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High Desert Museum in West Idaho in desperate need of help


Our culture is commemorated in a true high desert museum. It is located a short distance south of downtown Bend, Oregon. I visited last year after receiving a recommendation from a friend. Twin Falls even gets a good nod when it comes to a famous effort by Evel Knieval to skip the Snake River. I didn’t know until a few days ago that the museum was affiliated with the Smithsonian in Washington, DC

The museum is a treasure

My visit kept me busy for almost two hours. There are old trucks, photos, paintings and even displays of live animals. I was watching owls and told a guide that the animatronics were awesome. She made me look like I was a great yoke of the desert. “They are real,” she said impassively.

Much of Oregon was in serious lockdown when I was there. It didn’t help the museum’s results. It kept people away. Had to plan my visit in advance in 2020 due to social distancing requirements. The museum has regulated pedestrian traffic and reduced the number of visitors. At ten dollars per person for non-senior adults, it adds up after a while.

Some of our infamous birds! Photo by Bill Colley.
Stuffed animals from the high desert are on display. Photo by Bill Colley.
We remember the native culture. Photo by Bill Colley.

Keep the museum doors open

The museum is soliciting donations. You can help by clicking here. If you like the story, this is a good way to show your appreciation. Financial planners will also tell you that charitable contributions at the end of the year can help with tax time.

It is a story that deserves to be preserved. As the area becomes more and more populated with new real estate developments (a new town is planned between Boise and Mountain Home), we will lose some of the past. The High Desert Museum is a keeper of the flame.

The leaders of a bygone era. Photo by Bill Colley.
War on horseback and in armor. Photo by Bill Colley.
No internet connection, no TV and a little drafty when the wind blows. Photo by Bill Colley.
One of the first green means of transport. Photo by Bill Colley.
More modern travel. Photo by Bill Colley.

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Mary Cashion

The author Mary Cashion