Our Private Idaho

Trip Start May 09, 2009
Trip End May 27, 2010

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Where I stayed
Challis Hot Springs Campground
Stanley Lake Inlet - NFS Campground
Hi Valley RV Park - Boise ID

Flag of United States  , Idaho
Thursday, June 25, 2009

After Arco, we went to the Challis Hot Springs Campground near Challis, ID. As its name implies, the campground has hot springs feeding two pools for swimming and soaking.  That was the good part about the campground.  Unfortunately, the rain continued while we were there and our campsite turned into a large mud hole since we were in the only site that was not on gravel or lawn.  After two nights there, we were glad to leave for our next stop, Stanley , ID.

We found a wonderful NFS campsite at the Stanley Lake Inlet.  The site was the largest so far and backed up to woods.  AND IT DID NOT RAIN!!  Yes, believe it or not, Stanley Lake started a string of sunny days.  We were able to sit outside, have campfires at night and explore during the day.  Heavenly!

Stanley is in the Sawtooth National Forest, with the Sawtooth Mountain Range as the primary draw.  It's an absolutely beautiful area.  We took a scenic drive through the area to Ketchum – a great town surrounded by the Sawtooths.  During the winter, it is a ski area (Sun Valley is nearby) but during the summer, everyone is active with mountain bike riding, hiking, rafting, etc.  We met someone at a local hot springs who had lived many other places but came back to Ketchum because of the laid back life style and the outdoor living.  If we could afford it (and if we could stand the winters) this would be a great place to retire. 

Our next stop was Boise ID to see Jim’s long-time (and my new) friends Vera and Frank McCrink who escaped from Ohio when their kids (Matt and Ally) were young for the good life out west.  They love it there and we left there loving it too.  We had breakfast and went to an art fair in downtown Boise which is vibrant yet retains a small-town feel.  At the time of our visit, Vera was a dean at Boise State University (she is now dean at College of Western Idaho due to transfer of her programs) and her son, Matt, is a BSU grad student in engineering.  Matt gave us a tour of the engineering labs (truly some great scientific stuff going on there!) and Vera and Frank showed us the infamous blue football field of the BSU Broncos -- so bright I had to wear shades – and the BSU horticultural gardens that Vera’s students maintain.  That afternoon Jim helped Frank move some furniture to Ally’s new apartment.  She’s a senior at BSU studying graphic design and already works part-time doing web design.   

The next day we took a tour with Vera and Frank of a couple of wineries outside Boise – beautiful weather, great scenery and fun companionship – what more could you ask for?

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