Category Archives: Idaho

Idaho Part V: Coeur d’Alene

We were still technically in our “month of Washington”  when we moved from Potlatch to Coeur d’Alene. (That is the great thing about the rules about The Martin’s American Adventure… there aren’t any, so we can’t break any)! Our objective was to get up in the Spokane area so we could be close enough to visit my cousin and his family. They live in Rockford, WA, which is south of Spokane and less than ten miles from the Idaho border. We researched the RV Parks in Spokane, but nothing looked very interesting and our options were 35 – 45 minutes from John’s house. Mike found a place called Blackwell Island RV Park right on Lake Coeur d’Alene, and it was still about 35 minutes from my family. We opted for water, views and proximity to a quaint downtown over being in Spokane proper. Our objective wasn’t going to be compromised, so might as well pick a spot with the most pleasant environment.

When we were in Potlatch we were surprised to find ourselves smack dab in the middle of a full-scale asphalt paving project of the campground where we were staying. When we arrived, the pads at each site were concrete, but the actual road through the park was gravel. There was some construction equipment on site, but the work never really got into full swing until the day before we were scheduled to pull out. Our last full day in Potlatch started with the sound of tractors and MACK trucks circling around us at daybreak. The workers started spraying down the gravel surface with a water truck and we figured it was going to be a long and noisy day. It was. At one point, the camp host came over and said she would refund our money if we wanted to leave. However, it was late in the day. I don’t think we could have gotten around all of the construction equipment to pull out, and we had no reservations until the next morning, so we thanked her and told her we would stay through the end of our reservation (I should have asked her for a discount… but we were only paying $25/night anyway so I didn’t want to push it).

The next morning we hustled with all of our travel prep chores and got out of there by 9:00. We were ahead of the construction crew, so we guessed they waited for us to leave before they got back at it. Our drive to Blackwell Island was about 70 miles straight north on Highway 95. We hit a couple of patches of road construction, but the drive was fairly easy in spite of that. After we got parked and settled, I started researching things to do in the area, and became very excited about all the fun activities in store for our two -week visit.

Lake Coeur d’Alene was beautiful. The town of Coeur d’Alene was precious. The hiking and biking in the area was amazing. The views were stunning in every direction. We had a couple of family dinners at my cousin’s house, and they came over for meatball subs one evening. We took several daytrips to Montana, Sandpoint, into downtown Spokane and over to Harrison, Idaho. When we weren’t doing any of those things, we were hanging out in downtown Cd’A. It was a wonderful stop. At one point Mike even stated that he thinks Idaho is his favorite State on our Tour (prior to that is has been Florida).

Our drive from Potlatch to Coeur d'Alene was a straight shot north on Highway 95. It widened from two lane to four lanes as we got closer to the lake.

Our drive from Potlatch to Coeur d’Alene was a straight shot north on Highway 95. It widened from two lane to four lanes as we got closer to the lake.

The north end of Lake Coeur d'Alene drains into the Spokane River. Our campground was located where those two bodies of water merged. We even had our own little beach to enjoy.

The north end of Lake Coeur d’Alene drains into the Spokane River. Our campground was located where those two bodies of water merged. We even had our own little beach to enjoy.

This campground was one of the most expensive we have stayed in, and the spots weren't incredibly awesome, but the overall location made it worth the money.

This campground was one of the most expensive we have stayed in, and the spots weren’t incredibly awesome, but the overall location made it worth the money.

Mike went scouting for dove hunting locations one day. He didn't come up with any options, but he did get to see this view while he was exploring.

Mike went scouting for dove hunting locations one day. He didn’t come up with any options, but he did get to see this view while he was exploring.

We walked the dogs to the marina each day and this was the view from our regular turn-around point.

We walked the dogs to the marina each day and this was the view from our regular turn-around point.

Riverfront park is a 100-acre park along the Spokane River in downtown Spokane. It is a beautiful venue and the city takes advantage of this amenity by hosting special events and festivals constantly.

Riverfront park is a 100-acre park along the Spokane River in downtown Spokane. It is a beautiful venue and the city takes advantage of this amenity by hosting special events and festivals constantly.

We went to a big annual event in Spokane's Riverfront Park called Pig Out In The Park. Food, Beer, Music. Countless food tents and three stages of music going all the time. We drove over from our campground on a Friday evening to have dinner. I had an indian curry plate. Mike had a buffalo burger and an elk sausage. We were too stuffed to stop anywhere else, but this spit of beef still made my mouth water. All vegetarians look away.

We went to a big annual event in Spokane’s Riverfront Park called Pig Out In The Park. Food, Beer, Music. Countless food tents and three stages of music going all the time. We drove over from our campground on a Friday evening to have dinner. I had an indian curry plate. Mike had a buffalo burger and an elk sausage. We were too stuffed to stop anywhere else, but this spit of beef still made my mouth water. All vegetarians look away.

The best farmer's market in the area was the Saturday morning market in Hayden (on the north side of Coeur d'Alene). They had food vendors, arts, crafts, produce, baked goods, dairy products, plants and flowers, natural meats, and any other "goodie" you can imagine.

The best farmer’s market in the area was the Saturday morning market in Hayden (on the north side of Coeur d’Alene). They had food vendors, arts, crafts, produce, baked goods, dairy products, plants and flowers, natural meats, and any other “goodie” you can imagine.

Aebleskivers with cheese sauce. Like round pancakes speckled with small bits of ham, then covered in cheese. I never eat breakfast before I visit a farmer's market... that way I can sample things like these when I get there!

Aebleskivers with cheese sauce. Like round pancakes speckled with small bits of ham, then covered in cheese. I never eat breakfast before I visit a farmer’s market… that way I can sample things like these when I get there!

We made another DDD stop on The Lower 48 in 48 Tour. This time it was Capone's in Cd'A.

We made another DDD stop on The Lower 48 in 48 Tour. This time it was Capone’s in Cd’A.

As we get closer to finishing our trip we are thinking more frequently of selling the Monaco. Mike keeps us looking good at all times. It usually rains after he finishes, and then he starts all over again.

As we get closer to finishing our trip we are thinking more frequently of selling the Monaco. Mike keeps us looking good at all times. It usually rains after he finishes, and then he starts all over again.

The local beach near downtown Cd'A.

The local beach near downtown Cd’A.

The sea plane stayed busy with tours every day the weather was nice.

The sea plane stayed busy with tours every day the weather was nice.

Cessna always reminds me of the important things in life: Stop everything and role in the grass if it looks lush and the spirit moves you; and always take time to stop and enjoy the flowers.

Cessna always reminds me of the important things in life: Stop everything and role in the grass if it looks lush and the spirit moves you; and always take time to stop and enjoy the flowers.

Downtown Coeur d'Alene is bustling with restaurants, shops, art galleries and bars. The streets are lined with trees and light poles are flanked by baskets bursting with blooms of flowers. It was the perfect place to stroll around while window shopping and people watching.

Downtown Coeur d’Alene is bustling with restaurants, shops, art galleries and bars. The streets are lined with trees and light poles are flanked by baskets bursting with blooms of flowers. It was the perfect place to stroll around while window shopping and people watching.

