My 1969 Porsche 912 and I recently drove through western Idaho on our way from Mexico to Canada on US Route 95 (US 95).
Before reaching Idaho, I spent the night Winnemucca NV and woke up to see the 912 covered with early April snow outside my motel window.
The weather forecasts were good, though, so I checked my oil, packed the car and headed north beneath a brightening sky. After driving (at legal speeds, of course) through desolate but beautiful southeastern Oregon, I entered Idaho just north of Jordan Valley, Oregon.
The highway soon climbed into the mountains south of Homedale. I took advantage of a Scenic Viewpoint to photograph Boise in the distance and, in the same photo, what I believe was a previous alignment of US Hwy 95 far below me.
In New Meadows later that day, I again saw what Idaho highway travel used to be, in the form of an old (1920’s?) highway bridge now relegated to “city street” status. A newer bridge over the same creek was no more than a couple of hundred feet away. This was highway evolution up close and personal.
I spent that night in charming Riggins, on the banks of the Salmon River. The following morning, I stopped at the modern Salmon River Bridge north of Riggins. I couldn’t find the old bridge, or traces of it, in the narrow canyon so I suspect, unlike the old bridge in New Meadows, the bridge in Riggins was simply removed and replaced.
I continued driving north at a leisurely pace and spent that night in the lake resort town of Sandpoint. The next day I reached the Canadian border at Eastport.
After turning around to return to the US, another alignment of US Hwy 95was being born before my very windshield. An older (1950’s?) steel truss bridge was still in service while a modern concrete highway bridge was under construction just a few feet away.
While in Idaho, I enjoyed spectacular scenery and photographed evidence of what I believe are three alignments of US Hwy 95; the newest under construction and the oldest likely dating from the birth of the US Highway System in 1926.
Western Idaho contains enough scenery, history and excellent highways to satisfy any highway enthusiast. I’m spreading the word.