Leaving Grand Teton and off to Lava Hot Springs

We left Gros Ventre campground on Friday. Lots of rain and cold temps were forecast so it seemed like a good idea. We decided to take KOA up on their offer of “pay for Friday, get Saturday free” and go to Lava Hot Springs KOA, Idaho. On the way out of GTNP I finally got a decent picture of the swans on the Flat River on the edge of Jackson.IMG_1017

The KOA itself is decent with ok sites, grass, and trees, but the noise! I expected a lot of families because of the springs, but it is the train track right at the edge of the campground that is dreadful. I only woke up a couple of times, but Kevin wasn’t as lucky. He couldn’t stay asleep at all, and trains come every 30-60 minutes. Based on the cars, this is obviously a main long distance line. We certainly won’t come back.

We did do some exploring on Saturday though. The Oregon Trail and a number of its variants went through the area, and there is a lot of history here. We found Hooper Springs near the town of Soda Springs, a naturally carbonated spring that has been used for centuries. Can you see the bubbles from the spring?IMG_1024.JPG

We looked for Formation Springs, but had trouble finding it. The recreation site wasn’t hard to find, but most of what had once been springs were dried up. We could hear water, but it was buried in ┬ádense shrubbery, so we gave up. We were lucky enough to get to Soda Springs geyser just after it started erupting. Quite impressive! There is a small geyser near it that gets stronger when the big geyser stops erupting. Soda Springs (the town) has been the center of a big earthquake swarm for the past few weeks. We haven’t felt any ourselves, but this entire section of Idaho so very seismically active with lots of lava beds and springs.

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We also went to Chesterfield Historic Site, a fabulous ghost town from the turn of the century or so. They have tours during the summer, but all we were able to do was look at the outside of a number of restored homes. Pretty impressive.

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Today we head back home. We will have a week and a half to get ready for a big midwestern trip that actually begins at Antelope Island. I am looking forward to it.

 

The Great American Eclipse

On Friday, 18 August, we headed to Silver Creek campground in the Boise National Forest for the eclipse. The campground is 2 1/2 hours from Boise, 75 miles. Yes, the road is that slow! It is up the Middle Fork of the Payette River, the up a tributary. There is a hot spring there, but we didn’t go swimming because it was just too crowded. There is a small resort associated with the spring and the campground. They operate a cell booster that allowed limited Verizon voice calls and simple texts, but nothing else. The sites were roomy and well separated with some shade, and all for $7.50 a night with our senior discount. We made our reservations in mid February after being alerted to the spot by a member of the Wasatch Mountain Club. It was in the path of eclipse totality, and that is what we got on Monday! It was glorious. I had all these plans for pictures I was going to take, but I was so awed that I didn’t get hardly any of them! Kevin got a few, so here are a few.

Pretty impressive!

While we were in Idaho, we also went to a Winnebago dealer in Meridian to look at Class A motorhomes. We are thinking about buying one in 4-6 years, getting a condo, then being gone even more than we are now. We don’t want a new one since the depreciation is so extreme so we will be looking for a 3-5 year old one. That means the ones new now will be on the list when we are interested. We really like the Forza 36′ so it will go on the list to look at in a few years. We also took a trip up to McCall to see if it was a place to spend time on another trip. spoiler alert – it was!