City Park was the optimum location to enjoy a Sunday walk during pristine weather conditions.

City Park was the optimum location to enjoy a Sunday walk during pristine weather conditions.

Some of my bounty from the farmer's market. The flower bouquet was only $5 and the fruit was all so sweet and juicy that it tasted like candy!

Some of my bounty from the farmer’s market. The flower bouquet was only $5 and the fruit was all so sweet and juicy that it tasted like candy!

The reason we wanted to spend time in Spokane (Coeur d'Alene) was so we could visit with my cousin John, his wife Katie and their two smart, fun, polite, responsible, all-around amazing kiddos (and Maggie the dog). My mom and John's mom were sisters.

The reason we wanted to spend time in Spokane (Coeur d’Alene) was so we could visit with my cousin John, his wife Katie and their two smart, fun, polite, responsible, all-around amazing kiddos (and Maggie the dog). My mom  was John’s mom’s (my aunt Sharon’s) sister.

These steps made me want to follow them into the water.

These steps made me want to follow them into the water.

Another sea plane shot.

Another sea plane shot.

The Hagadone Family owns Coeur d'Alene. Duane Hagadone was presented the Horatia Alger Award as a distinguished American. The fortune comes from interests in publishing, real estate development, hotels/resorts, casinos, restaurants, marinas, retail. Anything with red geraniums planted in the landscape was a Hagadone venture (and Cd'A is COVERED in beds of perfect red geraniums). The house on the lake is 26,000 square feet with nine bathrooms and two bedrooms. They have another estate in Palm Desert, CA that spans 64,000 square feet. SIXTY-FOUR thousand. They also own a 164-ft yacht named the Lady Lola. It is equipped with a golf course and speed boats to retrieve the balls.

The Hagadone Family owns Coeur d’Alene. Duane Hagadone was presented the Horatio Alger Award as a distinguished American. The fortune comes from interests in publishing, real estate development, hotels/resorts, casinos, restaurants, marinas, retail. Anything with red geraniums planted in the landscape was a Hagadone venture (and Cd’A is COVERED in beds of perfect red geraniums). The house on the lake is 26,000 square feet with nine bathrooms and two bedrooms. They have another estate in Palm Desert, CA that spans 64,000 square feet. SIXTY-FOUR thousand. They also own a 164-ft yacht named the Lady Lola. It is equipped with a golf course and speed boats to retrieve the balls.

The Hagadone's also own the scenic boat cruises on Lake Coeur d'Alene, so I was happy to contribute my part to their maga-wealth.

The Hagadone’s also own the scenic boat cruises on Lake Coeur d’Alene, so I was happy to contribute my part to their maga-wealth.

The Coeur d'Alene Resort.

The Coeur d’Alene Resort.

Mudgy and Millie is an illustrated children's book about a moose and a mouse playing hide and seek in Coeur d'Alene. Bronze sculptures are set at different points of the town where highlights of the game between the two characters takes place.

Mudgy and Millie is an illustrated children’s book about a moose and a mouse playing hide and seek in Coeur d’Alene. Bronze sculptures are set at different points of the town where highlights of the game between the two characters takes place.

My cousin-in-law, Katie, suggested we might like to drive our bikes about an hour east to Montana and ride them on the Route of the Hiawatha. Of course we heeded her advice! When we got to the trailhead, Mike discovered he had a flat tire. We were so bummed, but we needn't worry. The Trail had bike marshalls along the way, and a service tent at the beginning. The nice ladies in charge hooked us up with a new tube and tire, and we were on our way! What a relief. We were so appreciative of that service!

My cousin-in-law, Katie, suggested we might like to drive our bikes about an hour east to Montana and ride them on the Route of the Hiawatha. Of course we heeded her advice! When we got to the trailhead, Mike discovered he had a flat tire. We were so bummed, but we needn’t worry. The Trail had bike marshalls along the way, and a service tent at the beginning. The nice ladies in charge hooked us up with a new tube and tire, and we were on our way! What a relief. We were so appreciative of that service!

The Route of the Hiawatha bike trail started with a 1.7-mile long dark, wet, cold tunnel. All bicyclists must have a helmet and a light to ride on the trail. You can see some riders emerging from the black just after we made it back to daylight.

The Route of the Hiawatha bike trail started with a 1.7-mile long dark, wet, cold tunnel. All bicyclists must have a helmet and a light to ride on the trail. You can see some riders emerging from the black just after we made it back to daylight.

This waterfall was at the end of the first tunnel too.

This waterfall was at the end of the first tunnel too. I heard it before I found it, and I knew it was going to be a spectacular ride!

The views were amazing, of course. Nothing but undisturbed forest land for as long as the eye could see.

The views were amazing, of course. Nothing but undisturbed forest land for as far as the eye could see.

Hiawatha selfie.

Hiawatha selfie.

The weather was a little grey on the day did the bike ride, so the photos weren't as pristine as I hoped they would be. A blue sky would have set off the green of the trees much more vibrantly.

The weather was a little grey on the day we did the bike ride, so the photos weren’t as pristine as I hoped they would be. A blue sky would have set off the green of the trees much more vibrantly.

We made our way across several of these bridges as the trail descended.

We made our way across several of these bridges as the trail descended.

One last photo of the train track turned bike trail.

One last photo of the train track turned bike trail.

This school bus had half of the seats in the back removed to accommodate bike storage. We caught the shuttle back up the hill to our car when our ride was complete.

This school bus had half of the seats in the back removed to accommodate bike storage. We caught the shuttle back up the hill to our car when our ride was complete.

The Coeur d'Alene Resort and Marina from Tubbs Hill.

The Coeur d’Alene Resort and Marina from Tubbs Hill.

Tubbs Hill selfie.

Tubbs Hill selfie.

If you are a guest at the resort and want to play golf, a staff member will escort you to the golf course in this beautiful wooden boat.

If you are a guest at the resort and want to play golf, a staff member will escort you to the golf course in this beautiful wooden boat.

We had happy hour with Jerry Garcia one afternoon.

We had happy hour with Jerry Garcia one afternoon.

The Farmer's Market in Hayden had a live band in full swing. During the short time I spent gathering fruit, flowers, and other goodies they played Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffett. I could have stayed and listened all morning!

The Farmer’s Market in Hayden had a live band in full swing. During the short time I spent gathering fruit, flowers, and other goodies they played Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffett. I could have stayed and listened all morning!

Lake Coeur d'Alene from I-90.

Lake Coeur d’Alene from I-90.

Another lake view from I-90.

Another lake view from I-90.

We took another daytrip from our camp and drove our bikes over to Harrison so we could ride on the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes.

We took another daytrip from our camp and drove our bikes over to Harrison so we could ride on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes.

I had hoped for 20 miles, but we turned around at the one- hour mark and only made 18.

I had hoped for 20 miles, but we turned around at the one- hour mark and only made 18.

Bloody Mary's and beer in Harrison after our gorgeous bike ride.

Bloody Mary’s and beer in Harrison after our gorgeous bike ride.

