Stanley, Idaho

Hey! Good morning! If you thought you were going to get a break from my inane prattle, you were wrong! We have enough cell signal for me to upload pictures and blog. YAY! Well...unless you're sorry about that. If so, booing is also allowed in this venue. Don't worry...I can't hear you.

We left La Grande yesterday morning fairly early. On the main road leading to the campground, there were fields of sunflowers. These appear to be the same sunflowers we get from squirrels planting our black oil sunflower seeds put out for the birds. (Squirrels are avid gardeners, as I'm sure you know.) This reminded me of Italy where they grow lots of sunflowers. Sorry about the blur. Most of these pictures are taken through my window as we speed by, and so blur and reflections are a part of the show.

We stopped off at a truck stop to fuel up, but then Mike checked one of his apps and realized we could get diesel quite a bit cheaper down the road. Nevertheless, I got out to walk around for about a minute and snapped pictures of these hay bales. I love this time of year with golden bales of hay against blue sky or green trees.

Anybody missing a needle? I think I know where you might find it.

This is a heavy agricultural part of Oregon, and so we saw quite a few barns. Again...blur and reflections, but this is the best of the bunch that I took.

About 100 miles down the road we prepared ourselves to cross the state line...meaning, I had my camera ready.

In desperation, I tried to catch an image of the Snake River as we crossed over. I was only able to capture a small bit of the river, and it is wide in this spot.

I didn't want to miss the critical "Welcome to Idaho" sign. You'd have been disappointed if I'd missed it, wouldn't you?

We had some confusion about where to turn off to head up toward Stanley. We wanted to take a certain exit, and found it closed for road construction. We ended up driving down I-84 about 20 miles to get on Idaho 21. Right at the start, we passed by this little dam. If you look to the right of the image, you'll see a culvert that I believe diverts irrigation water off to where it's needed. 

I tried unsuccessfully to fully understand this dam structure, but I believe it is related to Lucky Peak Dam just up the road.

And below is Lucky Peak Dam. This area seemed familiar to us because we'd stopped in the park for lunch some years back while on a different trip. Once we passed by this dam, we were in unfamiliar territory.

We crossed over the bridge below. I wish I could have gotten more and better pictures of this area because there were deep canyons where the Boise River flows. It was very pretty here. My twin cousins, Ruth and Rebecca, and I tubed this river one summer when we were kids.

And let me just tell you, we've added Idaho 21 to our list of roads never to travel. It would have been fine in a passenger car, but it was one winding mo-fo to be towing a 36-foot fifth wheel behind. Along our way, we passed through Idaho City, an historic mining town from the Idaho gold rush. I would dearly have loved to stop, but that will have to wait for another trip. We had quite a ways to go at that point, and the road wasn't getting any easier. I'm encouraging you to click on that link to see the pictures. It looks like a fun little town to explore.

Our journey up and down the mountains was mostly tree-lined, and so I didn't take a lot of pictures until we were past the little town of Grandjean. There, we got our first glimpse of the Sawtooth range.

To the left of where I was standing, we read this sign. I was happy for the explanation of the name, "Grandjean." 

As we approached Stanley, the terrain opened up to large meadows. We were hopeful of seeing some large animals, but there were none. We were chagrined to see smoke off in the distance.

This is such a lovely area, but lots of burn scar from many fires over many years.

Getting closer, it seemed as if the fire was right in the area we were headed.

Even with the smoke and charred trees, the Sawtooth mountains are a beautiful sight.

This was the view from our campsite. The fire isn't as close as it appears in this image. Checking the Idaho fire report, I determined this is the Alpine Lake fire, discovered only two days ago. It is about 10 miles away, and it is still a small fire.

Upon arriving, one of our most important tasks is to hang the catio on the outside of the RV. Kitties are very cautious before venturing out the first time. They must check for any woofies or dreaded Mans.

After dinner and after allowing the temperature to cool, we took a short walk around the campground. We've stayed here before. There used to be a restaurant and general store. Now the restaurant has been turned into a "lodge" with around 6 rooms. It's pretty a pretty bare bones campground, but we have full hook-ups and a nice view, so we're happy. Of course, I wanted to show you every blooming thing. These white jobs below were about the diameter of a quarter. Their petals were translucent.

Below is some Columbine. This is another of my favorite flowers. For something so small, it has an interesting structure.

We've seen thistles all along the way. This is the first picture I've taken.

It was getting dark enough when we got back to the RV that we could see flames from the fire.

Happily, we can't even see any smoke this morning. It could just be favorable winds, but I'm hoping they were able to contain the fire overnight. I haven't found any more news about it, and so that probably means it hasn't grown any larger.

So, we're all in our places this morning. Sadie is relaxing on the back of the couch. We keep the couch covered in a quilt because their claws make holes in the pleather...or naugahide...or hide of nauga, if you prefer. It turned out to be a perfect usage for the Charm Stars quilt, finished a couple of months ago.

Smitty is relaxing on Mike's lap. For all their protests getting into the RV, they actually seem to enjoy traveling.

So we're here in Stanley for three nights. I'm very happy to have enough signal to blog because I really hate to fall behind. This will be our third visit to Stanley and Red Fish Lake, and our tradition is to rent a small boat and toodle around the lake for a while. I'm also aware of an easy hike near the lake, but we'll need to stop into Red Fish Lodge to ask for the location of the trailhead. (As I'm writing this, I'm thinking I'll try asking my friend Google too.)

All right. It's going to be a nice day...hopefully a smokeless day...and we're looking forward to getting into full vacation mode. Feel free to join us, if you like.


Barbara said...

I'd rather fight 100 structure fires than a wildfire. With a structure fire you know where your flames are, but in the woods it can move anywhere; it can come right up behind you. ~ Tom Watson

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I love all those areas you show - we used to live in Idaho years back and love the Stanley area and of course many more areas- I don't envy you the driving with a big 5th wheel - ours made me very nervous and I was much better when we went to a small motorhome - well enjoy going again if hubby ever gets the much needed repairs done but his health hasn't been great recent years so it has been awhile since we camped.

Sara said...

I enjoy the travelogue. It's always interesting to see parts of the country through your eyes and camera, since it isn't likely I'll actually get there any time soon. But if I do you've given us some fun destinations.

MissPat said...

You had a fire nearby, I had a bat in my bedroom last night! And as far as I know, he's still there, but hiding. Called a wildlife pest control service and now waiting for a call back.

Jenny said...

Stay safe, those fires look scary, so I hope they are not too close to where you are. The cats look happy and relaxed, so that's all good. We are taking out Birman Gemma away in the caravan for a three day weekend, she thinks camping is pretty cool!

Christine said...

Glad you arrived safely. Interesting info about Grandjean... I had ancestors that headed that way but then they went off grid!!!
Stay safe and enjoy your paddling.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I really hope they were able to curtail that wildfire before it spread. I don't think I'd want to be towing a trailer that large over roads that are sketchy either. Hopefully they will improve!