A weekend in the mountains
We have been here a week already. That usually means we are on our way out. But, here we remain a full week after the wheels of the trailer came to a rest, and we have two more weeks of exactly the same in the future. Normally the itch to get traveling again takes over, but after this year’s running all around the USA and back, it is nice to sit still for a little bit. Although, this past weekend we did exactly the opposite.
We left the trailer behind and drove off with just the dogs and the truck loaded with out usual compliment of backpacking supplies. We planned to tent-camp along the river near the old ghost town of Custer, ID (we visited there last year) for a night, possibly two. Problem was, we were not alone in that thinking and for the first mile or so of gravel road past the ghost town, all spots were occupied by other campers. Kerri, staring out the passenger window exclaims, “if only we could get to the other side of the river, there are great spots over there.” Then just a few seconds later demands, “turn here!” I do, without question (not my normal behavior I must admit) and we drive a few hundred yards down a path way too tight for an RV and right into a sweet little spot all for ourselves. Right on the river, and totally alone.
Camp was setup while the dogs played (Moose chased squirrels, Byron splashed in the river) and then only hardcore reading ensued for the remainder of the afternoon. With no cell service or electronic devices we winded down off the 21st century high that is everything-with-a-screen-shoved-in-your-face-at-all-times. No news. No social media, and no Trump (or Anti-Trump) BS to elevate the blood pressure. Just full on relax before the sun set and we took to the tent to call it a night.
We packed up the next morning, unsure if we would camp another night or not. We spent the late morning and early afternoon just driving around the Eastern Sawtooth Mountains, exploring and sight seeing. A brown sign told us that another ghost town was just 4 miles up a dirt road, so we set out to check it out. The old mining town of Bayhorse, Idaho was then explored, and similarly photographed. We stopped to read some of the placards, but most gave only the most general of information. “This building was made of stone”, or “we do not know what this building was used for”, and so on. It seemed the state didn’t really care to find out about the true history of Bayhorse, content with keeping a few buildings erected to collect the $5 entry fee to walk around the place. In all honesty, $5 was a fair price and worth it. The lack of information on the placards became humorous more than anything. After exploring the ghost town, and the next few miles further up the rough dirt road for a good spot to camp, we decided not to camp another night and just return back to the trailer parked in a meadow near Stanley, Idaho.
As our plans go, they always change. So, half way back Kerri once again exclaims, “turn here” and once again I do. Again, miles and miles of gravel-then-dirt road lead us further away from the asphalt of civilization. Eventually coming to the end of the road where we were forced to take the last quarter mile or so on foot. And at the end of that path was a secluded natural hot spring right along side the river coming off the mountains behind us. It is here (or just back on the road) that we decided to pitch our tent again and relax with some snacks, a beer, and our trusty Kindles while we waited for the sun to start it’s set. Once that began, we packed a bag and hiked out to the hot spring where we sat in a hot pool for a couple hours while the sky darkened. Just us. No one else came out this cloudy and sprinkling eve to take part in the spring. It was perfect.
It was easy to sleep that night, and sleep we did. Both of us getting more than 8 hours sleep before waking, dressing, and starting the day. Bypassing breakfast (but not coffee) we chose to just pack up and started heading back to the trailer. A few errands along the way slowed our pace so we arrived back at the trailer closer to noon then 10 AM if we drove straight through.
Another successful weekend of tent-camping and solitude. Just what the doctor ordered.