Day 22 - North Bonneville to Lowman

Trip Start Aug 20, 2008
Trip End Sep 23, 2008

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Where I stayed
Southfork Hotel Front Car Park

Flag of United States  , Idaho
Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Did we mention about trains before and how the rivers,  roads and railway lines all follow the same course?   I am sure we did - well guess what happened last night? Apparently, according to Chrissy, the goods trains passed the campsite at 2 minutes to every hour and took 4 minutes to pass.   Phil cannot corroborate this, but did wake more refreshed than Chrissy!
Today we planned a long journey bashing on down the Interstate Highway I84 and got off to a bad start by going the wrong way down the road!   We wanted to get on as our next planned stop was at least two days driving at Yellowstone National Park.    Again, we experienced a great variety of scenery along the way.    We began following the Columbia River for nearly a hundred miles, passing several hydro electric dams maintained by the US Army Corp of Engineers - we both remarked that nice though the place was, we did not fancy a 2 year posting there.  Strangely, whilst the bottom of the valley was marked by Dams, the tops of them were marked by several huge wind farms - given the lack of people, we were not sure what they did with all the power.  Another odd experience was spotting the fishermen in their boats, not just one or two, but a hundred or more in a small area - we are sure that they must have got their lines snagged.   Apparently they were fishing for Sturgeon.
We soon started to get into open country, fist of all passing through almost prairie like landscape, dominated with huge irrigation systems, then moving into cowboy country with great herds of beef cattle roaming across the grasslands.   You almost expected John Wayne to pop up and some bandit to start firing from the rocky outcrop above!  Sadly the cowboys were to prove to be as elusive as the moose earlier in the journey.
 To add to the effect we tuned the radio to a country music channel and were quite taken by one lyric we heard .... "a little chicken fried, cold bert on a Saturday night and a pair of jeans that fit just right ...."  Oh for the simple pleasures in life!
After a quick lunchtime break for a Taco snack, we pressed on again with Chrissy at the wheel, only to be slowed by a range fire sweeping across the grasslands close to the highway.  Smoke was everywhere and a few brave fire-fighters tried to control it as best they could, supported by a helicopter dumping loads of water on the blaze.   Finally we arrived at Boise, Idaho, a large city, where we stopped off to gather a few provisions.   Then we pressed on into the Boise National forest, travelling through dramatic canyons toward our destination for the night: Idaho City, a romantically named place that failed to live up to the notion.   It had obviously had its day, back in the Gold Rush of the 1870s, but had suffered neglect since then.   Also, the term city was a bit of an over-statement.  Furthermore, the RV Park we had headed for was probably better described as a Trailer Park - are you getting the picture?   We suspected that there were a lot of cousins in the town, so we left!   It was getting late in the day and the sun was starting to set as we went further into the woods, but all Chrissy could think of was Deliverance, so the remote forest campgrounds would not do.   In the end we found a small hotel called South Fork Motel in a beautiful spot, called Lowman, and after nearly two hours of driving switchbacks, we decided it would do.  Phil persuaded the landlord to let us park the RV out the front and that sorted out the situation - just as it was going dark!  Hopefully we have a quiet night in Cougar and Bobcat country - at least Monty hopes so - he is not enjoying being live bait.
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