The River Of No Return

The Shoup Cafe and Store

The Shoup Cafe and Store

Our Hostess, Shirley, at Waggonhammer Campground told me about a Cafe-Store up the North Fork of the Salmon River.  The road starts out as North Fork (also labeled NF30). The Cafe-Store history actually goes back to the late 1800’s when explorers passing trough the valley established claims for mining and a trading post along the river.  The town was named after George Shoup the first governor of Idaho. I understand from the owner of the store that it’s not the original building.  The current building was built on the same site in the 1960’s.  The National Forest road was originally supposed to go all the way through in exchange for land the the land owners gave the National Forest, but when World War II broke out the road work stopped at Corn Creek and has never been finished to this day.

Salmon River road to Shoup Cafe and Store

Our trip begins – Salmon River road to Shoup Cafe and Store

This whole area has a lot of history; Mining, Trading Posts ,River Travel and “Lewis and Clark”. Going out on the road we stopped at the Shoup Cafe and I questioned the owner about the area.  He was very cordial and spent a lot of time with me.  When I departed I told him I would return for lunch and a homemade ice cream shake that I heard about (yum). Rafting near Shoups' Store               Going back out to the Workhorse I was able to enjoy the first of many rafters cruising down river.  The river seemed to get more turbulent the further down the road we went.  On a side note the rivers nick name is “The River of No Return”.  I can see why.

After 40 miles we stopped for a walk around tEnd of the trail for ushe Stoddard Trail head.   It is equipped for equestrian travelers.  As we were walking along the road I noticed a sign the said Corn Creek (the end) was still 7 miles away.  We had driven a hour to get that far due to the rough roads and slow travel.  Going forward the road wasn’t much bigger than one lane dirt road with a posted speed limit of 35 mph (yikes).  So we called it a day, turning around and heading back to the Cafe. On the way back I stopped for several shots of many Rafters drifting down the river and also several river boats fighting there way back up the river.

Shoup Store where we had lunchOnce arriving back at the Cafe, Jagger and I sat out on the porch having lunch and visiting with the locals for over an hour.  What a great adventure.  Now back to camp. Safe Travels, Gary

8 replies

  1. Looks like a beautiful area Gary, rich in history…..thanks for the pictures! Reading this post I realized you are getting so much better at detailing your adventure, and at the same time, I wonder if you realize you ARE really living your dream…….I envy you right now, but the day is coming when I will be back on the road, perhaps retracing some of these exact roads you are travelling now…..


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