Troll sign overall

Traffic flows near a cattle grate on Bogus Basin Road on Tuesday, past a new official-looking sign tied to a longstanding legend about trolls hiding under the grate.

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Newcomers driving up Bogus Basin Road are sometimes puzzled to see both the driver’s and passenger’s doors pop open on the car ahead of them, then quickly close again as the car crosses over a metal cattle guard and then continues on as if nothing had happened.

Ask youngsters, however, and you’re likely to hear of the legend of the trolls.

“I grew up skiing here,” said Cody Pugil, 29. “The story I’ve always heard is the opening of the door to let ‘em in for good luck.”

On the way back down, the trolls are let back out. Other versions of the legend call for motorists to lift their feet as they pass over the cattle guard — where the trolls supposedly hide — or to touch the ceiling of their car, or honk their horns.

Now, some pranksters have immortalized the legend by installing an official-looking sign on the road, about 25 yards before travelers from Boise will arrive at the cattle guard, with a picture of a troll and the warning: “Caution: Trolls.”

“I can’t believe there’s a sign — that’s pretty cool,” Pugil said.

It’s right below an official road sign warning of snow or black ice, and possible slippery roads ahead; those are among the real hazards of travel on Bogus Basin Road, but the legendary lurking trolls are the more entertaining ones for youngsters.

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Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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