Leaving Boise in the morning – frosty, let me say… we headed on SR 20 over Cat Creek Summit (5527’). We’re cruising along, minding our own route and beezwax and big poofy flakes of white stuff start flying out of the sky onto our windshield! It wasn’t sticking to the roadway (thank you, Universe) but it stuck nicely to our big window. It was quite a ways up the pass and down again, then up again before we could turn off on SR75 toward Bellevue (the road culminates at Sun Valley).
We made it to Bellevue, ID (first town on the way to Sun Valley) and got settled at Dottie’s RV Park down by the Big Wood River. We were only able to secure a site for a few nights because Dottie had long standing reservations for the “Trailing of the Sheep” from Oct. 4 – 8. It was easy to move over to Nan’s and plug our extension cord in – a shop light in the water compartment was an okay stand-in for our freeze management system*.
*Freeze Management System: When we’re plugged in during freezing weather, we flip a switch in the cabin and it turns on a heater/fan in our water pipes & pump compartment and the heating ‘blankets’ over our three tanks (fresh water, gray water and black water). When the temp drops below 34*, the heater etc. kick on and we are protected from broken pipes and exploding (or cracked) tanks. Yaaay! Safari and thank you Monaco for continuing that option for Safari Trek owners!
We had a wonderful visit with and discovered some cool things in the area with her wise guidance. One day we drove over to Silver Creek to check out the fishing and look at this prize winning fly fishing waterway. Needless to say, it was gorgeous.
Riding along I noticed a huge dark animal moving very fast across a recently cut hay field. Stopping the car, we peered at it with our binoculars and saw a large bull moose with an admirable rack. He hopped over a barbed wire fence and galloped (wait – moose gallop?) over the top of the hill. I was transported to Alaska for a moment!
On the other side of our vehicle the land dropped sharply to the creek and there we watched two cow moose and a juvenile bull making their way through the curves of land and water of Silver Creek. Very Cool! Not shooting guns, shooting cameras!
One day we went up to Ketchum to ketchum some internet and ketchup. (that was terrible and I’m leaving it right here just to hear your collective groan!). Check out the what we found in the place we stopped (Susan & Robin). A little teardrop!:
The trip to Silver Creek got us so excited about fishing that we hired a guide – David Glasscock of Idaho Angling Services. David also guides in New Zealand half the year and has an excellent reputation. He promised to bring waders and felt soled boots (to fit) for each of us.
Since we were only fishing a 3/4 day, David picked us up at Nan’s at 10 am. He told us we would be fishing the Big Wood River (yes, I was disappointed that we were not going to be in Silver Creek).
High points: We caught Rainbow Trout on the tiniest flies on the planet. It was so much fun. David worked with us on our casting: roll casting and overhead casting and working with both wet and dry flies. It was really fun. I got cold and my shins started cramping so I did some yoga on the bank in the sun to loosen up. David took me into some deep water – we were using the buddy system*, thank goodness, because the current floated me right downstream of him and he had to pull me up and plop me forward of him so I could get on some rocks and fish. It was pretty funny! Great spot though – I hooked a nice sized female and was happy to see her swim away.
*Buddy system: each angler holds tight to the top of the buddy’s waders, right under their arm. It balances both anglers and prevents lightweights like me from becoming bottom feeders.
After a good visit with Nan – with lots of amazing food and conversation, we headed out again – without staying for the “Trailing of the Sheep” which we are saving for another visit! Thanks, Nan!
South to Jerome and then over to our next one night stop. Ironically – we stayed at Massacre Rocks State Park. Yes, massacre! This is one of those exceptions to what we learned at the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. There were several “skirmishes” here on the Oregon Trail – loss of life minimal, loss of white folks’ stock animals considerable.
The park is right off the road and has wonderful huge volcanic boulders and relatively private sites. The Visitor’s Center was closed but not empty (see above). From our site, we drove across the road and through farmland to a little park that held a huge rock inscribed with folks’ names who traveled the Trail – there is hardly any more modern graffiti, thank goodness. (above)
Also, walking around the campground, I found a fenced area that was full of the oddest little tiny mountains. An interpretive panel said they were like unpopped bubbles from when the volcanic flow was hot and liquid.
The campground offers sites with views of the wide Snake River. The water was moving pretty well and I took and imaginary trip back in time to cross the Snake in a Prairie Schooner. The travelers would unload and take off the cover of the wagon – plug up gaps with tar and hit the water to float across the deep parts of the river. Here’s the deal: no outboard motor – just 2 or 4 oxen reluctantly pulling from the front. Many of the wagons were lost along with the livestock.
From Massacre Rocks State Park made our way to Rockport State Park in Utah. Rockport is on SR 32 south of Coalville. Barb had had a low grade fever all week and this was our designated “Find-a-Doctor” site. Park City (a very pretty ski town) had the nearest Urgent Care Center. A 5 minute wait and Barb saw Dr. Rogowski. After about 10 min. of talking to her, he popped her in for a chest X-ray, diagnosed her with Pneumonia and handed her a couple of Rx’s. Phew – B was tired of coughing and feeling poorly.
After a bit of rest time in our tree encased campsite at Rockport SP (on a reservoir that is very low) we decided to get back on the road.
One of our goals for this trip was to visit the distant past so we were looking forward to Dinosaur National Monument – Quarry / Harpers Corner.