Fountain Shrine

I’ve been burning through the western states, a little concerned that I still had all my shrines in the back of the car… Surely one of them belonged out here? Why wasn’t anything calling to me?

Yesterday morning, that all changed. Early in the morning, I was taking the interstate into a little town I lived in one winter, St. Regis, when I charged past a roadside attraction that I had forgotten about.

pink bear in front of a sign made of chain gear, "Elmer's Fountain"
Elmer’s Fountain, east of Wallace, ID

I turned around. (Always turn around.)

A folk-art display of mining equipment turned fountain greeted me, surrounded by green glowing grass and clear pools.


Elmer was a silver miner who passed away in ’86. The water flume that feeds the fountains dates back to the fifties, and the spot was called Arnold’s Fountain, in honor of the land’s owner, a California millionaire, before Elmer’s passing.

This site — one that you really have to pass many times before remembering to stop, it goes by you in a flash every time — is still lovingly maintained by his son, and it is a green, gorgeous oasis.

fountain from mining parts, surrounded by a pool and green grassThe spot is so perfect, and I instantly knew that I had to leave a shrine here. But where? The fountain site is so perfect… There’s no way I could mar the sanctity of this little oasis with a shrine that (whatever my pure intentions) could be seen as a bit disrespectful.

But wait – a path? And is that the sound of a waterfall?

Buddy Jesus shrine, overlooking a rushing creek

Hopefully that creek won’t rush too much more… Still, he’s on some pretty high ground, should work out.

Very near the geocache spot (although I couldn’t find the cache) at N 47 27.600 W 115 49.400, if you want to take a look for it yourself. We’ll see if it lasts… Hopefully at least through the summer and fall!

Buddy Jesus, thank you for blessing my first road trip. With your icon on my dash, you led me through dangers untold — growling bear planes and gurgling sleeping buffalos — and blessed me with the bounties of the road. Thank you for the good friends who led me to St. Regis and provided a home for me, and thank you for guiding me to the beauty of Elmer’s Fountain. May you watch over this trip with as friendly an eye, and eager thumbs up.


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