We’ve been meandering through southeastern Idaho for almost three weeks.
We enjoyed the toe-tapping music at the bluegrass festival in Pocatello, a short visit to Idaho Falls and then spent a week in Boise which included the Labor Day weekend. Now if you step back and think about our route, yup, we did go east then doubled back and headed west. We wanted to attend the bluegrass festival and we also wanted to take a bike ride in Idaho Falls. We are not in any rush.
While in Boise, we took advantage of what a big city has to offer. We attended a play, enjoyed a Japanese festival and window shopped at the “arts in the park” festival. Window shopping because we never purchase anything – no room and no interest! Our campground in Boise was right along the Boise greenbelt so we did a couple of bike rides.
However, Art had a bit of a rough week. He injured his back somehow and was in quite a bit of pain and walking like an old geezer for a while. Then, on one of our bike rides, a yellow jacket flew into his jacket and shirt stinging him twice in the chest. Now, what are the odds of that happening while cycling? Good thing he isn’t allergic to bee stings! The welts from the sting matched the swelling on his eyelid where some kind of other bug bit him in the night. Poor guy. He’s doing much better now and I’m glad to have him back!
We left Boise and backtracked (we seem to be doing that a lot this trip) to drove into Nevada. We are now in Baker, Nevada which is right outside of Great Basin National Park. Now, this is not your typical national monument “gateway” town. There are no fancy restaurants, coffee shops, or gift shops. It is a remote area with just a population of about 75 people. We reserved a ranger-led tour through the limestone cave. We haven’t toured many caves so we can’t make any comparisons but the cave was interesting and our guide was pretty good.
We were planning to do a hike within Great Basin but the park rangers mention that the drive up to Wheeler Peak was an 8% grade and over 2,000 ft elevation gain with lots of windy curves with no shoulder. Although he could not say it, it was clear that our one-ton dually was not a great choice to climb the mountain. Better to be safe than sorry so we are planning to cut our visit short and head towards Cathedral Gorge State Park in Panaca.