Friday, July 31, 2015

We made it!

Monday July 27 I was ready to get to Oak Harbor, WA on Whidbey Island to see our friends and when I got up, I knew it was going to be a long day in the saddle. After playing in the dunes yesterday, we drove into Boise and stopped at the Camping World to get a new screen door latch and a few other goodies. The store was closed because as one employee put it, "The owner is a good Mormon."
We stayed overnight in the Camping World parking lot because they had dedicated spots with electric, the first we had seen with electric. Plus its free to stay overnight in the CW parking lots. In the morning, I got the trailer ready to go quickly and ran into the store to get a few goodies. I came back and Becky went in because I did not get what was on her list. When she came back we said goodbye to our neighbors, the Evans. That took about two hours as Dave and I talked about solar panels and rigging the trailers for power and the ladies chatted away. Patrick was bored. 
The day was windy, we had to stand out of it to be comfortable and talk.
The Evans' trailer. They bought it brand new but were waiting for parts that were supposed to be installed before they got it. The CW store forgot to order the part and they have been there two weeks now waiting.

The flag ripples in the breeze.
We got on the road but first a quick stop to see Marvin the Martian's Rocket from the old Looney Tunes comics. I like to get on a site called Roadside America. It has unique places to stop and see. Patrick wanted to see Marvin so we made a quick stop.
 We left Boise without seeing the blue Boise State football field but we were alright with that. Time for the super slab. Big views, farming and sagebrush.

More hay.

We crossed the border and ran north along the Snake River once again.
 I saw a sign that said scenic overlook of a historic bridge so we diverted off the highway and took a short drive. We missed the overlook..drove over the bridge..and we ended up on this one lane road. There was a little sign that said no outlet. I couldn't turn around anywhere so we ended up going all the way to the end of the road where it was gated. The GPS said that we could turn on an adjoining road but there was only a small dirt two track.
 This was the historic bridge that we could view on the way back. It is on the Oregon Trail and old US Route 30 which we played tag with all across Idaho and Oregon. The bridge was built as part of the "Get Oregon Out of the Mud" campaign.  It would be a neat drive to go from one side of the country to the other on 30. For now we were content to be on and off of it.

Climbed out of the valley and the beautiful fur trees back to desolate scrub. I don't know haw the emigrates made it across the country or made repeated trips along the Oregon Trail.
 On I-84 the road makes a squiggle all over the map as it climbs a massive mountain. Its a steep grade and the road makes several switchbacks. It was a pretty cool feat of engineering with spectacular views all around that can't be captured by the camera. 
 We stopped for gas in Kennewick, WA and I looked for a place to stay the night that might be free but Becky said I could push on through if I wanted to and I did thinking that traffic would be better around Seattle in the dead of night. But first we drover through Yakima River valley where there were so many grape vines that it amazed me. I have never seen so many vines in one place. Most of the vines are wine grapes and there were lots of wineries along the road. Becky was salivating.

We spotted these vines and they were everywhere. I don't know if it was a different way of growing grapes or it was a different vegetable/fruit.

Snoquaime Pass was shut down for an hour for blasting and clean up. We sat for a half and hour before we could go through. It was a beautiful sunset as we drove through the mountains into the pass. The left headlight was out on the Tahoe making night driving a little weak.

A shaky view of the buildings at the I90 and I5 interchange.
I thought that traffic would be lighter going through Seattle at night and it was but not by much. Coming from s small town it doesn't take much traffic to make it seem like rush hour. But it was less that that hot mess Atlanta so I was thankful. It was midnight when we pulled into Tom and Kathy's driveway and we parked up hoping Richie had given us the right address.
In the morning, Richie, Tara and the girls stopped by to see us before they ran up to Whistler for a few days to ride mountain bikes. We pumped out the trailer, helped Tom clean up and parked the trailer in a semi permanent spot and got settled in. If it was warmer here I wouldn't mind staying but I have had a sweat shirt on everyday and I just don't like that in August. Love being around good friends and catching up. Kathy is keeping us well fed and packing on the weight with her constant cooking and its always delicious! So glad we made it out to Washington and half the trip is over.


The original plan was to leave Craters of the Moon and head north to Glacier NP but after reading about the wildfire in the park and how many people were moving from where the wildfire was to other areas we thought it would be packed with people and after Yellowstone we were ready to be done with crowds for a little while. That is the great thing about this trip is that there isn't a schedule and we are able to do what we want. So I decided that we should head south towards Twin Falls and see Twin Falls or Shoshone Falls as the Indians called them. There were also some major landmarks that I wanted to see along the way.
 The lava beds stretched for miles and the road rolled out like a welcome mat.

 We got into Twin Falls and crossed the Perrine Bridge. It was on the list of things to see so I pulled into the visitors center on the south side of the bridge.

This is the big dirt ramp that old Evil tried to jump his rocket bike across the canyon. He failed.

You can see a base jumper about half way down the cliff on the right side with his chute deployed.

Being a beautiful Saturday, the jumpers were out in force. No one would loan me a chute.

 The nest stop was Shoshone Falls after we ate a spot of lunch. The falls are surrounded by a large state park because people did not want them to become as commercialized as Niagra. Shoshone Falls are 45 higher than Niagra. They had part of the falls shut down so they could work on the hydro plant. 
View from the parking lot
 The upper falls. We could have taken the trail to the falls but we didn't feel like walking that far.

We left the falls behind and headed out across the prairie again. But we got sidetracked by a big brown sign that said fossil beds. The visitors center is also the vc for a Japanese interment camp that was down by Twin Falls. There wasn't much about it though.

The famous Hagerman horse with one whole hoof not split like most animals.
 We drove out to an overlook for the Oregon Trail and for the fossil beds. You can't get down to the beds but you can see close to where they are.

 Whats amazing about following along the Oregon Trail is that much of it is just like when the emigrants traveled through. Its still wild, desolate country that seems unimaginable to cross through in the dead of summer. It was 95 standing on the ridge looking out over the view. We could climb into the air conditioning but they endured many hot, thirsty days on the road to the promised land.

Its hard to see the ruts but just to the left of the utility poles you can see a road leading up.

The road came up through this gully between the rocks and the utility pole.
 From here we rolled on west to Bruneau Dunes State Park where glaciers had deposited large amounts of sand forming two dunes, the tallest 475 feet tall. We spent Saturday night in the SP and Sunday we rented a sand board for Patrick to surf the dunes.

He spent a lot of time falling down but he had fun.

 After playing in the sand Becky and Patrick took showers and we headed into Boise to Camping World so we could get a new screen door handle. But Camping World was closed on Sunday and after a quick stop at Wal Mart we parking in the CW lot and plugged into their electric. This was the first CW that I saw that had power. It was super windy Saturday and Sunday and Monday. 
This is how windy it was in Boise. 
That's a big flag if you compare it to the cars in the parking lot. This was Monday morning.