Early to Late Autumn

Journal No.3, 2023

After enjoying just 3 days in the Boise Foothills BLM Land, ID, Isaac had a knock at the door (while I was on a 6 mile hike in the hill canyon with Artie) from a Parks and Recreation guy who said we had to relocate. According to the employee, we were in State Park Land despite there being a sign and multiple maps indicating that our area was BLM managed. So, we said goodbye to our stunning view of the city and before reparking for good, we spent time in Boise, retracing Isaac’s memories of his grandparents house, their favorite burger joint “Big Bun”, and for a walk around the state capital (which his Grandpa Kent helped redesign the dome after a fire). We then ventured south to our backup site (we learned from the Twin Falls issue the week before), which was to the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Pray National Conservation Area, ID (hilariously long…). This area is just 40 minutes from downtown Boise, through some farmland into the high desert shrub landscape. Our campsite was down the road from a low dam managed by the state, and we resided inside the Snake River canyon a few paces away from the wide Snake River! Isaac spent some time fly fishing in his off-hours, we taught Artie to boulder rocks, and enjoyed the river scenery. We visited Boise one more time to see Isaac’s family, then to get food and brews downtown. Our final stop was to “West Side Drive In”, a local favorite with a giant menu of classic American food and some Idaho specials. Isaac got a cherry soda and fries with “fry sauce”, and I ordered the famous “ice cream potato” which is simply a sundae but the vanilla ice cream scoop is rolled in cocoa powder and whipped cream appears like sour cream. Delightful and creative! After our time by the Snake River, we were ready to journey west into Oregon. There wasn’t particularly anywhere in south eastern Oregon we wanted to spend a week in, so we pulled an one-nighter at a truck stop near Burns, OR so we would be able to see the solar eclipse in totality the next day (October 14th). We stopped on the by-way shoulder next to Lake Abert to view the eclipse, and it was chillingly phenomenal. We continued west, where our destination for the week was in Winema National Forest between Klamath Falls and Ashland, OR. We stopped in Klamath Falls for their farmers market, ate falafel, bought local beef, and a few pastries. The dispersed camping site we settled at is off of the Forest Service’s dirt road, overlooking a once-clear cut area that is now a large sloped meadow full of manzanita and grasses. Our view of the rolling pine mountains and sunset is so peaceful, and all three of us enjoy the life that thrives in the ponderosa forest. Isaac and I took two visits to Ashland, eating great food and bevs, shopping at the local co-ops, and doing laundry. Unfortunately the prices are notably higher compared Utah and Idaho, but the cozy artsy vibe fit us well. A week in Oregon and we headed south west to Northern California, through Redwood National Park and to the area of the Lost Coast. We traversed an insanely janky road torn up by cliffside erosion and earthquakes to a campsite south of Eureka near a tiny town called Petrolia. We stayed on the beach next to the ocean and estuary at the King Range National Conservation Area, CA at Mattole Beach, managed by the BLM. The campsite was $8 per night, and got busy towards the weekends, so we stayed just a week. The remote black sand beaches and misty days were such a reverse to the biomes we have stayed in the past two months. Artie got to experience the ocean for the first time, and we think his favorite part was sniffing the washed up flora and fauna and walking for miles. The fresh sea air, roaring coast, moss drenched redwood forests, and animals (otters, sea lions, elk, deer, and all kinds of marine life) made this location especially magical. We definitely want to spend more time in this part of the coast and look at land to buy. After a week at the beach, we headed south to Mendocino National Forest, CA, with a grand view of Clear Lake. The biome here was more like what I grew up with in the East Bay; oak trees and grasses, low shrubs, but with the addition of pines and vistas of the giant lake. The small towns surrounding the lake were not too interesting, but we enjoyed our vista and watched the sun rise and set there for a week. We enjoyed our first State Park Campground shower, and Artie and I took hikes around our campsite to explore the burn areas and their regrowth.

Since October 7th, when we were in Twin Falls, days have blurred by for me because of the events happening in Israel and Palestine. I cannot talk about the past month of life without mentioning the constant grief, fear, frustration, and anxiety I have been feeling for my friends and family in Israel, my Jewish community at large, my personal safety, and all the folks caught in the crossfire in the area and globally. To my non-Jewish friends, checking in with your Jewish friends means the world to us. Each Jewish person is personally affected by the conflict on big and small scales; we are frightened, we feel unsafe, and because of our minority position in the world, we need help amplifying our voices and to be genuinely listened to.

Big Takeaways: As the weather cools downs, we have the luxury to choose our preferred climate. If available, State Park Campground showers are worth the park entrance fee. California’s gas prices hurt. The Lost Coast (culture, scenery, and lifestyle) has been our favorite place so far. As peaceful as my immidiate surroundings can be, the weight and unrest I carry for my Jewish community is inescapable in a time like this.


isabelle's painted sky ● Copywright 2023