Two-and-a-Half Days in Idaho (Jul 2018)


Well-known member
July 1-2, 2018.

The previous 17 hours had been a whirlwind, but we were on our way. Headed east this time, towards Idaho - to a ridge above Garden Valley, where we were set to meet up with Ben @m3bassman, Kirsten, and their pups as well as @pizzaviolence and his family (at this point unknown to us).

But we're getting a bit ahead of ourselves. What about those 17 hours?

You see, 17 hours earlier we'd pulled into the driveway after completing the WABDR - a week of adventure that would not normally be quickly forgotten. But things were not normal - we'd planned to meet our friends in Idaho the next day, so before the engine was even cold, we were prepping for the next trip.

Already evening, we unloaded the bed and @mrs.turbodb was starting on cleanup - laundry, dishes, airing out @mini.turbodb's tent, etc.; while I stayed out at the truck to change the oil and rotate the tires. There is nothing like changing "holy **** that's too hot" oil!

Then, showers. Our first in a week. Even @mini.turbodb wanted to take one - a victory for us if there ever was one!

Cleaned up, we caught a few hours of sleep. Sunday morning we ate a quick breakfast and started reprovisioning the truck for the adventure to Idaho. We prepared dinners, and filled the fridge and dry goods box. And then we loaded up - it was noon, just 17 hours after we'd returned, and we were off!

As we headed east, mentally checking our lists, we wondered if we'd run into @Digiratus on the road. Mike was returning from McCall Idaho the same day, having attended @BabyTaco's wedding the day before. And then, as we neared Yakima, he popped up on the APRS - just a single beacon, but we could see him, still over 200km away, heading west on hwy 12. Unfortunately a few beacons was all the communication we'd have - Mike wasn't able to pick us up when we called him, and we were headed south at Yakima, our paths diverging.

We continued on through the day with only quick stops for food, fuel, and a quick photo of a beautiful Idaho sunset.

And then, 90km (as the crow flies) from our destination, the ham radio lit up - it was Ben, and he'd picked us up on APRS. We said some quick hellos and he made sure we knew our route, and we continued on into the dark - eventually off the highway and onto surface streets, and then to dirt. As we climbed the ridge, I pressed the skinny pedal, anxious to get to camp - a bumpy ride since we hadn't aired down either!

And then in the distance, lights - flashlights as it were - beaconing us into camp. It was 11:45pm and we'd made it. Everyone had stayed up to greet us, which was great - but we were all tired and were off to bed as soon as we'd deployed the tent.

The next morning we woke early, but not for sunrise. I've come to realize that while I love the length of summer days, it makes sunrise photography much harder than it is in winter, spring, and fall! Out of the tent, we explored camp (we could see Scott Mountain Lookout), ate a quick breakfast, and got to know Mikey, his wife, and daughter a bit more. And of course, Ben and Kirsten joked with us about our craziness - driving to their neck of the woods so soon after completing our last trip.

Before long we were all packed up again and ready to go - a couple days of adventure ahead of us, the long drive from Washington fading already.

We made our way back down the mountain and headed east through Lowman for fuel and then onto dirt again where we aired down. We weren't sure what we were going to find road-wise, but a comfortable ride is always nice, and ultimately we were all glad to have softer shoes the rest of the day.

Ready to go, we started our trek - first towards Feltham Point, then to Pinyon Point Lookout on what would be a beautiful day.

As we would for much of the trip, we worked our way through burned woods, past rocky outcroppings and along fresh mountain streams.

We climbed up through the valley's towards Feltham Point - our stopping point for lunch, marvelling at the green grasses, wildflowers, and views.

Eventually we made it to the top where Ben couldn't help but to put his tire up on a an old lookout footing "for me" to get a few poser shots of his truck. Naturally, we pulled right up on the edge for a few great shots of our own, and Mikey didn't end up with a bad view either!

- - - - -

...but as always seems to be the case, I've used up my photo allotment here on ExPo.
So, to see our perch on top of the point, keep reading the rest of the story at: Two-and-a-Half Days in Idaho (Jul 2018)




Well-known member
July 3-4, 2018.

A bit windy when we'd arrived, by morning the wind had died down and Seafoam lake was a glassy surface. We'd slept soundly - warm in our respective beds (in fact, everyone but me was still asleep when I looked out the window and noticed that the cloud pattern could be an interesting one for sunrise.

Hoping for the best, I donned my clothes and grabbed the camera - no time to spare now, the light was starting to work it's early morning magic.

But really, I had absolutely no idea what was in store over the next 5 minutes. It was perhaps the most beautiful display of fire-in-the-sky that I've ever seen. Literally the entire sky turned amazing shades of orange, magenta, and purple; all reflected in the glassy surface of the lake. Truly a special moment.

