We can’t do justice to these two beauties with just our brief stops along the way, but I’ll give you the highlights. Also, we have now entered the spotty coverage for communication along our route, so I’ll post when I can and go dark when I have to. It was always expected in the Yukon, but we weren’t quite ready for radio silence in British Columbia. Given the state of US news these days as reported to us in Ethan’s texts, it may be just as well!
Let’s start with Idaho. All I’ve ever really heard about is potatoes. We used to check to see where the potatoes were from for the Five Guys french fries, and they were always from Idaho. I was pretty sure there was more to it, but didn’t have a mental picture of the state. Who do you even know who’s been to Idaho? Keep in mind we only saw the Southern portion which is less mountainous, but the terrain was surprising. It was sometimes hilly, sometimes flat, farmland and pastures were sprinkled about and that Snake River seemed to loom at every turn. Oh, and they have lots of horses. AND it is Spring, so babies abound.
The first stop in Idaho was at a campground right off the highway, but right on the bank of the Snake River. We could see this field full of mommas and babies from our campsite. This is the flat view, but turn directly around and you get a view of distant mountains.
This campground also had a cafe where we had a hot meal for dinner and ice cream cones were included. Very popular with the mister. I tried Huckleberry since I’d never heard of it for eating – just Hound and Finn. It tastes like a fruity drink of some sort with the ice melted and it’s all diluted. The gal who served it agreed it wasn’t her thing either and we couldn’t describe it any better than that. Apparently a Northwestern thing since I’ve seen it now in Oregon and Canada.
Here are a few shots from the drive. A bit like the Kansas farmland, but certainly different with the hills and mountains in the background.
Next stop in Idaho was after another windy day of driving. I did the honors through Boise to give Pat a break. This day we weren’t on the road ten minutes before a big semi passed us on the interstate and Crack! Up flies a rock and we have our first windshield chip. No way, we’re thinking! We were prepared for windshield damage in Alaska on the gravels roads, but weren’t expecting it in the lower 48. In fact, Pat and I agreed that neither of us had ever had a damaged windshield before. Good thing we were prepared and brought along three repair kits.
This second private campground was not nearly as scenic as the first one. We saw some pretty unfortunate rigs there complete with tarps, plywood, and duct tape and it had some majorly big thorns in the grass. Jackson picked up one in his paw and is just now getting over the limp. We did go for a walk along the Snake River. Yep, there it is again. Very high this time of year since the high places got tons of snow and the snow melt was really flowing.
See the flooded picnic area? There was even a catfish sitting in the water where the sidewalk would have been. Also, this was the spot where I kept smelling something so good as we drove around. I though it was a restaurant, but turns out there is an onion processing plant just down from the campground. Smelled delicious.
Now this is a state where I think of trees – big ones. And mountains, too. Oregon did not disappoint and oh how I’ve missed my trees!
Jackson and I tromp around on the mound of snow in the parking lot and gawk at the huge old forest. This place is called Emigrant Springs State Heritage Area and is along the Oregon Trail. Emigrant, just so you know, is a person who leaves one place for another, says Webster. The emigrants who traveled the original Oregon Trail really suffered some hardships. They described the forests as so vast and so dense that it was like night inside. Plus those cattle kept wandering off. It was a dangerous business to go after them with the cold and the wildlife. We only had the leftover piles of snow from clearing the parking lots, so nothing too risky for us.
We loved the beauty of this place since it was everything we pictured for Oregon, and hoped it would be a nice, peaceful respite from our back-to-back travel days. Unfortunately the park was right on the side of the interstate. With the semi engine braking and constant traffic, we just had to move on after two days instead of the three that we had planned. Before our departure, we decided to take a short drive to the nearby overlook.
So very glad we did. This is my most favorite shot from Oregon. Just gorgeous.
I’ve run out of adjectives for these hills and trees. Stunning, gorgeous, and beautiful just don’t cut it.
Oh and we haven’t forgotten about Poop. We took him for the overlook photo shoot. Silly thing tried to sleep through it, but I woke him up.
A Few Housekeeping Items
We do love our residential fridge, but apparently the starting current was too high for the wire run to the inverter to handle. Insert blah, blah, blah, electrical problem here. You know I don’t have any idea what that really means. Anyhoo, it means that if we have to boondock in Alaska, and don’t have any shore power, it will alarm and not start. That’s bad, very bad. Since we couldn’t hear ourselves think at Emigrant Springs, but needed to chill for two days, we went into town – a one horse one by the local guy’s assessment – and bought electrical supplies. Pat was able to run new wire, blah, blah, blah, and the problem appears to be fixed. Score one for us.
It seems we also crossed over the 45th Parallel while traveling North in Oregon. For those of you, like me, who don’t know what that means, I’ll just tell you. It means we crossed over the halfway point between the Equator and the North Pole. Not sure what that gets you, but there was a great big sign, aaaand I missed it. At least for picture purposes.
Finally, we restocked our provisions in Oregon. Yes, another Walmart stop. Pat marveled at the food prices – cheap eggs, produce and cheese slices. Meat was pretty good, too. They have no sales tax there, but they apparently have hefty taxes for residents. Just passing through….
So that’s a wrap for two new states. On to Washington and my personal favorite stop so far. See you on the way!