Lake Pend Oreille from City Beach in Sandpoint, Idaho.

Lake Pend Oreille from City Beach in Sandpoint, Idaho.

The most important command those dogs know is "wait".

The most important command those dogs know is “wait”.

This crazy mural in downtown Sandpoint featured UFO's, Big Foot and lake monsters.

This crazy mural in downtown Sandpoint featured UFO’s, Big Foot and lake monsters.

My cousin family was coming to dinner at our house and snapped a picture of this moose with her two babies in the water near our campground.

My cousin family was coming to dinner at our house and snapped a picture of this moose with her two babies in the water near our campground.

Mike went looking for the moose and tracked her down a trail until they were about 10-feet apart. Its hard to see, but her butt is in the foreground and her ears are at about "1:00" in the photo. Since she had two calves with her, he suspected it was time to back off and leave the cow alone.

Mike went looking for the moose and tracked her down a trail until they were about 10-feet apart. Its hard to see, but her butt is in the foreground and her ears are at about “1:00” in the photo. Since she had two calves with her, he suspected it was time to back off and leave the cow alone.

A little convention of antique car owners were gathered at our RV Park during the second half of our stay.

A little convention of antique car owners were gathered at our RV Park during the second half of our stay.

Boats and yachts were starting to come out of the water at the marina near our campground in preparation for the winter weather. The bigger vessels needed MAC trucks to get the job done.

Boats and yachts were starting to come out of the water at the marina near our campground in preparation for the winter weather. The bigger vessels needed MACK trucks to get the job done.

The Hagadone boat happened to be at the marina on our last morning. It was custom built by a company in Coeur d'Alene, and the mast was 100-feet tall.

The Hagadone boat happened to be at the marina on our last morning. It was custom built by a company in Coeur d’Alene, and the mast was 100-feet tall.

Idaho Part IV: Potlatch

We thought we left Idaho when we moved from Boise to Walla Walla but we were wrong. This Lower 48 in 48 Tour takes on a life of its own at times, and we have always just followed its lead. A short- term goal after leaving Walla Walla was to eventually get to Spokane. We had two reasons for getting to the northeastern corner of The Evergreen State. One of my first cousins lives with his wife and two kiddos on a 50-acre spread just south of Spokane. Of course, we wanted to spend time with them. Mike also wanted to take the Monaco into the Cummins Northwest facility in Spokane for some routine maintenance on the engine. The chassis needed to be lubed (because the screwballs at Lazy Days in Tucson couldn’t get to that task- even after they had the rig for 16 days), the transmission fluid needed to be replaced, he wanted to have a 17-point inspection done, and there was a leaky gasket that needed attention somewhere. When Mike called Cummins to get us an appointment, they said they could schedule us on September 15th. We had three weeks between our departure date at Walla Walla and our gig with the mechanics.

We looked at the map and determined there were two routes we could take to get from Walla Walla to Spokane. A longer-term goal was to make our way to Portland after Spokane, so we took that factor into consideration when analyzing a course. The most efficient route from Spokane to Portland is to take I-90 west until Hwy 395, and south through the Tri-Cities, then to I-84 west. Since our captain doesn’t like to backtrack, it was obvious we would be taking the “rural route” up to Spokane driving north and east on Hwy 12 over to Hwy 95 in Idaho for a straight drive north the rest of the distance. We had three weeks to kill so we figured we would find a place around the half-way mark and stop for a week. The best priced campground – with the highest reviews – about half way between Walla Walla and Spokane – along the Washington-Idaho Border is a city-owned RV Park in Potlatch. Mike couldn’t pass up the $25/day rate. And that is how we landed back in Idaho on The Martin’s American Adventure. Simple as that.

Potlatch, ID was a tiny lumber mill town of 791 people. Until the 1950’s, all the land and buildings within the town were owned by the Potlatch Lumber Company – which operated from 1905 to 1981. The mill is gone now, but the community is in tact. It was a nice quiet location in a charming rural setting. We made a couple of daytrips during our stay. One day we drove over to see Washington State University in Pullman. Another day we drove down to see Lewiston and Clarkston which straddle the Washington/Idaho state line that runs down the middle of the Snake River. When we weren’t road tripping, we just did normal life stuff like walking the dogs, cooking dinner, doing chores, working on the blog, and enjoying the reasonable nightly rate.

This is what most of our drive from Walla Walla to Potlatch looked like. They call this part of Washington State "The Palouse". The curvy roads had me a little kooky, but the traffic was light and I was grateful for that.

This is what most of our drive from Walla Walla to Potlatch looked like. They call this part of Washington State “The Palouse”. The curvy roads had me a little kooky, but the traffic was light and I was grateful for that.

I am guessing this is our last crossing of the Snake River on The Lower 48 in 48 Tour (heading north on WA Highway 127, between Dodge and Dusty).

I am guessing this is The Monaco’s last crossing of the Snake River on The Lower 48 in 48 Tour (heading north on WA Highway 127, between Dodge and Dusty).

Our Site at Potlatch Scenic 6 Park.

Our Site at Potlatch Scenic 6 Park.

The view from our front door.

The view from our front door.

A steam train was used at the Lumber Mill and now it is on display in the community park.

A steam train was used at the Lumber Mill and now it is on display in the community park.

Each tree in the park (and there were hundreds) was dedicated to a person or family. A granite plaque at the base of each trunk signified the memorials. I would have liked to have known Steve Jones.

Each tree in the park (and there were hundreds) was dedicated to a person or family. A granite plaque at the base of each trunk signified the memorials. I would have liked to have known Steve Jones.

This tree in the park was bursting with fruit. I was wondering what kind. My guess was crab apples? Plums? One morning I was walking the dog and a lady was picking up all the fruit that had dropped on the ground and putting it into a big canvas bag. I was excited to learn what kind of fruit it was, so I asked her to confirm my guess. She said she had no idea, she was just going to go home and make some jelly with it. Well, okay then.

This tree in the park was bursting with fruit. I was wondering what kind. My guess was crab apples? Plums? One morning I was walking the dog and a lady was picking up all the fruit that had dropped on the ground and putting it into a big canvas bag. I was excited to learn what kind of fruit it was, so I asked her to confirm my guess. She said she had no idea, she was just going to go home and make some jelly with it. Well, okay then.

The Palouse River. Mike caught some squaw fish.

The Palouse River. Mike caught some Squaw Fish, also known as Pikeminnow.

This is the Methodist Church we attended while on this stop.

This is the Methodist Church we attended while on this stop.

The depot in Potlatch was strategically situated. One side of the structure serviced the lumber mill activities. The other side of the building was for passenger travel.

The depot in Potlatch was strategically situated. One side of the structure serviced the lumber mill activities. The other side of the building was for passenger travel.

I posted a real picture of this glorious sunset on the Sunset Page of this blog, but this is what I got to enjoy through my kitchen window while cooking dinner. Amazing!

I posted a real picture of this glorious sunset on the Sunset Page of this blog, but this is what I got to enjoy through my kitchen window while cooking dinner one evening. Amazing!