But boy, it was early! Just a minute or two after 5:00am. As quickly as the sky lit up, it was over - and there was only one smart move at that point - crawl back into bed and get another hour of sleep! 🤣

That was just fine with @mrs.turbodb and we snuggled for a bit, enjoying the early morning sounds around us until the sun just started peeking over the ridges and I got my normal urge to go explore in the morning light as the earth warmed up around me.

The sun rising over the far side of the lake, I hoped the view of our camp site would be splendid, so I set off to find a way across the creek separating us from the rocky scree field that plunged down to the water's edge. I eventually found a way across about a quarter-mile up-stream and beckoned Venice (one of @m3basman's pups) to follow - through the water, I assumed, not over the log I'd used to cross.

Alas, she couldn't find a place she was happy with to cross, so I made my way back down towards the lake to skip some rocks and take in the sights - of the lake, our camp, and the moon just rising to the south.

I spent a good half hour on the far side of the lake, warmed by the sun as the rest of camp arose - first Ben, then @mrs.turbodb and Kirsten almost simultaneously. It wasn't long before Mikey @pizzaviolence and his gang of girls were up as well - an indication to me that I should head back to eat breakfast and start breaking camp, so we wouldn't hold up the train.

As we packed up camp, Mikey let us know that they were going to part ways with us once we got back to the highway - our destination for the day was the opposite of where they needed to end up, and it'd already been a very full first trip for the whole family (where they and their Tacoma had performed well!).

A bit bummed but totally understanding, we headed out - back down the way we'd come.

The descent initially had Mikey a bit worried, but he'd gained a lot of experience the day before, and with the use of Descent Control and 4L, we made it down without incident - Mikey remarking how much less stressful yesterday would have been if he'd known that today would be so easy!

The way down a bit slow-going, that alloted @mrs.turbodb and I plenty of time to get out and capture spring in full-effect at these higher elevations. It really was spectacular, many species of wildflowers blooming across the terrain - bathed in sun given the burned forest and lack of trees.

Of course, peaking out and around the camera also found it's way towards our descent.

- - - - -

We were on our way to some of the highest roads in Idaho. To see where we ended up, and the glorious views from those points, keep reading
Two-and-a-Half Days in Idaho: Part 2



Well-known member
July 4-5, 2018.

Having parted ways with Ben @m3bassman and Kirsten after a wonderful couple days in Idaho, our first and second stops were in Boise for some fuel and food. We'd hoped to hit up a place that @pizzaviolence suggested as "the best taco's in Idaho," but being the Fourth of July, it was unfortunately closed.

Instead, we grabbed some burgers before heading south-east - a four-state day in store through Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, and finally California where we planned to find a place to camp for the night.

Off the dirt, we racked up miles quickly - many of them unmemorable given the mostly flat, arid landscape between Boise and Reno. But we we enjoyed ourselves nonetheless - music, podcasts, and conversation entertaining us between stops.

As we've adventured far and wide, I've always wondered what the truck weighs fully loaded, but it always seems we're in a rush to get where we're going, or that the truck scales are open when we pass them. Luckily today, we were in anything but a rush and as we passed through the Owyhee area of Oregon, one of the first scales we came to was closed for the day.

A perfect opportunity.

As it turns out, the truck is not light. 2700 lbs on the front axle; 2820 lbs on the rear - for a total loaded weight of 5520 lbs! Just a bit over the stock weight (of 3425 lbs)! 🤣

Perhaps more interestingly at the scales, the ground was covered with Mormon Crickets. These things are freaking huge - maybe 3-4" long, and they clearly "swarmed" through the area - though apparently they don't fly, so that's got to be crazy to have them overrun a place on the ground!

Oh, and when they are swarming, they eat each other. And that propells the swarm forward. You know, so you don't get eaten by the guy behind you.

Throughly weirded out, we continued on through Oregon, passing through the Owyhee Canyonlands - one of the first places we took the Tacoma to explore just two years before. How different it was - basically stock - just that short time ago!

The truck, just two years ago.

And then, in the middle of the canyonlands, we passed through Jordan Valley and the Sinclair station where we'd delt with the first check engine light of our adventures!

Onwards through northwestern Nevada we continued, fueling up just before we hit the California border to take advantage of the lower gas prices. And as evening arrived, we climbed up and over Donner Pass, a beautiful drive even if it is paved!

And then, on our way into Truckee, where we planned to head into the woods and find a spot to camp for the night, we discovered an adventurer's dream: the Overland Trail.

- - - - -

How could we not take this exit?! To see what we discovered, check out the rest of the story and photos in
Idaho Epilogue: We Found the Overland Trail


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