Bliss is a regular stop when I’m traveling the Interstate.  I like to stop and eat at the Oxbow Cafe.  Great food and great people.  The new travel center is also a neat addition to the community.  A friend told me her dad sculpted the dinosaur outside the café, basing it on a toy her brother had when he was a little boy.

Earlier this week, I wrote about some small towns in Idaho approaching ghost town status but how things could be turned around as Americans look for affordable and safe rural settings.

Can the Decline be Stopped?

Picture by Bill Colley.
Picture by Bill Colley.

One visitor to Bliss says things are going the wrong way.  Yes, the travel center is a good business opportunity but the local population is dropping at an alarming rate.  He’s a photographer and first came across Bliss eight years ago while traveling some back roads.  He began a project to chronicle the history of the community and now it’s in book form.  CNN picked up the story.  You can get more details about his efforts by clicking here.

Our small towns almost carry a sacred vibe.  On the other hand, we need to realize that everything we know in rural Idaho is still recent in American history.  You could say we’re still growing but we don’t know what we’ll look like when finished.  A great many settlements have already come and gone.  Just echoes now.  Monuments to a quickly fading past.

What could turn around the decline?  A developer who could picture a bedroom community, though.  That would require a long period of cheap fuel and that could be years away.

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