Idaho was a golden land when I was there. I never saw it white with snow. Its peaks were jagged-rough with autumn fires of sun on stone and shrub. Deep in canyons glistening great trees twirled and twinkled in the autumn breezes as if in sequined robes. Wild grasses waved to us and spoke in tongues of flaming gold. And -- the haystacks! Golden cubes, themselves composed of their multiple golden cubes -- like Fort Knox bullion they dotted the state, at least a bar for every home! -- contrasting with mammoth piles of russet sugar beets, and drive-in cellars of Idaho potatoes. Idaho! Its shape is like a torn scrap on the map. A crazy shape for land, not large enough to write highway numbers on, but it's a golden shape -- rich! In Idaho that day, range on range the mountains lay under the snowy sentry of piled cumulus, while between flowed the yellow valleys -- plowed, sowed and reaped in designs like row on row of golden stitchery. While running their black niello inlay over hills and down valleys, the roads made taut, svelte patterns that divided the golden forms into tight cloisons holding lapis, turquoise, and cobalt of jeweled lakes. Following the coils of the mighty river Snake, the roads ran alongside, across and doubled back in their sophisticated meanderings. We saw those famous Craters of the Moon, Sawtooth Mountain; close-up, walked beside Redfish Lake -- and everywhere Idaho was golden. We saw Sun Valley. Contrary to expectations, it too was golden! Idaho! Land of golden twinkling leaves, golden grasses, golden hills. Autumn gold. Calm and rich is the color of gold. Gold is Idaho.

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