Road Warriors Four. Day Six!

Wednesday 8/12.

We got up bright and early to hike to the highest peak we could see from our site. There was no trail, so we blazed our own.

The Reluctant Hiker became the Angry Hiker about half way up.

We find it best to leaver her to wander, bringing up the rear, where she can talk herself into the benefits of an active lifestyle. It usually works and it did today as well.

At the top of our fire scarred peak, we took a bunch of self timers… (sorry in advance. got lots of pictures – finally)



and headed down for a big breakfast — to include BACON! Charlie manned the “toaster,”

Dave cooked the bacon and Morgan…

I can’t remember. I do know she briefly toasted, but lost that duty when she presser her hot poker into Charlie’s knee.

I have no idea how she did it, but amidst all the yelling and drama, somehow she turned it in to Charlie’s fault. He didn’t miss her when she wandered away. Probably to apply make-up in the back seat again…

Morgan had a BLT (where T=turkey). Dave had a BLT (where T=tomato). Charlie had E&T (where T=toast and E=eggs). Then Charlie had a BLS (where S=sandwich) and I had a massive, 2-egg bacon and cheese sandwich on a moldy ciabatta bun.

Sound gross?

Well it wasn’t.

Thunder sounded in the distance and we scrambled to pack up. Jen and Morgan used the leftover warm water from dishes (clean, unused water, that is) to quickly shave our beastly legs. Morgan lacerated herself in many places blaming the carnage on “too many goosebumps.” Honestly, she took like 15 minutes to shave her SHINS. I didn’t know this: you apparently must exfoliate before shaving. How can it be that I’m 47 and have been missing this pre-requisite for smooth legs? And still she managed to cut herself in about six places.

And speaking of exfoliation, can you please give Charlie a squirt of that stuff? He has found that he appreciates a good exfoliating face wash. He likes how it makes his face feel…

Oh Lord help me.

We headed out through Challis, toward Stanley and the “majestic mountains” we sought toward our next adventure.

Stanley was…hmmm….How shall I say? Disappointing. Kinda hot. Dusty. And just, well, hickish. The campgrounds sucked — from the Lakeside units to the corrals.

Yes, the scenery was lovely, but the road work, people, and campgrounds were not our “cup of tea” (to quote Carlos again). We considered dispersed camping again, but there really weren’t that many options. Finally I just said “let’s just get the Hell out of here.”

And so we did.

Hightailing it further down I75 and trying to get a little closer to Sun Valley, the designated shopping mecca of the trip.

It’s just crazy to us the campgrounds people choose. Ick. Ick. Ick. And crowded! We all just look at them and think — well maybe it’s only me who thinks this — “Where will I pee?” Or, “What if I walk out of the camper in my underwear?” Or even, “What if I fart too loud?”

You see the problem that a crowded campground presents?

And so it goes. We diss’ed all the lake campgrounds. Western state campers flock to lakes. We, of the 10,000 lakes, don’t need a lake to feel like we are on vacation. We rejected over six campgrounds on our quest, eventually reaching the Sawtooth National Recreation Center Headquarters building and found out that — surprise! — we could disperse camp anywhere! And even have a fire! (No wonder we didn’t get in trouble last night…).

So that’s what we did, finding a pretty good spot just a few miles down from the headquarters building. We passed some PRIMO spots right on the North Fork of the Big Wood River, but most were taken. There was one open spot, but Dainty Dave was too weeny to attempt it. waa! waa!

I will say this: the axel swap we did last year with the new bigger tires is AWESOME. The tires aren’t even bald yet, the camper bounces around like a real 4WD rig. Love it. We researched getting a new camper on the drive home last year and I spent probably 4 straight hours of the last leg that Dave drove reading online, eventually finding all kinds of sights detailing camper modifications. There are people who document every little thing they do to their campers. Can you imagine?

Ha. I only realized as I wrote that last bit how hypocritical I sound.