The Methodists were celebrating with a service outside and a potluck lunch at the conclusion of church. The weather was wonderful and it made for a special Sunday morning. Although the members of the congregation vigorously invited us to join them for lunch, we declined. It is a bit overwhelming to be amongst a crowd when everyone else knows one another. In a church environment everyone is so friendly we end up answering a multitude of questions, so after a while it is time to go.

The Methodists were celebrating with a service outside and a potluck lunch at the conclusion of church. The weather was wonderful and it made for a special Sunday morning. Although the members of the congregation vigorously invited us to join them for lunch, we declined. It is a bit overwhelming to be amongst a crowd when everyone else knows one another. In a church environment everyone is so friendly we end up answering a multitude of questions, so after a while it is time to go.

On of the gentlemen at church recommended a local lunch spot about nine miles down the road (or three towns over). Mike ordered the special 1-lb burger. I think they had to bake the bun themselves! We took about 2/3 of it back to the house with us.

One of the gentlemen at church recommended a local lunch spot about nine miles down the road (or three towns over). Mike ordered the special 1-lb burger. I think they had to bake the bun themselves! We took about 2/3 of it back to the house with us.

A fun mural on a public plaza in downtown Pullman.

A fun mural on a public plaza in downtown Pullman.

The WSU campus has lots of neat art placed at various locations across the campus.

The WSU campus has lots of neat art placed at various locations across the campus.

The WSU Stadium.

The WSU Stadium.

WSU has its own dairy. They sell ice cream and cheese. I had a coffee toffee ice cream cone and brought some Cougar Gold back to the house with us.

WSU has its own dairy. They sell ice cream and cheese. I had a coffee toffee ice cream cone and brought some Cougar Gold back to the house with us.

We drove over to Lewiston, ID and Clarkston, WA to look around. Lewiston had a nice walking trail along the Snake River where it intersects with the Clearwater River (which is brown).

We drove over to Lewiston, ID and Clarkston, WA to look around. Lewiston had a nice walking trail along the Snake River where it intersects with the Clearwater River (which is brown).

My favorite thing in Lewiston was this awesome wave sculpture made of real-life metal canoes.

My favorite thing in Lewiston was this awesome wave sculpture made of real-life metal canoes.

lunch selfie

lunch selfie

Snake River panorama.

Snake River panorama.

Idaho Part III: Boise

It was an easy drive to Boise on I-84. We had no complaints because the weather was good and it was interstate all the way. We stayed at the Boise Riverside RV Park for two weeks. The location was excellent. We were within 5 minutes of any shopping we needed. The campground was at the edge of the Boise Greenbelt Trail, so we were literally steps away from our daily dog walks. (That was a real convenience after leaving a place where we had to get in the car to take the dogs for a proper walk). We were technically in Garden City, Idaho, but downtown Boise was a short 5 miles away, and we could get there on our bikes. The Boise River was on the other side of the Greenbelt Trail, so Mike was even able to do some fishing. Unfortunately for our freezer, he didn’t have any luck. Our actual camping spot was nothing special at all, and the park was all gravel, which translates to dust in the air at all times. In the long run, we felt like the location and proximity to the middle of town were good enough perks to trade off the negative aspects of the RV Park.

We both enjoyed the City of Boise very much. It reminded me a lot of Austin back in the day when mostly Texans lived there. The population is a little over 200,000, so it is big enough to have interesting citizens, but small enough to get around easily. It is a state capital and also has a university near the downtown area. The Boise River runs right through town, just as Austin’s Town Lake links many neighborhoods to the city’s center. The people of Boise are friendly and enjoy outdoor activities centered around the community’s multiple public parks and green spaces. Many of the sidewalks in the city center are flanked with patios brimming with tourists and local workers or students. Lots of construction around town indicated to me that the economy was strong in Boise. There was a good energy about the place. And it was very clean. I would dare say it was one of the cleanest and most well manicured cities we have visited on our Tour.

We had a relaxing time during our Boise stop. It was the largest city we had been to in a while, so we ran lots of errands when we first got there. Mike got the oil changed in the Honda and picked up some RV supplies. I bought make-up at a department store cosmetics counter and took the dogs to the vet. We also made a few other stops at stores that aren’t located in towns with populations of 5,000. We spent many hours walking the dogs on the trail, and riding our bikes toward all the action in the center of town. We floated the river one afternoon, went to an evening concert at the Botanical Gardens, and ate at several good local restaurants. I made a trip to the downtown Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning. A friend of mine from my organizing life is a full-time RV’er with her husband and they were passing through Boise at the same time we were there. It was fun to catch up with Donna and Mike. We met them downtown at the Bittercreek Ale House one afternoon for drinks and dinner, and hosted them at our place another evening. It is always nice when we get a chance to visit with people we actually know! Donna has a website relating to organizing issues at www.unclutter.com, and Mike writes a blog about their RV travels called www.flyingthekoop.com.

 

Our spot was B24. The sites were all gravel, so it was extremely dusty at all times.

Our spot was B24. The sites were all gravel, so it was extremely dusty at all times.

When I was checking in at the office, the lady behind the counter was on the phone with a potential client making a big deal about how their rig had to be 10-years old or newer. I guess these campers behind us got into the park before the rule was instated. Lots of RV Parks have the "10-year rule". Our Monaco is a 2006, but this year we started telling the RV parks it is a 2007... so we will meet the guest qualifications. (insert eye roll emoji here).

When I was checking in at the office, the lady behind the counter was on the phone with a potential client making a big deal about how their rig had to be 10-years old or newer. I guess these campers behind us got into the park before the rule was instated. Lots of RV Parks have the “10-year rule”. Our Monaco is a 2006, but this year we started telling the RV parks it is a 2007… so we will meet the guest qualifications. (insert eye roll emoji here).

We had one dead tree in our site, so Mike decided that was enough to hang my hammock for me. He strapped one end of the hammock to the tree. He hooked the other end of the hammock to the ladder, and fastened the ladder to the picnic table. The ladder contraption wasn't enough to keep the hammock from wobbling when a person was inside, so we moved this concrete block onto the bench of the table and stability was achieved.

We had one dead tree in our site, so Mike decided that was enough to hang my hammock for me. He strapped one end of the hammock to the tree. He hooked the other end of the hammock to the ladder, and fastened the ladder to the picnic table. The ladder contraption wasn’t enough to keep the hammock from wobbling when a person was inside, so we moved this concrete block onto the bench of the table and stability was achieved.

The Boise Hawks are a minor league baseball team from the Arizona Diamondbacks franchise. On Friday home games they have fireworks after the final inning. We were able to watch from our camp spot, so it was a fun treat. (Although Cessna hated all 10-minutes of it, even though she was inside with the a/c running, two stereos blaring and her white noise machine on maximum).

The Boise Hawks are a minor league baseball team from the Arizona Diamondbacks franchise. On Friday home games they have fireworks after the final inning. We were able to watch from our camp spot, so it was a fun treat. (Although Cessna hated all 10-minutes of it, even though she was inside with the a/c running, two stereos blaring and her white noise machine on maximum).

