Budget travel is so flexible and nice….by saving on one thing, you are able to do a more expensive thing. Several months ago, we were able to get tickets to a Dierks Bentley concert in Boise, Idaho. It was on a Friday night, so we planned to drive over Friday afternoon, stay the night in the back of the camper shell and drive home on Saturday. By saving on the motel, then the concert was in our budget. Then……our daughter at Disney called so we decided to fly to Florida since she had free tickets. We loaded our pickup with camping gear, but no food, drove to Salt Lake City and flew to Florida. We got back into Salt Lake on Thursday at 10:30pm. Picked up our truck, drove to a Flying J truck stop and slept in the back. Now I know I have said it before, but the camper bed that Jim built really is the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on!!!
We had absolutely no plan for the week-end except the concert on Friday night. We had brought the road atlas with us and as we drove towards Boise, I started suggesting places to see. We settled on going to the Hagerman Fossil beds, that would at least take care of Friday.
We stopped in Twin Falls at the Perrine Bridge over-look. It was a gorgeous day, so there were numerous BASE jumpers. We stopped an watched over 20 of them. A man by the name of Danny Weiland was jumping that day trying to set record for the most unassisted jumps off the Perrine Bridge in one day. (Watch for our cool video of the jumps, coming soon to Facebook)
Next it was on to the Hagerman Fossil Beds. The Hagerman Horse is the state fossil of Idaho and it is only found in a small area of southern Idaho. We came in the back way so we saw the fossil beds before we went to the visitor center.
At the top of the hill in the National Monument, is the actual Oregon Trail. They have a display and a trail you can walk on.
It is a small visitor center in the town of Hagerman, but it is full of information. They have a nice movie about the fossil beds, as well as a interactive children’s area. At the moment they are also the visitor center for the new Minidoka Internment Camp Monument that will be opening in February of 2017. This is where Japanese citizens where held during World War II. The temporary display was very informative, so have put the memorial on our list of things to see on a future trip.
In the movie at the visitor’s center we learned that these rocks were deposited in the great flood of the ancient Lake Idaho.
When we are in Boise, this is one of our favorite places to eat. It was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. On Friday night they feature Prime Rib. It is served on real plates if you are eating in the outside dining area. Or you can go through the drive thru and take it home. It is AWESOME…
After dinner we headed to Taco Bell Arena on the campus of Boise State. We had never been there, it is a smaller arena but was a great place to watch a concert. The acts were Tucker Beathard, CAM, Rodney Houser, and Dierks Bentley. If you like country rock, then this was the concert for you.
After the concert, we headed to Walmart to sleep for the night. Not having any food except for some snacks, we did a quick shopping trip on Saturday morning. We decided to headed toward Stanley, Idaho. Cindy’s relatives have a cabin near there, and she hadn’t been there in 40 years. This is a beautiful part of Idaho, but they have had a terrible fire season.
The firefighters were still in the town of Lowman.
The road between Lowman and Stanley in a scenic byway. The fall colors were already showing due to the high altitude. The drive to Grand Jean was gorgeous.
We turned off the highway and headed to the cabin. The area is divided by the South Fork of the Payette river. There are hot springs throughout the canyon.
The cabin was just as Cindy remembered, lots of fun memories to share!!
Next we headed to the town of Stanley. The town is bigger and store has a paved parking lot.
We decided to spend the night at Redfish Lake. Normally, you would need reservations months in advanced, but with this being September, we knew we were safe. The fall colors were amazing.
Once we had our campsite (18.00 for the night), we drove to the Redfish Lodge. In the summer they have many activities and nice outdoor dining area.
There was a wedding reception being held at the Lodge. Our meal didn’t measure up to the catered meal that was being served, but we didn’t do to bad for groceries on the fly.
On Sunday morning we stopped at the fish hatchery. There is a self-guided tour and several displays to explain the hatchery process. You can see the salmon in the holding tanks in various stages of development
These are the fish ladders where the returning Salmon are caught for spawning in the spring.
They have a children’s fishing pond and even provide fishing equipment for you.
We continued towards Sun Valley. You cross over the Salmon River headwaters on the way to Galena Pass.
You can tell winter is on it’s way. It was very cold at the top of the pass. It is amazing how narrow the highway is and on the Stanley side, there was a semi-truck crashed into the side of the mountain.
For the drive home, we stopped for one of the best strawberry milkshakes we have ever had.
When we left Salt Lake City, we had no idea what we were going to do for 3 days, but adventure always seems to be just around the corner.