Our lives now include living at one of the nicest senior communities in the USA. Rossmoor in Walnut Creek, CA. We will still travel in the RV but not full time.

Archive for July, 2013

The Lost River Valleys and Mountains near Mackay, Idaho

What an incredible weekend high up above 8000 feet.  Above Mackay the White Knob Mountains have old mines and ghost towns and great trails for ATVs.  For those of you who want all wilderness to be only for hikers, etc. let me tell you, those of us who can no longer climb the mountains and never could have gotten deep into the wilderness, this is a heavenly way to enjoy nature.  There are so many miles of wilderness in Idaho that most Idahoans have never seen, you cannot believe it when you finally have the experiences.

My sister Karole and her husband Ken, bought a toy hauler and it can sleep at least 6 comfortably.  Ken’s brother and his wife Sue, have a cabin they maintain for some Utah family, so there is a cabin for them and the trailer for us on beautiful farmland and under trees.  Karole and I joined the guys Saturday AM as she is the news anchor for Local News 8 in Idaho Falls and worked late Friday night.

Karole and Ken bought a Polaris Razor which is so much easier to drive on the mountain trails as it is narrow and can get onto trails with narrow gates.  Also you are not sitting astride with windburns on your face.  Two seats and room to put dogs and food on the back. A friend of Karole’s loaned us his razor and we were set.

We saw incredible country and views.  Russ, not one to avoid heightening the adventure was driving when we hit a ground up slate trail up the side of same mountain.  He really did not realize how loose the “gravel” was and we stopped in time not to slide and roll down a mountain.  However, there was no way to get back onto the trail, cause the gravel just rolled away under us.  Out comes the coil of steel wires on the wench, Russ climbs up the mountain and ties us to a huge pine tree, Kenny drives and after some moments we are on the trail.  Meanwhile Sue on the 4wheeler ahead goes to the top, turns around and comes back to tell us the trail is not a good idea for us, so we have to figure how to back down.  I drive with Russ and Sue yelling directions so that I do not slide off the mountain or ride up on the other side.  Anyway Russ and I learned a lot, saw a lot and really had fun.

Weather cooler up high, but the half hour drive coming down and home at the bottom was 95 degrees of hot.

Looking for some exciting place to go-check out this website and go where very few people go.  http://www.mackayidaho.com/linked%20docs/LostRiverValleyBrochure.pdf

 

Southern Idaho in the Summer-hot, sprinklers going on the farms and Snake River Campground

Yes, Family and friends, I am finally in Idaho Falls! The potatoes are growing and are at the flowering stage, just beautiful. Wheat and alfalfa are all green and look like waves in the song. It is a gorgeous time of the year, but it has been in the high 90’s until today it is finally cooling down a bit. Also we are in the car and the ride to Sun Valley to see the rest of the family is moving us higher and higher and with that a bit cooler-74 degrees.

 

My Dad looks good for 88 and is calmer than I have seen him in the past. We see him every day-take him stuff, redress him in new clothes, dine with him and take him to Starbucks for a sandwich. He usually forgets what we have done within the hour. No short term memory. He did enjoy our drive up to Rexburg to see Todd’s (my brother in law) parents, Luella and Allan Mink. They live on a country property in a small and charming house. Lou’s mother passed and she would like to get back to Magic Valley where all the grandkids are. Todd’s dad is like an old mountain man-used to hunt in the wilderness areas and passed that on to Todd and my nephew Brandon.

 

Oh, point of interest. Instead of turning toward Sun Valley where we are driving-I was determined to follow the signs to Mackay. Russ told me it was the wrong way, my brother tried to correct me on the phone, but I kept ignoring them. Well we got there when I finally realized what I was doing-going to the area we will camp with Karole and Ken next weekend. Instead of feeling stupid I feel great-you know how I tell everyone that God is running this journey? Well, my sister wants us to buy a Razor ( modern ATV with power steering). It is $11,000 and she said we could sell it at end of summer and get back $10,000. Well we are not comfortable with that but she says we will not get to go on the 40 mile trail following the continental divide (next weekend). So would you believe in Mackay we saw a Polaris (similar) for rent. We called the owner and they will rent it to us for next weekend for a lot less than $11,000.

 

Did anyone notice Russ’s new haircut and beard??

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Lava Hot Springs Near Wyoming, Idaho Border Rises to Its Potential

The land around Lava Hot Springs

Montpelier, Soda Springs and Lava Hot Springs usually mean you have arrived from Wyoming into South Eastern Idaho. It is actually beautiful to me. High rolling sagebrush and grassland-much of it farmed wheat. Harsh winters, and hot summers. Grandpa Gilbert used to take us to the hot springs to swim in the 1950’s cause it is close to Pocatello. Then when my sister Karole was raising her three sons, we took them to Lava to swim too.

 

Well this time it was just Russ and I with three nights to spare so we stopped at the Lava Hot Springs KOA Campground now owned by a local couple who are burning their candles at both ends, fixing up and making an old campground on the river, be beautiful, serviceable and a great place for travelers to stop. Not only that, but it seems Southern Utah has fallen in love with it for their family weekends. Good fishing-the old hot tubs fixed up, the garden paths around the historic resort are lava rock specific and very cool. The stores now attract visitors and are open on Sunday. Also coffee and would you old time Idahoans believe that there is a latte stand on the corner. OMG!

Water slides for families and tubing and rafting down the river. We loved it and will return.

 

Must mention stopping at Montpelier at the Oregon Trail Memorial. Great paintings that I believe Simplot had done. They depicted all my favorite southern Idaho spots as they were in the days of the Oregon Trail Expeditions. Nice people and lots of tourists stop there, too. I recommend it.

 

Stopped here with 200 bicyclists who had done 100 mile rides in the mountains

Stopped here with 200 bicyclists who had done 100 mile rides in the mountains

Painting of Thousand Springs where I went swimming in my teens, Hagerman Valley.

Painting of Thousand Springs where I went swimming in my teens, Hagerman Valley.

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Garden walk above hot springs

Garden walk above hot springs

lava rock-garden carved out of it

lava rock-garden carved out of it

great old building with holly hocks

great old building with holly hocks

High dive scares everyone, had a ball watching the 10 minute before diving and then the 45 minute!

High dive scares everyone, had a ball watching the 10 minute before diving and then the 45 minute!

Young kids walking the strap.

Young kids walking the strap.

KOA we loved in Lava

KOA we loved in Lava

New chairs for the motor home

New chairs for the motor home

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