Friday, May 8, 2009
“You want fries that? Or tots?” It’s not a question I get a lot of, but this is Idaho after all. And for the first time since the fourth grade, I had Tater Tots with my lunch.
I stay off the interstate, winding through small towns. New Meadow. Brunneau. Hammett. Buhl. Bliss. Two hundred miles before noon.
I pull over to photograph the Koffee Kup Motel, seemingly closed and abandoned since the Nixon years. A young girl of seven or so materializes out of the weeds and tells me about her day. I look around nervously. Middle aged stranger. City fella’ from the look of him. With a camera. Out of state plates on that fancy pants ess-you-vee. Chatting up that poor little girl.
This couldn’t look more suspicious if I put on clown clothes and start handing out candy.
Sure enough, dad emerges from the old motel. He wants to chat. About cameras, fortunately, though my choice of a plastic Holga toy doesn’t inspire confidence. Soon enough, he scoops up the girl and carries her back inside. He stares out the window until I drive away.
These are strange days to be a traveler.