The Emmett index. August 07, 1913, Image 4


Some 400 Excursionists Enjoy a Ride Over the Scenic Idaho Northern.

Sunday morning about 60 of Emmett's citizens took advantage of the first excursion and a ride on the first passenger train to go over the extension of the Idaho Northern to Smith's Ferry a distance of 60 miles, each one prepared for the outing in the mountains with lunches, guns, fishing tackle and creel, field glasses, cameras and other concealed weapons for use in case of rattlesnakes being encountered. The excursion train, coming from the main line by way of the Payette Valley railway, brought picnickers from Nyssa and Ontario, Ore., via Payette. It arrived on time, but the special carrying the Caldwell, Nampa and Boise excursionists was late, and after Its arrival and the necessary switching done in combining the two trains and getting headed for the north, made the train over half an hour late leaving Emmett. The two small engines that pulled into Emmett with the P. V. train were displaced by a six-wheeler off the main line.

We started at last. Slowly climbing Pickett corral hill at the head of the valley—passing through the tunnel at the top of the hill with the usual sensation felt—especially if your best girl were occupying the same seat with you—Payette river about 100 ft. below the track peacefully flowing to Montour, the first stop. Taking the waiting quota from Sweet and vicinity, we move on toward our next stop at Horseshoe Bend, where the passenger list was increased a goodly number. Here another big six-wheel er engine was attached to the front end—double-header now—-one engine with a hot box, which had to be cooled and taking on water delayed the train another half hour. But this time was occupied by expectant anglers catching grasshoppers in the adjoining fields. Say, if they had been up on those butte ranches, the poor grasshoppers would have been carried up into the mountains.(and most all of them turned loose) and used for trout bait.

Finally getting away from the Bend where we crossed the Payette river to the north side and following the river grade all the time, we keep getting closer to the pine-clad mountains which can be seen in the distance. Passing through a fine farming country all the wav to the real base of the mountains. The mill at the mines in the Horseshoe Bend district was in sight on the right, showing activity in the mining line. Several gangs of men and teams were noticed repairing washouts on the irrigation and power canals.

Leaving the valley, the next stop was at Waverly, where several passengers boarded the train, and then puffing and steaming the engines slowly pulled the train of seven coaches and one baggage car up the continuous grade and made the next stop at Banks, a station named in honor Merle Banks, who granted a free right-of-way through his land at this point. But after securing the right of-way, Mr. Dewey saw fit to change the name of the station from "Banks" to "Mareno," a name that did not appeal to Merle's mother a-tall. She said: "There were too many old bucks round there now of that breed and wouldn't stand for it." So she took the matter up with the new regime and headed off "Mareno" and replaced "Banks" for him to butt into.

All stations have neat depots and out houses. Banks is a kind of division, having in addition to the depot, etc,, a two-stall round house, a turn table and a water tank. Several more pleasure »oekerg boarded the train at this point. Move on again—more grade—more engine work—for about half a mile, where we recross the river to the south side again. At the bridge a number of men got off with lunches, fishing outfits, etc.

And a little farther, at the "Forks"—that is where the South Fork enters the North Fork—several unboarded with blood in their eyes, vowing vengence on the poor trout. Here we enter the notorious Canyon of the North Fork of the Payette river, where the water is "white" all the time. It must be a magnificent and awe-inspiring to see this mountain stream at flood height, when the snow clad mountains are shedding their winter mantle, and the grand old Payette river is struggling to entangle its frigid burden from the rocks and jammed timber, and get it down to a place where it can shake the foam off its surface and once more take on the appearance of common water. The track follows the river grade all the way through the canyon about a hundred feet above the bed of the river, which at this time of the year is at its low water mark Through the canyon the mountain sides are covered with a dense growth of pine timber. The state wagon (Boise automobile) road is on the opposite of the river. Here, about half way through the canyon, the engines got thirsty, so we stop at "Bat" creek, a small mountain stream right out of the heavy timber, that fairly leaps down its stepped bed—the steps as natural as though cut by hand, a flight of about 50 feet to the railroad track where it ducks under the roadbed and dives into the river. Ever see this before? Here is a string of V-shaped troughs leading over a small butte to a point on the mountain side, tapping the little mountain stream above the steps, and conveying the water below to the engines. Several of these watering stations were noticed along the route.

Everybody that was thirsty drank water right out of Bat creek, smacking their lips and exclaiming; "Right off the Bat" Here kodaks were busy too, and the more adventurous climbed the mountain sides and lingered in the shade of the pines, until whistled in for another pull at the grade.

This sure was a free and easy excursion. A party from Payette, headed by Judge Kenwood, consisting of about 12 people from 7 years up, got off in the canyon. The "Big Eddy" is the next stop. The Eddy is very docile at this time of the year, mostly sand bars. The surfacing crew is here.

After a short stop we pulled on. other tunnel. "Smith's Ferry." Two and one-half hours late. Train will leave 6:30. So with grub baskets there is a scurrying of feet, rounding up kids, and a rush made for the shade on both sides of the river for lunch, after which a scattering every where enjoying themselves among sighing pines,(some of them didn't sigh—they were dead ones—others had to sigh on account of the cuddling of young males and females under their spreading boughs.) breathing in the fragrant air,—pineiferous odoriferous it is called. Neat place this Ferry—small hotel, tennis court, blacksmith shop, stage station and finest drinking water, but who wants to drink water on an excursion, foundation for the depot is laid and the station will soon be completed. Track is laid 5 miles above the Ferry. The return trip was made without accident, arriving about 10 o'clock.
D. E. S.

Library of Congress, Chronicling America

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