Late Summer into Early Autumn

Journal No.2, 2023

The autumn chill has flirted with us quite a bit. More notably, the warm tones of fall are more obvious every day!

During our second month of life on the road, we have journeyed from Fish Lake National Forest near Beaver, UT to Uintah National Forest just outside of Provo, UT to visit Isaac’s little sister Sam in college. We stayed in the National Forest just a few feet from another creek, but this campsite felt a little less open, was closer to the road, and our sky visibility for solar and Starlink was limited by the creekside trees and hills above us. Cows roamed around, and our last night we spontaneously met up with a few Aussies traveling in a minivan on a roadtrip of the American West. We enjoyed dinner and a campfire together, and had lots of laughs. After a week near Provo in the canyon, we traveled through the Salt Lake City area and landed in Logan, UT to Cache National Forest for a week. We loved seeing more of the trees, red soil on the mountains, and mushrooms awakening in the cool dampness of fall. We visited more of Isaac’s family here, and their generosity and kindness were such a nice moment of rest (a normal house with a normal shower and good company!). We then traveled into Idaho, (my first time!). Countless semi-trucks were hauling freshly cured potatoes, and many family farms casually advertise their home grown potatoes on the county roads we took. We wanted to stay as close to Isaac’s grandparents area as possible, so we landed on BLM Land in Twin Falls, ID on high desert plateau a few paces from the Snake River canyon. The biome was more chaparral, with low grasses, lava rock covered in moss and lichen, and peculiar little purple spiky plants with tiny star flowers built to survive anything. We hiked around the falls and river canyon, but on the 4th day we got a knock from the Sheriff who said we had to relocate because the land is both BLM and state park, and camping was not allowed. Confused but not wanting to argue with the Sheriff, we moved 30 minutes south into the Big Steer Campsite in Sawtooth National Forest, ID. We were once again next nestled next to a creek, at a paid but empty campsite. In the same week, we then moved back to Twin Falls suburbs to stay with Isaac’s grandparents in their neighborhood driveway. I enjoyed having a mini-break from full-nature and being taken care of in the comfortable grandparent fashion, but we definitely missed the quiet and liberation of the forest. We took a 3 hour detour into the Sawtooth Mountains to the north of Twin Falls to visit the tiny town of Stanley, Idaho. Along the way we stopped in Hailey to join the festivities for the annual Run of the Sheep, then continued through the windy country roads to Stanley. Isaac’s great-grandfather build a three story log cabin in the late 80’s with his kids, so his family would have somewhere gorgeous and fun to gather in. We got to see the house from the outside, as it sits on a hill just above the main street of the town, down a steep road where a church, elementary school, and tiny airport reside. We camped in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, ID just 10 minutes from the tiny town area of Stanley, and we made a campfire and watched the incredibly clear starry night against the rigid mountain horizon. The next morning we visited town again to have a quick breakfast at the busy Stanley Baking Co. and Cafe (just down the street from the family cabin hand built in the 80’s). Isaac remembers visiting the cabin with the family, before his grandparents sold it in 2010’s because upkeep was too much, and no one was living in it full time. Isaac hopes one day the family can rebuy it, as a handbuild cabin should continue to be enjoyed generationally! Out through the steep mountain roads we went, stopping for huckleberry ice cream in Idaho City, then to the northern foothills of Boise. We drove through downtown, through Hyde Park, and found a gorgeous hilltop to settle in on BLM Land above Boise, ID. Our view of the entire city from above provided us sunset views and night lights to the valley plain below us.

Big Takeaways: Prioritize the position of our camper so the Starlink satellite and solar panels have the highest visibility of the sky possible. Sometimes our maps are wrong, even when we cross reference them? (not sure how to avoid this yet). Unsurprisingly, Idaho loves their potatoes. Finding a standard hamburger joint is more common than finding free potable water.


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