Sunday, July 26, 2015

Passes, Bogs and Camp Grounds - Part 1

This past Friday we drove up to Moore, ID which is a tiny community only a few minutes north of Arco.
The (very loose) plan was to pick up something small that I had bought from a lady on line, and then "go for a drive".
We were meeting the woman on a side road immediately off the highway, called Antelope Road.
Both LC and I had looked over a map of that general area in the past. 
 Somewhere "out there" (in that general direction) were mysterious and wonderful sounding places like Antelope Pass, Iron Bog Camp Ground, Copper Basin Rd.
All places that the locals were very familiar with, but which we (up 'til now) had only heard about.
After pulling off the highway and picking up the little tent I had bought, we eagerly headed down Antelope Road literally having no idea where we were headed or what we would find.
Both of us thought that we would be gone an hour or two, and then would simply turn it around and head back the way we had come.
The day did not turned out quite as planned...............

Early into our drive I looked around me, incredibly pleased that we were heading into the mountains.
I have been keenly aware ever since we landed in Idaho, that we live close to some of the highest peaks in the state.
In fact, at one point one of LC's nephews talked of coming out for a visit this summer, and I had hopes of climbing one of those peaks with him.  He has not mentioned a visit in months now, and somehow I don't see it happening.
I have also been keenly aware of the fact that there is a completely different side to this state, that is only visible and available to those who dare to venture off the four lane and two lane paved roads.
We were driving a winding gravel road, surrounded by mountains and had no idea where we were headed or what we would find, and that was all OK with both of us.
The scenery was gorgeous and the world was silent.
We had plenty of food and water, plenty of gas, and plenty of time.................
An hour after we began our trip to who-knew-where (and after multiple stops) we unexpectedly realized that we had a decision to make.
We could continue driving in the same direction that we had been traveling, or we could take a left turn.
After inspecting the first sign that we had seen since we began our quiet adventure, we learned that if we turned to the left we would eventually reach Iron Bog Camp Ground.
We had heard of Iron Bog many times, and in reality there really was no decision to be made.
We wanted to check out the camp ground and see what it was all about.
Having quickly made that easy decision, we pulled the Tahoe as far off the road as we could and climbed out.
Reaching for the back door I held Kory back while I got a hold of her leash, and my dog enthusiastically leaped out of the truck ready for adventure.
While LC continued to read the sign I wandered along the side of the road, watching my pup eagerly sniffing her way through bush after bush.
A view looking ahead of us, and even though we had decided to make a turn, I at the same time knew that I wanted to continue driving this road at some point in the future.
Curious to find what we would find...............
Looking back towards the truck and beyond...............
And looking down the road that would eventually lead us to the camp ground..............
After reaching the truck again, Kory and I wandered across the road and I looked around me, enjoying the sound of silence.
The greens of spring were beginning to fade into the muted shades of washed out green and grey and beige, and it was obvious that it had not rained here in a long while.
Colors were beginning to fade, but in places like Wyoming and SE Idaho, at this time in the summer much of the area was usually nothing but sun-parched beige.
It had been an unusually wet spring............
Even though she was a football field distance away, this cow was completely focused on me and my dog................
After loading up into the Tahoe we ventured down the second unknown road of the day, enjoying the increasing green and the increasing elevation.
Old ranches (primarily cattle) began to make their occasional appearance, and as I snapped the picture above I could easily envision living in this very beautiful place.
LC unexpectedly stopped the Tahoe in the middle of the road, and as he backed the truck up he asked me to pass him the camera.
A hawk was resting on a rock - easily visible to us but blending almost completely into the terrain in the background.
He snapped the pictures below of the hawk sitting on a rock, and then as the hawk took flight............
Losing track of time we continued to wander further and further into the mountains.
Although we passed occasional ranches we never saw another soul, and never passed another vehicle on the road.
The mountains continued to get higher.
The scenery continued to get greener, and with tree lines visible to both our left and our right, it was obvious that there was a small river or stream following in the same direction as the road.
I LOVED this quirky home found in the middle of nowhere................
After spending far too much time in the vehicle my dog began to pace back and forth in the back of the truck, and began to bark excitedly.
She needed to walk.
Momma needed to walk as well, and after searching briefly for a place to pull over, we found a large open space and thankfully climbed out, eager to move............
As LC wandered with our adventurous puppy, I walked over to the fence line and looked deeply into the mountains to my left.
God, it was beautiful out here.
I stood looking around me, wondering why we had not made this trip before.
It was so close to the house.
There was no good reason that I could think of.
But we were making the trip now, and for that I was grateful.............

As I continued to slowly wander along the fence line I was surprised to hear a vehicle coming down the road.
In fact, three vehicles passed by us in quick succession - a little Mini and two large trucks hauling campers.
It was then that I saw the cattle guard and the sign, and realized that we were about to enter a section of Challis National Forest................

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