There are tons of fun outdoor activities to take advantage of in Boise. These kayakers were practicing their skills in the outflow of this small dam on the Boise River. I snapped this photo from the Greenbelt Trail.

There are tons of fun outdoor activities to take advantage of in Boise. These kayakers were practicing their skills in the outflow of this small dam on the Boise River. I snapped this photo from the Greenbelt Trail.

The Sandbar is a great outdoor restaurant on the River near downtown Boise. We rode our bikes over for dinner one night. The live music was fun and the Kobe Brisket Sandwich was sensational.

The Sandbar is a great outdoor restaurant on the River near downtown Boise. We rode our bikes over for dinner one night. The live music was fun and the Kobe Brisket Sandwich was sensational.

As it turns out, The Sandbar is not only dog friendly... the establishment is bird friendly, as well. This beautiful parrot joined his owner and a big group of people at a table near the band for drinks and food.

As it turns out, The Sandbar is not only dog friendly… the establishment is bird friendly, as well. This beautiful parrot joined his owner and a big group of people at a table near the band for drinks and food.

We did a river float through the middle of Boise one afternoon. The current was swift and it took us about two hours to float from Barber Park to Ann Morrison Park.

We did a river float through the middle of Boise one afternoon. The current was swift and it took us about two hours to float from Barber Park to Ann Morrison Park.

The Idaho Botanical Gardens is built around the historic penitentiary in the foothills of the city.

The Idaho Botanical Gardens is built around the historic penitentiary in the foothills of the city.

The Idaho Botanical Garden is a lovely attraction. Some of the gardens include: a water conservation landscape, a vegetable garden, a rose garden, a meditation garden, a children's adventure garden, a summer succulent garden, an herb garden and a native Idaho garden. The most intriguing garden to me was the Lewis & Clark Native Plant Garden. This garden’s goal is to display 145 plant species collected during the expedition between Great Falls, Montana and The Dalles, Oregon. With more than 125 of the species currently in place they have almost reached their goal.

The Idaho Botanical Garden is a lovely attraction. Some of the gardens include: a water conservation landscape, a vegetable garden, a rose garden, a meditation garden, a children’s adventure garden, a summer succulent garden, an herb garden and a native Idaho garden. The most intriguing garden to me was the Lewis & Clark Native Plant Garden. This garden’s goal is to display 145 plant species collected during the expedition between Great Falls, Montana and The Dalles, Oregon. With more than 125 of the species currently in place they have almost reached their goal.

We attended a summer concert series at the Botanical Gardens. The theme was swing music. The featured singer reminded us of Rhiannon Giddens. We asked the singer during the break if she was familiar with Ms. Giddens, but she did not know of her.

We attended a summer concert series at the Botanical Gardens. The theme was swing music. The featured singer reminded us of Rhiannon Giddens. We asked the singer during the break if she was familiar with Ms. Giddens, but she did not know of her.

swingin' selfie

Swingin’ selfie.

One block in downtown Boise is called the Basque Block. All businesses on this block are either museums, restaurants or markets dedicated to the Basque heritage. On Wednesdays and Fridays the Basque Market prepares Paella on the sidewalk. The dish is served at noon. All plates are $10, and the food is served until it is gone. (Sometimes that happens in 27 short minutes).

One block in downtown Boise is called the Basque Block. All businesses on this block are either museums, restaurants or markets dedicated to the Basque heritage. On Wednesdays and Fridays the Basque Market prepares Paella on the sidewalk. The dish is served at noon. All plates are $10, and the food is served until it is gone. (Sometimes that happens in 27 short minutes).

We got there at 11:00, and I'm happy to report we were the first people in line! We shared a plate of manchego cheese with bread and apples while Mike enjoyed a Spanish beer and I gulped down an amazing frozen white sangria (or two). After an hour of yummy treats and pleasant conversation with the owner, our food was served. We devoured it within minutes!

We got there at 11:00, and I’m happy to report we were the first people in line! We shared a plate of manchego cheese with bread and apples while Mike enjoyed a Spanish beer and I gulped down an amazing frozen white sangria (or two). After an hour of yummy treats and pleasant conversation with the owner, our food was served. We devoured it within minutes!

Get in line, the paella is ready!

Get in line, the paella is ready!

I wonder how fast they will sell out this time!

I wonder how fast they will sell out this time!

Artists pay the city to paint murals in Freak Alley each year.

Artists pay the city to paint murals in Freak Alley each year.

Contemplating the art in Freak Alley.

Contemplating the art in Freak Alley.

A Lewis and Clark statue on the Idaho Capitol grounds.

A Lewis and Clark statue on the Idaho Capitol grounds.

The Idaho State Capitol.

The Idaho State Capitol.

Downtown Boise has a bike share program. I love those!

Downtown Boise has a bike share program. I love those!

The Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial was situated on the edge of downtown at the riverbank.

The Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial was situated on the edge of downtown at the riverbank.

Just like the rest of America, there are many homeless people in Boise. This guy had a nice set up on a park deck off of the Greenbelt.

Just like the rest of America, there are many homeless people in Boise. This guy had a nice set up on a park deck off of the Greenbelt.

A portion of the Greenbelt Trail near downtown.

A portion of the Greenbelt Trail near downtown.

Dinnertime selfie at the Bittercreek Ale House.

Dinnertime selfie at the Bittercreek Ale House.

My friend Donna.

My friend Donna.

A downtown view of the hills that surround Boise.

A downtown view of the hills that surround Boise.

A glimpse of the Boise River from one of our many daytime walks.

A glimpse of the Boise River from one of our many daytime walks.

Rick's Press Room was on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives during season 7. We had the potato pancake, potato crusted salmon, celery slaw and meatloaf. Everything was as good as Guy Fieri said it would be!

Rick’s Press Room was on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives during season 7. We had the potato pancake, potato crusted salmon, celery slaw and meatloaf. Everything was as good as Guy Fieri said it would be!

I'm going to have to look back at my notes and pictures to determine how many walls we have signed since our Tour began.

I’m going to have to look back at my notes and pictures to determine how many walls we have signed since our Tour began.

Boise and birds. This one lived at the campground. I stopped to visit him as he was making evening rounds with his human. I after I loved on him for several minutes, he pretended to bite me and then he laughed and laughed... The bird, not the owner.

Boise and birds. This one lived at the campground. I stopped to visit him as he was making evening rounds with his human. After I loved on him for several minutes, he pretended to bite me and then he laughed and laughed… The bird, not the owner.

I went to mass at St. John's Cathedral one Sunday evening. The air conditioning was broken and people were hot. I didn't think it was too bad, but the priest skipped the homily all together. Just told us to concentrate on being good citizens until we saw him again, and then moved right on into the next part of the service!

I went to mass at St. John’s Cathedral one Sunday evening. The air conditioning was broken and people were hot. I didn’t think it was too bad, but the priest skipped the homily all together. Just told us to concentrate on being good citizens until we saw him again, and then moved right on into the next part of the service!

One of the beautiful stained glass windows on the side of the Cathedral.

One of the beautiful stained glass windows on the side of the Cathedral.

