Kooskia, Cascade, Twin Falls, Idaho Falls, Pocatello, ID
In early June we had reservations through September 12. It made for a stress-free summer in beautiful places.
Leaving Lewiston, Idaho, on Saturday I cancel our Montana stops due to current and forecasted smokey skies. We'll finish the holiday weekend in little Kooskia, then head south.
No we won't.
The drive along the Clearwater River is beautiful as long as we look down. The smoke gets worse as we head east.
Heavy smoke, zero cell coverage (even in town), no Internet coverage (even in town), and a very sad RV "park" means we're back on the road Sunday morning.
It's too bad because River Junction RV Park (creative website is not representative of reality) is in a lovely location along the water. The obvious permanent residents are in units that look like they were towed there - or they're living under tarps. The "river access" is non-existent through overgrown brambles and brush. The grounds are dirt and overgrown weeds, no WiFi although it's advertised, and only a couple 50 amp spots.
|Laundry out the bedroom window is a first.|
|One of several "rustic sites" at this sad little park.|
The morning's drive is another narrow two-lane highway that follows the Salmon River. We can't wait to come back to this area when it's clear. It is a wild and beautiful place.
|A rare travel-day stop for us - along the Salmon River.|
|Most of the river is rapids (lots of rafting companies along the route), but a few smooth pools are like glass under gray skies.|
Cascade is a very small town so we are surprised to find an upscale bistro with outstanding menu. Remington's seats maybe 30 people, but is big on quality and service.
|Poke with lots of seared ahi tuna - fabulous!|
|We really like this piece above our table but have to ask the server what it says....it doesn't. It's the sheet used to cut out the letters from the words out front. The owner liked it as it's own art - so cool!|
We don't. The smoke gets worse over the two days, and is horribly thick on Tuesday morning when we pull out.
|10 AM sun attempting to light the day.|
|Low visibility on Interstate 84.|
There is a lot we want to see in Twin Falls, Idaho, so we head there. Instead, we see exactly nothing here. By the time we pull into Twin Falls 93 RV Park I am feeling claustrophobic. At this point I don't care where we go, as long as there's clear skies. I think Nevada looks like our best option, but Wednesday morning the webcams show smoke there as well.
No place in a two-hundred mile radius is outside the smoke cover so I choose a route based on something more fun - meeting up with friends!
Wednesday morning I let Jim and Diana know we'll meet them in Idaho Falls at the Snake River RV Park for the evening. It's the highlight of our time in Idaho!
The park is adequate, and we enjoy catching up with a couple of our favorite people around the picnic table before heading into town for dinner. Afterwards we make a quick stop at the pretty falls that give the city its name.
|Jodee, Bill, Diana and Jim. We sure do like these two!!|
When we go to bed the plan is to take off for Dubois, Wyoming, in the morning. We'll see the Tetons and spend some time along the Snake River. But once again, webcams show the smoke has moved that direction ahead of us. Who wants to be "in front of" the Tetons and not be able to see them? And who wants to spend those high park rates if you're not going to enjoy it?
Now what? Montana is seeing some clearing, but the fires are still burning. Utah is our destination in a few weeks, but there are fires near Ogden. At this point it's a roll of the dice, and we finally decide to just turn back south.
We make another single night stop in Pocatello to fill a prescription, and to check out a little brew pub recommended by Ezra's other grandma. Pocatello KOA is a small park with easy access from the highway, and is fine for watching the opening game of the NFL season. The pharmacies don't have what we need in stock, but the pub is a hit :-))
|After the GPS leads us on a triple loop tour, we finally find the cute little brewery.|
|Great label art for their brews.|
Although it is frustrating not finding what we're looking for, it's fun having the freedom to make route decisions day to day. I love it when Labor Day is behind us, and reservations are no longer necessary!
Yes, leaving Idaho we finally escape the smoke :-)))