Idaho 2011, Day 35—Kay’s Idaho Reflections

IMG_1242BSummer here (at least late July and August this year) has been very pleasant, temperature wise. The highs during the day tend to be in the 70s and then the low 40s at night. But, 70 isn’t really cold at this altitude, about 6500 feet, because the sun is hot—we’re closer to it. There’s always a breeze and sometimes in late afternoons, a small rain shower blows through, kind of like Florida. I love watching the aspen leaves blowing and the blue spruce are beautiful, also.

IMG_1222When we first arrived, the wild flowers in the fields and pastures were in full bloom and we loved watching the birds and bees weaving through them. Our favorite bird watching has been the Sandhill Cranes. They have long necks and kind of resemble geese in flight, but they make these unusual noises flying—I think they are talking to each other.

Cows are all along our road to the highway. We’re five miles off the road on the south shore of Henry’s Lake and part of the land belongs to the Forest Service. At any rate, the cows roam freely on forest land, and private land also. So, I have to ‘slow this pony down’ when I’m booking it out to the highway, cause cows don’t move out of the road for just anybody and when they’re munching on the grass right by the road, they may move across the road in an instant. So, it pays to be cautious. I’ve been on a tangent to see the moose that munch on fireweed along our road. Many people in our RV park have seen them, but not us. I slow down and search the woods every time I travel the road, but no luck. I think there’s a mom and at least one calf. One resident has taken several pictures which are in the office so at least I know what to look for. Finding a moose in Yellowstone is very difficult. We’ve seen almost every animal there except the moose, big horn sheep, and mountain goats.

We’re in the Island Park area of Idaho, which is in the eastern part of Idaho; just 10 minutes from the Montana border and 22 minutes from West Yellowstone and Yellowstone NP. When we’re leaving the park traveling toward West Yellowstone we’re actually in Wyoming, then just before the entrance/exit to the park we enter Montana, then we travel west for approximately 15 minutes and we’re in Idaho. So, suffice it to say, we’re state hopping most days! There are supposedly only 250 some odd full time residents of this area; but, there are thousands of beautiful cabins and homes here for vacationing, I guess. Many hardy souls may come here in winter for snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. I just can’t imagine having a $400,000 piece of property and only visiting it a couple weeks a year. Island Park may be the longest incorporated city in the country—over 34 miles long. It’s a ‘drive’ to go anywhere or do anything—run to the grocery (16 miles round trip); go out to eat (20 miles round trip); go to fish (10-60 miles round trip); go to small town for shopping (44 miles round trip); go to large town for shopping (100 miles one way). Norfork doesn’t seem as remote as it once did.

They do have mosquitoes, flies, and even horse flies (probably because we’re right next to a pasture). But, they are SLOW! It’s quite easy to swat them and kill them; maybe it’s the altitude that makes them slow. Whatever, I’m grateful! The bugs were worse when we first got here in mid-July and if we sat outside much, we would light our Thermocell—one of the great inventions of this century. These last few weeks, we haven’t needed to use one. Winter is probably 6 weeks away here, and the varmints seem to be slowing down.

One of three of our furry little friends, Red Rock RV Park, Henry's Lake, IDWe have some yard pets. I’m not sure what they are called. They look like ground squirrels with very short tails. Our neighbors called them gophers. We’re not sure what they are but they are very active and have 3 major tunnels between our RV spot and our neighbors. They eat grass and entertain us with some of their antics. They are kind of like our hummingbirds back home—playing king of the mound, don’t mess with me, etc.

IMG_1399The waters here—rivers, lakes, and streams—are fairly high because of the amount of snow they had this year (snowmelt) and that affects fishing. Also the sun warms the waters and that puts the fish down and they are more lethargic. There are more rivers, streams, and lakes to fish around here than you can shake a stick at. I’m not sure if one lived here full time that one could fish all of the waters available in a 50-mile radius. So many choices; so little time.

IMG_1520BWe have enjoyed walking or hiking every day, with so many trails, roads, and drives. With weather like this, who wouldn’t? We finally stayed up late enough last night to go outside and check out the stars. Everyone talks about how many there are out here and how bright they are. Well, they don’t have any light pollution. We weren’t that amazed; I guess because at Norfork we have a huge night sky with no light pollution.

This has been a good place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live here. I wouldn’t even want to own a cabin here. It’s a little too isolated for me. I love the RV because we can go to so many different places and aren’t locked into one place. I also wouldn’t want the responsibility of a 2nd home to maintain, clean, and update. I wouldn’t be interested in having property that could be used as ‘rental property’ either. Too many headaches with property management.

We have enjoyed the peace and serenity and slower pace. I would recommend this RV park (Red Rock RV Park) for that reason alone. The owners and workers have been great. We have enjoyed the potluck parties; I haves enjoyed the card games—Left, Center, Right and Bunko. It would be even more fun if we had other friends with similar interests who RVed with us.

Kay at Artists Paintpot, Yellowstone NPThe biggest plus of this trip has been the leisurely sightseeing we have been able to do in Yellowstone National Park. We have seen more of the park; more animals; and not been rushed. It’s been like a fine meal that we have savored each course at our leisure. Donald’s been here 5 times and this has been his favorite time. Mine too; and it’s my third trip here.

Well, if you’ve a hankering for vast plains and mountains, rivers and lakes, high altitude (certainly higher than AR), lots of gravel/dirt roads, snowmobiling in winter, cooler summer weather/yet sunny, rural/mountain remoteness, and want to be close to Big Sky and/or Yellowstone NP, you might want to consider Island Park, Idaho. A beauty all its own.

Our RV Park, Red Rock RV Park, has one of the best web pages I’ve ever seen. Just put in your web browser and look at the pictures, maps, info, etc. You can see it vicariously.

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