Idaho Part II: Declo/Rupert

We traveled along I-84 through Idaho, so our second stop was about mid-way between Idaho Falls and Boise. We stayed at a place called Village of Trees RV Resort. Although the exact location was adjacent to the interstate, it felt very rural since we saw nothing but farm fields for miles and miles in every direction. The best thing about this stop was that we were situated at the edge of the Snake River, so Mike got his Sea Eagle Kayak out of the bay and hit the water every chance he got.

I paired Declo and Rupert when I listed this location because Declo was actually just an intersection about five miles to the south of us. The address of the RV park was Declo, but other than a tiny post office and a school, the town didn’t feature much else besides abandoned buildings. Rupert was about five miles in the opposite direction. Since it was the county seat of Minidoka County and had a bustling population of about 5,000, we went there when we needed shops or services. For groceries we went to the town of Burley a little farther down the road.

We obviously had to get in the car and drive a bit if we wanted to see any attractions from this stop, and that is precisely what we did. One day we took a gorgeous drive south on a back road scenic byway to the City of Rocks National Reserve. Another day we drove north and west to the craziest geological phenomenon I have seen since we started this trip. Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is a sight to see. Before we visited Idaho, if you and I were playing “word association” and you said Idaho… I would have said potato (right)? Well now, I would have to change my answer to volcano. Volcanoes in Idaho. Who knew?

On another day we drove over to Twin Falls to see the town and stop at Shoshone Falls. We took the dogs on a couple of walking trails in Burley and at Walcott Lake State Park. The rest of the stay we spent our time doing the usual stuff of life which consists of errands, chores, and relaxing – not necessarily in that order.

I thought this ribbon of rocks was an interesting feature on our drive between Idaho Falls and Declo.

I thought this ribbon of rocks was an interesting feature on our drive between Idaho Falls and Declo.

There were about 25 horses in a pasture beside our campground. The group was mostly mommas and babies, with only a couple of extra "adults" in the mix. I watched them for hours because it was almost therapeutic seeing them interact.

There were about 25 horses in a pasture beside our campground. The group was mostly mommas and babies, with only a couple of extra “adults” in the mix. I watched them for hours because it was almost therapeutic seeing them interact.

These were my favorite. I've never seen a horse quite the same color. They looked like they had been dipped in pewter.

These were my favorite. I’ve never seen a horse quite the same color. They looked like they had been dipped in pewter.

This section of the Snake River in Twin Falls was flanked with golf courses and parks on both sides of the water.

This section of the Snake River in Twin Falls was flanked with golf courses and parks on both sides of the water.

The I.B. Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls.

The I.B. Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls.

I just loved this Twin Falls Sculpture. It is simply called the Twins Statue.

I just loved this Twin Falls Sculpture. It is simply called the Twins Statue.

Only a couple of miles from this spot is where Evil Knievel attempted to jump the Snake River Canyon in 1974. He was on a specially engineered rocket motorcycle, but he failed. A parachute on the motorcycle malfunctioned when he became airborne and he floated to the bottom of the canyon. He landed on the riverbank and not in the water. Coincidentally, while we were in the area, another stunt man made an announcement that he would attempt the same stunt in September of this year. We shall see if he can complete the mile wide leap.

Only a couple of miles from this spot is where Evil Knievel attempted to jump the Snake River Canyon in 1974. He was on a specially engineered rocket motorcycle, but he failed. A parachute on the motorcycle malfunctioned when he became airborne and he floated to the bottom of the canyon. He landed on the riverbank and not in the water. Coincidentally, while we were in the area, another stunt man made an announcement that he would attempt the same stunt in September of this year. We shall see if he can complete the mile wide leap.

Shoshone Falls is about 3 miles outside of Twin Falls. Some people call it the Niagra of the West because it is 212 feet high and 1,000 feet wide. In the early spring the snowmelt creates a massive water flow. By the time July rolls around, some parts of the falls are just a small trickle. Still pretty, though.

Shoshone Falls is about 3 miles outside of Twin Falls. Some people call it the Niagra of the West because it is 212 feet high and 1,000 feet wide. In the early spring the snowmelt creates a massive water flow. By the time July rolls around, some parts of the falls are just a small trickle. Still pretty, though.

The full view of Shoshone Falls, complete with an enchanting rainbow and everything!

The full view of Shoshone Falls, complete with an enchanting rainbow and everything!

Dierkes Lake was just above Shoshone Falls. We drove over to take a look and watched these kids jump off the rocks for a bit.

Dierkes Lake was just above Shoshone Falls. We drove over to take a look and watched these kids jump off the rocks for a bit.

Our spot at Village of Trees RV Resort was C8. The sites were a little skinny, but they owners paid meticulous attention to the grass.

Our spot at Village of Trees RV Resort was C8. The sites were a little skinny, but the owners paid meticulous attention to the grass.

Crop dusters flew over farm fields on every side of us, so we got fertilized almost daily.

Crop dusters flew over farm fields on every side of us, so we got fertilized almost daily.

CAT!

CAT!

The City of Rocks National Reserve was about an hour south of our campground.

The City of Rocks National Reserve was about an hour south of our campground.

Emigrants heading west on the California Trail passed through this area. In 1852 about 52,000 people passed through this area on their way to find gold.

Emigrants heading west on the California Trail passed through this area. In 1852 about 52,000 people traveled this route on their way to find gold.

A view from the Circle Creek Overlook near the Almo entrance to the City of Rocks.

A view from the Circle Creek Overlook near the Almo entrance to the City of Rocks.

Rock climbing in the City of Rocks. No. Thank. You.

Rock climbing in the City of Rocks. No. Thank. You.

This is what the California emigrants would have been looking at when they passed through the area.

This is what the California emigrants would have been looking at when they passed through the area.

The little park on the Snake River by our campground had a boat launch and some floating docks. A couple with a 2008 Monaco stayed next to us for a few nights and they had this cute little blow-up boat that they kept down by the water. It was a Sea Eagle, which is the same brand as Mike's inflatable kayak.

The little park on the Snake River by our campground had a boat launch and some floating docks. A couple with a 2008 Monaco stayed next to us for a few nights and they had this cute little blow-up boat that they kept down by the water. It was a Sea Eagle, which is the same brand as Mike’s inflatable kayak.

We drove over the next town of Burley one afternoon to walk the dogs on their greenbelt trail. The only problem was that it was SO HOT! We made the mistake of going during the late afternoon and I was genuinely afraid the dogs were going to have a heat stroke. We only walked for about 20 minutes before we felt like we needed to turn around and hurry back to the car.

We drove over to the next town of Burley one afternoon to walk the dogs on their greenbelt trail. The only problem was that it was SO HOT! We made the mistake of going during the late afternoon and I was genuinely afraid the dogs were going to have a heat stroke. We only walked for about 20 minutes before we felt like we needed to turn around and hurry back to the car.

The address for The Village of Trees RV Park was Declo, Idaho, but the little town of Rupert was just as close in the opposite direction. Declo had a school, a post office and about one dozen abandoned buildings. We ended up going to Rupert for eating and shopping.

