Thursday, August 13
Seeing that today will be another hot day, the crew and I leave Vale Trails RV park early in the morning. I dump tanks at the park’s dump station before pulling out.
The road from Vale to Ontario slices through huge fields of onions.
As we motor along, a dark, yellow-green cloud hovers over the landscape to the northwest. That’s smoke from the fire near Baker City and the wind is coming this way. We need to make tracks!
My original plan was to explore the mountains north of Boise — the Cascade Lake and Sawtooth Mountain regions. Fire activity nixes that plan.
As the Perfect Tow Vehicle carries us through road construction and past the six exits of Boise, a smoky haze cloaks the mountains to the north. Nope, not a place we want to go.
About ten miles outside of Boise, we stop at a rest area.
I walk the crew in the pet area. This will set them up for the big push to our destination.
Once I commit to driving the interstate past Boise, there’s no stopping until we reach Mountain Home. It’s mostly unpopulated, arid country all the way. The horizon is a haze of smoke. My throat becomes scratchy. My eyes water. I glance-check Bridget and Reggie. Good, they’re asleep.
I notice the Sawtooth Mountains.
They do look like the teeth of a monster emerging from the earth. Oh well. Maybe we’ll see you up close another time . . . .
By the time we exit the interstate, it’s 106 degrees (I discover this later online, along with information on the shocking proliferation of forest fires across Washington, Oregon, California, and Idaho.)
The first RV park we come to is Mountain Home RV Resort.
Well, we may have to pay extra for that word “resort.” I don’t care. I’m not going any further. We need relief now!
The entrance road is flanked by a tidy grass lawn, white plastic fence, and a rose garden.
The office is ensconced in a large white building designed to impress.
I park the PTV/BLT in front, go inside, and secure a site.
The clerk welcomes me to use the showers, laundry room, WiFi, swimming pool, cable TV, dump station, on and on. I barely hear him being uber-conscious of Bridget and Reggie waiting outside in the heat.
The daily rate is $35.oo for full hook-ups. I pay $31.50 with Good Sam discount, plus Idaho sales tax of $1.89 and hotel tax of $0.63, making a total of $34.02. Great, now show me the site!
As I hop into the PTV, a man pulls up in a golf cart.
He says, “Follow me” and takes off. I chuckle to myself as he “helps” me position the BLT on the concrete pad.
It’s very nice at this RV “resort,” and apparently many folks like to stay here for a month at a time ($350 plus electric). There are a couple of rows of humongous, shiny and bright Class As lined up like new toys on a giant’s shelf.
Everything is in immaculate condition.
The place is so perfect that I feel I should tip-toe when walking the crew. Everyone is inside their RV.
Oh, Bridget, I know you like to poop in the middle of the road. Please hold it, honey, ’til we get to the pet area. She does her best but doesn’t make it that far and poops on the grass of an empty site. Quickly I scoop it up with a pooper bag while imagining scowls from behind tinted windows . . . .
The only facilities I use are the showers and the electric.
I don’t bother to hook up to water, sewer, or cable television. We sleep well in the air conditioning.
It’s kind of weird, at least for me. I’m used to looking up at the stars from my bedside window. I’m not used to having a street light at my campsite! (Every site has its own street light.)
If you like this kind of living, Mountain Home RV Resort does it well.
Friday, August 14
Another early start, another hot day. By 8:30 a.m. I’m coming out of the nearby Wal-Mart. My purchases besides groceries include a box of instant cold compresses recommended by a reader for emergencies.
I can’t face another day on the interstate. We take Route 20 which turns out to be a very interesting drive through brown, mostly treeless hills, the road going up and down, giving the PTV a good work-out which she performs with ease.
An interesting drive, that is, until the road straightens out. By the time we pass Fairfield the succession of flat fields has become monotonous. The sun is high. There’s no place to stop as the road disappears at the horizon like an endless airport runway.
Past the dried-up Magic Reservoir, I see a clump of trees ahead!
A sign says, “sportsman access.” I pull in to give the three of us a chance to stretch our legs and have lunch — a Subway sandwich bought this morning.
It’s been a long drive for us. I keep pushing until, finally, we’re in mountains with trees!
Later that evening, as I lie in bed under an open window. . .
Aaah . . . Nature’s air conditioning is the best. Look at all those stars.
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