Once mo’ into Idaho

By October 22, 2019 October 31st, 2019 Campsites, Excursions

Though we’d developed a great affinity for Wyoming and Montana, the time to keep stepping had arrived.  We spent one last night encased in snow,  high in the Salt River Range, before wending west into Idaho once again.

We wheeled out of Granite Creek and headed west along the Snake, before turning south at Alpine.  This trek into the Salt River Valley brought us to Afton, WY.  It’s a cute little western town where Rebecca bought her first pearl snap shirt, and rumored to have the largest elk antler arch in the world. We visited the Bridger NF Ranger office to get camping recommendations, then headed out under darkening skies.  As the day shortened, we wound our way 1300′ up a rugged dirt road to the Cottonwood Lake Campground.  High into the Bridger, it was completely deserted.  The cobalt lake turned black under the icefall we had during the night.

Next morning, the trees all hung heavy with their freshly-laid burden of ice and snow.  Rebecca decided to walk ahead as I readied the trailer for travel.  It was a 4 low crawl through some dicey conditions to follow her footsteps on the road until I finally ran into her about an hour after parting ways.

We spent a few choice days in Pocatello re-supplying, replacing some broken items, and exploring their downtown area.  We visited the Museum of Clean (which has the largest collection of antique vacuum cleaners in the world) before setting off under clear skies for Craters of the Moon Nat’l Monument.

Right in the middle of the flatlands owned by Idaho Nat’l Labs (nuclear research), the 50 mile wide lava flow, with its attendant caves and spatter cones, was as alien a landscape as you could get.

The sun quickly faded on a rapidly cooling day, as the temps plunged into the teens out in that land of blacked-out horizons.

We took a dusk drive onto the flats and ran up a cinder cone to get some quick shots of the setting sun.

As day turned into night, we readied ourselves for the cold snap to come, and revelled in the blaze of color in the western skyline.