Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I is for Idaho Falls, 1969


Theme ~ My 50 Years in America 

Around midnight, the Greyhound bus left Salt Lake City and headed out into the night, turning toward Ogden, Pocatello, and finally Idaho Falls, the city where I was to obtain a divorce and digest, in solitude, the failure of my marriage. The bus droned on through the night and finally turned into the terminal in Idaho Falls. I stepped out into a strange city where I didn’t know a soul. Young Native American men were hanging out at the bus station; I remember their faces even today. I had booked a hotel room and must have caught a cab there and slept all day.

Downtown Idaho Falls

To save money, I soon got a newspaper and found a room for rent. My landlady was older, very nice, and would often invite me to chat with her in her large and homey kitchen. I wondered what she thought of me, but she was helpful and kind. My room was small and clean. I was the only young tenant, the rest were all old men, very old men, or so it seemed to me at the time. And they all coughed and coughed; I can still hear them in my memory.

The Falls 

I don’t remember much about Idaho. I would rent a car and drive around. The land was flat, I think, in that part of the state; there was the Snake River, the sand dunes at St. Anthony, fields of black earth where Idaho potatoes must have just been harvested. Of the city itself, I remember the river and the falls that give the city its name. I also remember a phone booth, where I would talk to my soon to be ex-husband and cry a lot.


Everyone talked about Jackson Hole, the Grand Tetons, and Yellowstone as the must see places while I was in the area. The area was, of course, large and pretty deserted in October, the tourist season long over. But I soon got bored, rented a car again and, this time, turned toward the mountains and drove to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.


Looking back, I'm sort of amazed at myself, setting out for the big mountains all alone. Driving at first by the potato fields, then climbing into the mountains through Caribou-Targhee National Forest, a trip of about 100 miles one-way.  It must have been a pretty drive, the trees ablaze in autumn colors. I'm pretty sure there were few cars and trucks on the road, maybe I spotted deer in a meadow, a moose or two, perhaps.


While I have no clear memory of this road that I traveled  several times during my stay in Idaho, I do remember  driving through a pass, approaching the small town of Jackson for the first time, and singing along with Glen Campbell to Galveston, oh Galveston on the car radio. 

After my six weeks residency requirement was met, I went to court and my nice landlady went with me to testify that I had indeed lived in her house for six weeks. I remember very clearly testifying and being granted a divorce. After that was over, I decided to move to Jackson Hole for the winter, thus placing some distance between me and my emotions in Princeton.


Source: Wikipedia photos



29 comments:

  1. in 1969 while you were living all these interesting things and places, i was married to a man i did not love with 2 boys 3 and 5 that year. looking back if i had been as strong and courageous as you, i would have liked to do what you did...jackson hole in on my bucket list of things to do. i lead such a sheltered controlled life, it never occurred to me that at age 18 i could go on an adventure like you did, i thought marriage and babies was the whole world.

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  2. I also admire your independence and resolve. All of this must have been very difficult, but it seems you handled it well. Jackson Hole must have been pretty small in 1969.

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  3. I like your A to Z theme. You have some great photos and stories. America is quite a place.

    Lee
    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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  4. Oh Inger you are such a strong person I admire that so much. You are the wonderful person you are today because of all you have been through I love that. Good job even if it hurts still a bit. Love your memories. HUGS B

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  5. Oh Inger, you're such a woman of action! A girl after my own heart. When you're not happy, the best thing to do is put some distance between you and the place or person that is causing that unhappiness. It can be done, but it's not easy.

    I left my home country too, and also went through a divorce. It makes you stronger when you survive the life milestones.

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  6. wow, having to reside 6 weeks in a place just to get a divorce... sad.

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  7. you are a very strong woman to do that...a new place...such a young age...it is awesome that you are sharing it with us...

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  8. Inger,

    You are a very talented writer! Have you ever considered writing a book?

    I thoroughly enjoy your blog!

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  9. While this was a brave thing to do it sounds really like you didn't have much of a choice. It had to have been a very stressful time in your life and being so young I am sure didn't help at all!

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  10. You were -- and are -- very brave. I've heard many times that Jackson Hole is beautiful.

    Love,
    Janie

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  11. I too really admire your courage in going off into the mountains like that alone. You've really had some adventures in your life. Looking forward to more. :)

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  12. I know Idaho Falls very well. For years my dentist was there. I also know Jackson Hole as I loved to ski there.
    After all this drudging up of memories, now you should write a memoir.

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  13. I held on to your every word Inger. This is book material lady. I want more!
    Love the tone of it!

    I liked learning about this new place through your eyes. I can also relate with you braving it alone.


    Hmm, inspiring!

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  14. I love the woman you have become - the woman you were, and the woman you wanted to be then...

    I understand.

    hugs to (((Inger)))

    and now we know why you live where you live :)

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  15. 1969 was the birthdate I used to sneak into bars as a naughty young woman.

    I feel sad for the pain you were in, during this time :(

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  16. I echo all the comments about this being book material. It truly is. I am wondering why you had to go to Idaho Falls to get a divorce when neither you nor your husband were there. Did Idaho have easier divorce laws back then? Jackson is one of my very favorite towns - I even named my horse after it.

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  17. How very brave of you to embark on this mission to Idaho Falls!

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  18. You are one very tough--& VERY SWEET--lady!!

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  19. Courageous, gritty story. Sweetly and sadly told.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!
    Bears Noting

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  20. Inger, I am so impressed with you and what you did on your own at such a young age. Idaho must have had very flexible divorce laws obviously.

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  21. Life events have a way of doing that sometimes. Our minds become a blur, as our souls care for the needs of our hearts. Lovely post!

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  22. It took a lot of guts to do that. You have a fabulous memory, by the way! And love that car. : )

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  23. A lot of trouble for a divorce. But you saw a part of the country you wouldn't have seen otherwise.

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  24. Inger, what a life you have led! A woman of such courage and tenacity. An example for us all. Looking forward to many more posts.
    Michelle

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  25. Cade's working in Jackson Hole, Wyoming right now. (He's only home on the weekends.) Isn't it just gorgeous there! :)

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  26. I've been to Idaho Falls, and Jackson Hole too. Now to go back and read your Utah story!

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  27. I've been to a lot of the places you mentioned in this post :) I had a very epic trip across the US back in 1998.

    Sounds like you were very brave!

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  28. I didn't realize that 6 weeks residency was required until you mentioned it. That's amazing Inger, having to get to know a place that was going to cut you off from your ex and that life. I hope you can look back at Idaho Falls and realize where you are now...good, right!?

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  29. Så kul det är att läsa om dina upplevelser där borta....
    Kram!!

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Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger

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