban Spoon doesn't seem to know Orofino exists.  You know we are not ones to rest on our laurels (or hungry stomachs) so we have managed to find a greasy burger joint, authentic Mexican food, a delicious calorie-laden hot dog truck, and a rather scary plate of Chinese food – all of which adds excitement to our trip to town.

There is nothing like a hamburger, fries, and a cold beer at 11 am.

The "Doghouse" rocked our palates with their
 simple but yummy menu.  The Polish dog with saurkraut, onions and mustard was my choice while Betsy opted for the all beef dog topped with chili and cheese.  Neeless to say, neither of us cleaned our plates, much to Spirit's delight.
The little quaint town seems to have everything we need and while we love exploring there is one place we are not tempted by and hope we never see - the Idaho Correctional Facitilty.  The 500+ person facility is not on our list to visit but sure adds to the mystique of this town.  Now back to the fishing!

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