Saturday, August 11, 2012

2012-26 American Falls Idaho



Soda Springs
American Falls
Idaho Falls

Campground:  Blackfoot Reservoir NF/BLM campground.  $10 senior rate.  $15 regular for improved sites w/elect.  50 amp.  Large open expansive sites overlooking reservoir and rolling grasslands.   No shade.  Pull-thru sites have Ramada w/picnic table.  Water and dump station available.

Blackfoot Reservoir Campground

Caution:  Locals park their trucks and vehicles on the causeway while fishing.  The causeway is only a one lane dirt cross over to the campground.  Do not attempt to drive your camper onto the causeway while they are parked on it.  There is not enough room to pass safely.  Ask them to move before crossing.  Hopefully one day they will put up a no parking sign on the causeway.

Campground:  Willow Bay Marina and Café.  $16 water/electric w/10% senior discount @ wkly rate ($112).  Nice setting, grassy sites, about half have shade, pull-thru and back-in sites.  Some with lake views.  Note: close to railroad tracks, but no whistles blowing, so not bad.

Distance traveled:  175 miles.
15 miles outside of  Soda Springs 

Soda Springs

I've been preparing myself for the trip off the mountain where it’s been wonderfully cool throughout this past week.  Traveling on a Sunday meant no waiting for a lead car to travel over the Togwotee Pass, though once I got to the Grand Teton NP, I had to stop often to take in the stunning scenery and picture taking.  Haven’t seen as much wildlife as on past visits, but since I hadn’t stayed right in the National Park, it’s to be expected.
Having been on this route before, heading to the Blackfoot Reservoir,  I decided to stop for breakfast along the way along with sightseeing stops along the way.  Adding a couple extra hours to my travel time.  Which isn’t a concern when I know what to expect at the campground I’m heading too.  I’ll only stay at Blackfoot for 4 days, as it’s another site that has no TV or cellphone coverage and I’m eager to get back to some form of civilization.  I guess I could spend the bucks to get satellite tv again and a different cell phone power booster, but I’m holding off on those expenses at present.  There’s just the weakest cell phone signal which gives me e-mails and messages periodically when it can connect, but I’m unable to send anything out.

Still enjoying the expansive views, big skies and stars at night, I can’t complain.

Arriving at the Blackfoot Reservoir campground on Sunday, a half dozen campers were still there, though by the time I’d set up and looked around, they had all gone.  Leaving only the camphost and myself in the campground.  It’s such a nice campground but most deserted much of the time.  Perhaps it’s the remoteness that people don’t care for.  I love the grand open feeling of the prairie type landscape  with low rounded mountains off in the distance. Fields of golden yellow wheat fields surround the park and lake.  Or perhaps it’s the lack of shade out here in the summer months with temperatures reaching into the 90 degree range that keeps campers from enjoying this park.

So I spend a few days going into the town of Soda Springs to use the libraries wi-fi.  Have lunch, wash my truck which has really needed a good scrubbing.  And enjoy some down time where I can read a book or watch a DVD movie on the telly.   Oh and I’ve had to take care of a couple of small critters.  The smallest cutest little mouse(s) have gotten into my camper.  About the size a round puffy quarter with two tiny black eyes.  If only I could have kept him for a pet, but alas, they have to go onto other dimensions and I’ve added some spray foam insulation between the pipes and flooring, hopefully that will keep any more critters out of the main living areas.  And I’ve decided to purchase a number of poisons and devices to capture the little rascals in the basement holding area.  More or less a Du-jour of tempting treats to finish off their days in my camper.

More repairs, what’s up with this?  I’ve discovered that my battery charger in the camper is functioning erratically.  Keystone, the manufacturer of the camper has provided some insight and it may just be a faulty fuse.  Which is of all places, behind the fuse box where the charger resides.  Now isn’t it odd that a fuse that has gone bad would not be in the fuse box where all the other fuses are, but behind the fuse box.  Update:  after tinkering around, it appears to be working fine for now…. So what was wrong with it?  Who knows.

Distance traveled:  99 miles
American Falls Idaho

Plan B came into action when I arrived in American Falls.  I had planned to stay at the fairgounds for $12 a night, but it was full up and the sites were really close together.  Instead, I found Willow Bay campground, a much better location with wonderfully grassy sites and I got a couple of nice shade trees, if a bit overgrown as my roof scraped some branches as I pulled in.  Oddly the marina currently has no access to the very large lake.  Seems the water is down a bit and the channel leading out to the lake is closed in with muck.  They’re working with BLM, the City and a number of other organizations to see what can be done.

This is a small community about 30 minutes from Pocatello Idaho where I’ve stayed in the past.

A day trip brought me to Idaho Falls, what a nice community.  Good size but not too big.  Vibrant active community.  Could easily see spending more time in this area.  I picked up a new device for boosting my cell phone signal.  It appears to work fine, now to install it permanently or semi-perm. In the camper.

That’s enough news for this week.  Next week, a continuation of exploring Idaho.

PS, I did make it to the potato museum in Blackfoot Idaho with the large potato out front and all the history of the potato inside… “the museum, not the potato” and I got pictures of the lady waitress statue outside of a local restaurant….  She was recently refurbished and no longer carries the huge tray of French fries, but instead has a huge diamond ring on her finger.  Hmmm, maybe she met the potato king and is now the potato queen.

more pictures on PICASA.

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