Nov 22, 2023
Communities can be built through mutual joy just as easily as through shared struggle, and in the rugged landscape of the American frontier, it can also be built through necessity of survival. Along the banks of the Salmon River, the small town of Stanley, Idaho, embodies these ideals of wonder and respect for nature, but residents’ way of life is changing, in sometimes unexpected and unwelcome ways.
In her piece titled “Dancing In The Dust — Idaho’s River Runners Navigate a Changing American West,” a story published as part of our Olly Olly series in collaboration with Oskar Blues, freelance writer and environmental advocate Claire Barber takes us on a journey down the river and through the town, capturing the heart and spirit inextricably tied to the rushing waters that literally keep the region alive.
In this episode, Claire describes when she first heard about Stanley and what drew her there to document the spirits of adventure, as well as isolation, in the nearly off-the-grid utopia. She also talks about the changes she witnessed first-hand and what gave her hope in spite of the challenges Stanley faces. People come and go, but the river will always remain, and her ride down the rapids provides a glimpse both into the past and towards the future. Let’s take a ride with her, right now.