Touring Central Idaho

We left the Boise area and headed North East on Highway 21.  Our first stop was about 5 miles outside of Lowman, camping in the wild along a very fast and loud Payette River.

Today we covered about 60 miles so I was beat when we got to camp. Over looking the river which is normally so shallow you can walk across it. The roaring sound was almost deafening. We stayed here two nights in relative solitude.
Our camp above the river.

We saw many white water rafters

and then this very brave duck.
My two loves of my life……..
relaxing and taking it all in.
Our awesome view over looking the river.
We left our camp and traveled highway 21 from Boise to Lowman.  We stopped for a quick view of the Sawtooth Mountain range. Met some folks (Bob n Susan) heading to Yellowstone to celebrate their 1 year engagement anniversary.
On the way we crested the Banner summit at 7250 which still had plenty of snow.
With so much rain we all had, there are so many wild flowers everywhere. Once again the Sawtooth mountain range in the back ground. One day after we got thru the pass, the road was closed due to avalanche and the road being washed out. We saw the spot and could not believe the road was still open, apparently it got worse.
We made it to our planned destination, yes about another 60 mile trip….it’s a hard life. Here we are at Red Fish Lake which is so cool and pretty. The lake is very full and many campsites are flooded out.
Many campgrounds are flooded
What a view. Can’t get enough of it!
Yours truly……
This area is so nice and well planned layout for all to enjoy. Here she is, enjoying the sun, breeze and beauty of the area.
Nature and my beautiful wife!
and again……
Never understood the fun of a unicycle…….
As we head on to the next destination, we continue to see so much water everywhere. Here is the Salmon river, about 40 miles from the Headwaters.
Here near the Galena summit, a beautiful view as well as overlooking the headwaters of the Salmon river.
This valley where Stanley resides gets snowed in for months every year
and with so much more runoff still to come
Before settling down in another isolated location, we stop at the local outpost for some supplies. Everything is so big here from the mountains to the chairs.
After driving no more than 60 miles we pulled up into a National Forest canyon (free camping) just outside of Sun Valley. Note the ski runs in the background.
This is a lovely valley with mountains of snow in both directions.
and pretty hills to the side

another view

so much solitude, it’s like not even being there.

Sound of music, the hills are alive, staring Kay Jefferson!

We drove about 60 miles today. Here is our camp about 3 miles up the road from Sun Valley.
From the opposite side, once I walked down here I realized we can not get out this way as the road is very “lopsided” so to speak with a cliff on the downward side. We use google maps and other information to be sure we do not get into this mess but it does not always work. I think, (hope) I can turn the beast around where she sits to get out the way we came in.
On the other hand, the view from our door is awesome!
Our first stop was the Sun Valley Lodge which we were told we must see. Well, you cant see much as this place is set up for the rick and it is all locked down and where y ou can go, you are watched like a hawk. Anyway, in the hallway are many photos of those that have been here before us. Any guesses on who this is? (on the left, answer below)
At the back of the lodge is a huge outdoor ice skating rink. It is 85 degrees and this thing is frozen along with the indoor huge ice skating rink just behind this one. (The picture above is Rosa Parks)
Some cool structures here
Looking at the back of the lodge from the ice skating rink.
The pool
The next day we toured the cute little town of Ketchum which is the main city around Sun Valley. Something about big chairs here in Idaho??
Bottom of one of the many ski lifts.
Statues of Gretchen Fraser 42 winter Olympics in Switzerland
Really loved this fence
Couldn’t get enough of it!
Does this person own a ski shop?
Or just buys the newest and greatest several times each year?
After leaving Ketchum, we headed over to the “Craters of the Moon” National Preserve.   Here is nice sunset from our camp at the Craters of the Moon.
The 7 plus mile one way road trip thru the preserve shows very interesting landscape. Apparently NASA used this area for some training in preparation of the moon landing many years ago.  Note the little flowers growing on the small pieces of lava.
And of course, my favorite, pictures of old dead trees. Think of the stories they could tell.
The lava comes in so many forms
and eventually over many years you start seeing more green plants starting to come to life
Smooth next to rough……
rough next to little pieces with new growth
and little “spatter cones” of lava spill…..
from “spatter cones” to rough and then smooth and eventually gravel lava then plant life
some of the “spatter cones”are large, enough to hike up onto
some  “spatter cones” are huge….
acres of little flowers trying to take hold in the lava gravel
its amazing!
I think on our next trip I will bring more than two weeks of underclothes…..must be time to go to an RV park to fill our water, dump our tanks and do laundry.
While at Craters of the Moon, we took a little drive and saw this old ski resort, (for lack of words)
We put an offer in to purchase it and open as the new “Sun Valley” but with much more affordable prices
yea, it needs a little work
Our camp at Craters of the Moon
On another trip we headed to a little community called “Arco” in Idaho. Not sure what the deal is with all the “Big” chairs we seem to find.
One of the most “colorful” motels I’ve ever seen
Possibly one of the most interesting things we have seen on this trip was this little “Museum” in Arco. This tiny little shack is a museum full of history of our cold wars Nuclear era. Outside of this little town is a huge facility where “Clay” worked on nuclear submarines and the training of some 40,000 nuclear submarines navey persnnell.
“Clay” has put this little museum together almost on his own. We spent over an hour just talking with him and hearing the history not only of this areas involvement of the Navy nuclear subs, but of the nuclear advancements which was learned here.
by my estimate, “Clay” is at least 84 year sold and loves to share the history.
“666”, not in satanic terms but was a big player in the cold war. Clay was able to get the top of the sub to add to his museum. Little fact: The first nuc subs had to be fueled at least every 3 years and took about a year to do so. With the refinement of the uranium (at this facility) now subs never have to be refueled, they are fueled before being activated and with nuclear fuel, the one fueling last for 30 years, the life span of the sub!
and all this is in our namesake county……
We left “Craters of the Moon” area and headed over to Oregon to attend the NORA rally.  We spent two nights along the “Snake River”.
Pretty place but the BUGS!!!!!!
The area is full of “Thistle”
Kind of a pretty plant but wow, can it be dangerous, full of sharp spines.
The bees love the pollen


So do the spiders, look closely
and the spider wins!
Such a beautiful flower
More to come

Well, its time we head over to the NROA Rally!

3 thoughts on “Touring Central Idaho

  1. Thanks again for stopping at Haven Hot Springs! We hope you come back for a soak some time. Your photos are great!

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