The address for The Village of Trees RV Park was Declo, Idaho, but the little town of Rupert was just as close in the opposite direction. Declo had a school, a post office and about one dozen abandoned buildings. We ended up going to Rupert for eating and shopping.

After our failed walk in Burley, we drove back to Rupert in search of drinks, shade and an early dinner (in that order). Only one spot fit all of our requirements, and they were dog friendly to boot! Henry's Drift Inn was a restaurant and small hotel inside of a beautifully preserved historic bank building. The flowers that decorated their outside space were absolutely amazing.

After our failed walk in Burley, we drove back to Rupert in search of drinks, shade and an early dinner. Only one spot fit all of our requirements, and they were dog friendly to boot! Henry’s Drift Inn was a restaurant and small hotel inside of a beautifully preserved historic bank building. The flowers that decorated their outside space were absolutely amazing.

Sunset at the little park by our campground.

Sunset at the little park by our campground.

Mike was able to get his kayak in the water from this spot.

Mike was able to get his kayak in the water from this spot.

Mike's typical bounty at the conclusion of his fishing excursions.

Mike’s typical bounty at the conclusion of his fishing excursions.

The dogs were grateful for the soft grass with no stickers.

The dogs were grateful for the soft grass with no stickers.

Our view as we drove to Craters of the Moon.

Our view as we drove to Craters of the Moon.

Lava. Lots of lava. In Idaho, of all places.

Lava. Lots of lava. In Idaho, of all places.

When Craters of the Moon was proclaimed a National Monument in 1924, President Calvin Coolidge used the 1906 Antiquities Act to preserve "a weird and scenic landscape, peculiar to itself".

When Craters of the Moon was proclaimed a National Monument in 1924, President Calvin Coolidge used the 1906 Antiquities Act to preserve “a weird and scenic landscape, peculiar to itself”.

Selfie on the way to the top of Inferno Cone.

Selfie on the way to the top of Inferno Cone.

A panorama from the top of Inferno Cone.

A panorama from the top of Inferno Cone.

Pine trees growing out of a bed of lava rocks. I have never seen anything like this in my life.

Pine trees growing out of a bed of lava rocks. I have never seen anything like this in my life.

We were lucky to find a picnic table near a tree with some shade. It was a hot and sunny day, and all the black lava everywhere made it even more toasty. The dogs waited in the shadows while we finished our lunch.

We were lucky to find a picnic table near a tree with some shade. It was a hot and sunny day, and all the black lava everywhere made it even more toasty. The dogs waited in the shadows while we finished our lunch.

The first thing Mike must do when he returns from fishing is get his catch approved by Piper.

The first thing Mike must do when he returns from fishing is get his catch approved by Piper.

Idaho Part I: Ririe

After two weeks of stress reduction in Missoula, I was ready to ride in the passenger’s seat when we bid farewell to Montana. We drove south on I-90 and merged with I-15 in Butte, taking the southbound interstate all the way toward Idaho Falls. The exit to I-15 in Butte was one exit west of where we stayed when we were there a few weeks earlier. This means Mike’s preferences were realized and we never back-tracked… not even for one mile! Lucky for me the route took us through meadows and valleys. No drastic elevation changes, almost zero construction, wide lanes and a respectable shoulder on the road meant I never got close to freaking out. That was nice.

The drive was long, though. We were ready to park and get situated by the time we arrived at Juniper State Park on the Ririe Reservoir. Over five hours of driving is just about the max time that is tolerable on travel day. By the time you factor in the time it takes to get the rig shut down and ready to drive, then set back up at the end, it is a full day.

Juniper campground was very nice. Our spot at C12 was an enormous pull through spot with full hook-ups. Of course, Mike selected this location because it fit his two main criteria… the price was inexpensive and fishing was abundant! Ririe Reservoir was created when a dam was built at Willow Creek in the 1970’s. The creek was in a canyon, so we were situated about 100 feet above the water. The views were great! We were out in a secluded spot in Bonneville County, so we didn’t hear the sound of trains, traffic, sirens or anything for two weeks!

Eastern Idaho is spectacular. The South Fork of the Snake River runs through this area and the scenery is amazing. The landscape is comprised of rolling hills covered in farm fields painted in a precise camouflage that is slightly brighter and more orderly than what the hunters wear. The river meanders through the terrain, giving the illusion of a sapphire band of energy electrifying the earth with power and grace all at once. When you sit back to take in the views, the spirit seems to brim with equal parts vitality and tranquility. We liked it there.

We drove west to Wyoming on two different occasions, once to see Grand Teton National Park and again to visit Jackson Hole. We spent some time in the cute town of Idaho Falls, and the rest of our time was dedicated to chilling out at our park. We couldn’t help but snap heaps of photos during our visit, so I will let some of those images complete the story of our introduction to The Gem State.

The view from our bedroom. Can you spot the windmills in the distance?

The view from our bedroom. Can you spot the windmills in the distance?

Ririe Reservoir.

Ririe Reservoir.

The campground was surrounded by farmlands. Of course there were potato crops, but Anheuser-Busch had signs on many fields... so I guess Idaho grows lots of beer too!

The campground was surrounded by farmlands. Of course there were potato crops, but Anheuser-Busch had signs on many fields… so I guess Idaho grows lots of beer too!

Our spot was C12. It was a VERY spacious pull-through. We didn't have neighbors anywhere near us. The best part, however, was no stickers in the lush grass. All for $18 per night.

Our spot was C12. It was a VERY spacious pull-through. We didn’t have neighbors anywhere near us. The best part, however, was no stickers in the lush grass. All for $18 per night.

We went to the Idaho Falls Farmers Market the first Saturday morning we were there. I was surprised there weren't a ton of local farmers. The vendors were primarily selling things like baked goods, jams, fresh tacos, soaps, honey, flowers... things like that. Only two booths were selling almost all of the vegetables... and to be honest I don't think they were local. I think these families just bought a load of stuff from a wholesaler and set up a tent at the farmer's market.

We went to the Idaho Falls Farmers Market the first Saturday morning we were at Juniper. I was surprised there weren’t a ton of local farmers. The vendors were  peddling things like baked goods, jams, fresh tacos, soaps, honey, flowers… stuff like that. Only two booths were selling almost all of the vegetables… and to be honest I don’t think they were local. My guess is these families just bought a load of inventory from a wholesaler and set up a tent at the farmer’s market.

The paved road leading to the campground turned to gravel after the entrance gate. The gravel road went for miles so we thought it would be a good place for our daily dog walks. Unfortunately, the rocks were painful on the dogs paws, so it was only a one-time thing. Piper and Cessna wanted no part of that road after that afternoon.

The paved road leading to the campground turned to gravel after the entrance gate. The gravel road went for miles so we thought it would be a good place for our daily dog walks. Unfortunately, the rocks were painful on the dogs’ paws, so it was only a one-time thing. Piper and Cessna wanted no part of that road after that afternoon.

We have never stayed anywhere on this trip where the sunsets were so magnificent. Every night was a different show of lights, shadows and colors.

