Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Day 31 - Yellowstone to Bruneau Dunes St. Pk., Idaho
It was bittersweet to leave Yellowstone knowing full well that our adventure is coming to a close. We drove out the West Entrance, dropped out of the mountains and into the high desert of Idaho. We motored along without much excitement other than viewing the mountains in the distance. I don't know, I can never grow tired of the beauty of snow-capped mountains.
As I mentioned yesterday, we opted to drive an extra 87 miles to get to a state park that had known facilities rather than a forest camp without anything. I began to second-guess myself as we followed the signs to the park. We were driving across the desert without seeing a single soul anywhere. We take the exit for the park and it just appears deserted. Oh geez, not again! We worked our way to the campground to find a few people there. Not bad. We found a site and setup camp, had some cheese and crackers, a beer and chilled out for a few minutes. We decided to drive out to the dune to check things out. OMG, it was freaking amazing!!! It is the tallest single sand dune structure in North America. It formed at the congruence of two mountain ranges right where the Snake River rounds a bend. The conditions are perfect.
We climbed to the top and proceeded to act like a couple little kids in a big sandbox. You know, it's one of those things...we totally thought that this park was going to be a bust but it turned out to be fantastic. We went back to camp, had dinner and decided to ride our bikes back out to the dunes. That was when we took all the pictures at dusk. It was actually about 9:45PM when we took most of the pics. We were far enough north to take advantage of the long sunsets. Well, we started to get completely chewed up by skeeters so off we went back to the site.
We're sitting next to the fire enjoying our last night of camping when Dylan mentions an ambulance coming down the road with emergency lights on. Then we noticed another. It seems that the teenage girl across the way that Dylan had noticed earlier had slipped and fell outside the bathroom and had lain unconscious for quite a while before her family went looking for her. They took her away on a backboard and, though everyone was pretty worried, her grandma assured us that she was going to be ok. Because of all the excitement, we didn't get to bed until after 11PM. I was sleeping soundly when, all of a sudden, I hear footsteps right outside our tent. FREAKIN' RACCOON going after our garbage and trying to get into the ice chest!! Damnit!!! I scared him away and went back to sleep only to be awakened once more before morning. I was so excited to not have to pack everything up because of bears that I left the stove and the garbage out. Live and learn.
Tomorrow, we're off to my "brother-from-another-mother"s homestead outside of Reno. 5 days of R & R!!....and....I get to see my lovely bride on Thursday!!! YAY!!!!!