Anyway, we got the idea to put bigger axle on the camper while in Ouray last year during one of our tire blow outs. Last fall, I brought the trailer to Rodney at Highway 55 Trailer Sales in Rockford. He’s the best! It was a relatively inexpensive upgrade. The three new tires cost more than the actual axel. It really goes over the bumps and rocks well. Dave totally could have gotten into that spot…

INTERJECTION: As I write this, the kids are over by the camp stove brushing their teeth and getting ready for bed. I just heard Charlie ask for Morgan’s exfoliating face wash again. When she said NO he said “But I like how it made my face feel.” END OF INTERJECTION

Anyway, the second best thing about the new tires and axel is that it looks cool. The third best thing is that you can now see it out of the back window and rear view mirror, which is ever-helpful for backing up.

I digress.

We went to a different spot NOT on the river because weeny Dave didn’t want to attempt the back our awesome little camper into such a narrow spot. –It totally could have snuck in there. I swear. It was our 5th night of camping and our fourth site. And even though we say — EVERY YEAR — that we aren’t going to move as much, we always do. We must like it.

One thing we have improved on this year is our timing. We have yet to come screaming into a site at dusk and eating in the dark. Bravo for us. It’s only taken us about ten years to get that part right. Here, outside of Ketchum, we set up camp about 4 pm, leaving us plenty ‘O time for drinks and appies. Charlie and I took a bracing river bath in the stream across the road. I must say, it’s a lot easier camping now that I’m way less vain about my hair. I can’t tell if it’s because I don’t care, but I actually don’t think it looks all that bad! [update: after reviewing the pictures, I must retract this statement.]

We cooked our last official meal: Flank steak kabobs with onions, peppers, and zucchini. We also had beets that we cooked in the fire a couple nights ago. Tomato/mozzarella/avocado/arugula salad. And a big, fat, happy belly.

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  1. says

    At the risk of being a pesky commenter, here I am again… BUT, I LOVE the road warrior posts and at the risk of sounding overly sentimental for a blog reader that doesn’t know you at all – your family is beautiful!! …I’m not just talking appearances.

    Anyway…I am the kind of road warrior that your family likely makes fun of. My “camper” is a Winnebago. It gets worse. I tow a car. BUT, the car is a Jeep Wrangler SPORT – I hope that the Jeep gives me at least a bit of street cred. But, the truth is, I am an RVr (7 years – no prior rv or camping experience). Yeh…

    I had to laugh at the comment about Western campers (and in my defense, I have NEVER said that what I do in the Winnebago is camp) liking the lake locations and that [your fam] being from the land of lakes, a waterfront locale is not important. I live on a bit over 8 acres of woods in the foothills of the Continental Divide (Swan Range and Bob Marshall Wilderness) – so when I hit the road, my ‘vacation’ is sometimes a city locale – but small cities…as in I would probably love Stanley. But love your location above and I do sometimes boondock (dry camp) – but since I have a generator and inside plumbing, I still do not count that as actually camping.

    I am somewhat the antithesis of you with some common ground thrown in… I am a programmer to your graphic design, Windows to your MAC, Winnebago to your pop up, Mountains to your Lakes, CSA to your garden/orchard…BUT, I cook, bake all my own bread, muffins, bagels, tortillas & crackers (LOVED your cracker video!!!) AND I shoot Canon! (I think you still shoot Canon.)

    I hope to someday have the time or more likely just goof off and go back and read more of your blog. I’ve read enough, though, that I believe more harvest posts should be ’round the corner.

    Oh, I love rosemary also and would like to know how you got your plant so big…mine, is a bit spindly in comparison.

  2. says

    Liz! I have no idea how I ended up here and I just saw your comment from…1.5 years ago! Well thanks for commenting. Morgan texted me last night from her dorm in Madison at 1am saying she was reading old Road Warriors posts and laughing. Today, when I sat down to work, mu blog was pulled up on my screen from a WordPress update and this post was on the page. I indulged myself by reading and happened across your comment. How is it that I never saw it?? Crazy.

    So what I have to assume is this: you MUST have a bathroom in your Winnie. Otherwise a lake site with lots of other campers is…. Oh there I go again. Most people use the outhouses… I’ve blown my cover. I am too lazy to walk that far. :)

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