We have never stayed anywhere on this trip where the sunsets were so magnificent. Every night was a different show of lights, shadows and colors.

I already put one Ririe nightfall photo on our "Sunsets" page, but I couldn't feature a singular choice from two weeks at this spot.

I already put one Ririe nightfall photo on our “Sunsets” page, but I couldn’t just feature a singular choice from two weeks at this spot.

Mike watched these two eagles soar over him on most days we was fishing. There were lots of owls too!

Mike watched these two eagles soar over him on most days he was fishing. There were lots of owls too!

There is a riverside trail in downtown Idaho Falls and every few feet features a different creative bench.

There is a riverside trail in downtown Idaho Falls and every few feet features a uniquely creative bench.

Idaho Falls.

Idaho Falls.

Life size chia deer on the riverside trail.

Life size chia deer on the riverside trail.

A selfie from the Sandpiper Restaurant. There were only a couple of waterfront dining options in downtown Idaho Falls and we were lucky to pick a good one.

A selfie from the Sandpiper Restaurant. There were only a couple of waterfront dining options in downtown Idaho Falls and we were lucky to pick a good one. They even let Piper and Cessna join us on the patio. When we asked how we got them around to the back, they said bring them in the front door and through the restaurant. What? No problem.

I call this one calico sunset.

I call this one calico sunset.

Alive After Five was a free summer concert series at a park in the middle of downtown Idaho Falls. The music was great. They actually sold beer and wine. And, the people watching was superb.

Alive After Five was a free summer concert series at a park in the middle of downtown Idaho Falls. The music was great. They actually sold beer and wine. And, the people watching was superb.

When we took a daytrip to Grand Tetons National Park, we drove over the Teton Pass. The Honda did not like that. The pinnacle of the pass is 8,431 feet. The grades are about 10% going up and back down. When I got out of the car to take this picture, our little 4-cylinder engine was very smelly! It sure was pretty, though!

When we took a daytrip to Grand Tetons National Park, we drove over the Teton Pass. The Honda did not like that. The pinnacle of the pass is 8,431 feet. The grades are about 10% going up and back down. When I got out of the car to take this picture, our little 4-cylinder engine was very smelly! It sure was pretty, though!

Our first good look at the Tetons.

Our first good look at the Tetons.

A plaque inside the Chapel of the Sacred Heart near the Jackson Lake Dam says it was built by a family of New York and Wyoming after the tragic events of 9/11.

A plaque inside the Chapel of the Sacred Heart near the Jackson Lake Dam says it was built by a family of New York and Wyoming after the tragic events of 9/11.

The only wildlife we saw during our day in the Grand Tetons.

The only wildlife we saw during our day in the Grand Tetons.

This was the view from our picnic in the National Park that day.

This was the view from our picnic in the National Park that day.

Colter Bay on Lake Jackson. I think Eagle's Rest Peak is in the distance - 11,258 feet up into the sky.

Colter Bay on Lake Jackson. I think Eagle’s Rest Peak is in the distance – 11,258 feet up into the sky.

The surface elevation of Jackson Lake is 6,772 feet.

The surface elevation of Jackson Lake is 6,772 feet.

Summertime in the Grand Tetons.

Summertime in the Grand Tetons.

Dogs are only allowed on paved sidewalks or parking lots inside the park. We still found a way to get these two their exercise for the day.

Dogs are only allowed on paved sidewalks or parking lots inside the park. We still found a way to get these two their exercise for the day.

The Grand Tetons from Hwys 191/26/89.

The Grand Tetons from Hwys 191/26/89.

The Snake River.

The Snake River.

The Park Road dumps directly into downtown Jackson Hole, and the traffic was horrible when we got to town. It had been a long day and we were overwhelmed by the crowds, so we decided not to stop for a look around. We agreed we would drive back to Jackson on another day to explore this resort town when we were fresh and more tolerant.

The Park Road dumped directly into downtown Jackson Hole, and the traffic was horrible when we got to town. It had been a long day and we were overwhelmed by the crowds, so we decided not to stop for a look around. We agreed we would drive back to Jackson on another day to explore this resort town when we were fresh and more tolerant.

A panorama of the South Fork of the Snake River near the Swan Valley of Idaho.

A panorama of the South Fork of the Snake River near the Swan Valley of Idaho.

We had a family of rabbits living with us in our campsite. The dogs spent their evenings watching the critters and wishing they could catch them for a little after dinner treat.

We had a family of rabbits living with us in our campsite. The dogs spent their evenings watching the cuddly creatures and wishing they could catch them for a little after dinner treat.

Yellow sunset ball.

Yellow sunset ball.

Mike and I drove over to Cress Creek Nature Trail for a quick hike one afternoon. It was hot and the trail went straight up, so the dogs waited at home. It was a good move. Piper wouldn't have liked it... would have been too strenuous on is old bones.

Mike and I drove over to Cress Creek Nature Trail for a quick hike one afternoon. It was hot and the trail went straight up, so the dogs waited at home. It was a good move. Piper wouldn’t have liked it… would have been too strenuous on his old bones.

The Snake River from the Cress Creek Trail.

The Snake River from the Cress Creek Trail.

He drives the bus. He grills the dinner. Is there anything this man can't do?

He drives the bus. He grills the dinner. Is there anything this man can’t do?

Our campground fire pit was a good distance from our rig and all of our stuff, so we used our own with some wood scraps underneath to protect the grass. So far, this is the one and only campfire we've had in Idaho.

Our campground fire pit was a good distance from our rig and all of our stuff, so we used our own with some wood scraps underneath to protect the grass. So far, this is the one and only campfire we’ve had in Idaho.

Some rolling farm lands in the Swan Valley.

Some rolling farm lands in the Swan Valley.

We took another route when we returned to Jackson Hole. This time we drove Highway 26 along the Palisades Reservoir and then through the Bridger National Forest. The Honda was happier with no dramatic passes to conquer.

We took another route when we returned to Jackson Hole. This time we drove Highway 26 along the Palisades Reservoir and then through the Bridger National Forest. The Honda was happier with no dramatic passes to conquer.

The Snake River in the Bridger National Forest.

The Snake River in the Bridger National Forest.

Antlers galore.

Antlers galore.

A panorama from the National Elk Refuge on the edge of downtown Jackson Hole.

A panorama from the National Elk Refuge on the edge of downtown Jackson Hole.

Family selfie at an arch of antlers.

Family selfie at an arch of antlers.

The National Elk Refuge looking into the Teton National Forest.

The National Elk Refuge looking into the Teton National Forest.

There was a crazy vertical garden on the side of the garage where we parked the car when we returned to Jackson Hole. It was like a big ferris wheel of vegetation!

There was a crazy vertical garden on the side of the garage where we parked the car when we returned to Jackson Hole. It was like a big ferris wheel of vegetation!

This silo outside the Snake River Brewing Company was covered in stickers. We were wishing we had a couple of Longhorn decals to leave behind.

This silo outside the Snake River Brewing Company was covered in stickers. We were wishing we had a couple of Longhorn decals to leave behind.

Beer Selfie.

Beer Selfie. Cheers, y’all!