Makoshika State Park, Montana

So I arrived late – just in time to snag one of the last available sites in this 18 site campground. Actually there may be a whole nother loop, I didn’t check, I was ready to be camped. I paid for it, even! It’s gorgeous like the badlands and Sedona Arizona. There’s a nearly full moon.
So, more details after a days exploration: the park has a hadrosaur fossil, badlands, grasslands, and ponderosa trails, a disc golf course and several additional campsites with more privacy outside the main loop. 

Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

Geese flew along the river as I arrived
Geese flew along the river as I arrived

There was a post for this – it got lost in WordPress Android app upload. Basically it involves fishing in that river. There was also a cute photo of Buffy waiting outside the tent while I wrote the post on my Android from my tailgate.

the field I camped in
the field I camped in

Boise, Idaho

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Beer, potato dishes, and hot summer days.  Postmodern Brewers will start the review because well I’m here by myself and this is a tasty experience. Sal-tot-dos (orange glazed tater tots with pork and delicious) and a flight of 6 beers including hard root and hard ginger beer are pictured. It’s 5 PM on a Thursday and I’ve been sitting on their patio by myself for awhile, getting the happy hour special.  I get the feeling they’re new? Also they’re quite close to the university so probably busier during school year.

Boise is a dry heat – shade makes a huge difference.  Very bikable, moderate walkable, but nice dense downtown for drinking and walking. A bunch of breweries and the standout Bittercreek Alehouse make it a great beer town.

Postmodern Brewers was good but my faves there were the hard ginger ale and hard root beer. Boise Brewery was friendly and more my stereotype of a brewery bar, and had good beer, although as it was my last stop, hard to fairly judge. 10 Barrel was meh, corporate feeling and the bartender couldn’t give me good advice on which beer to try first. Lots of athletic well dressed(for an outdoorsy town) customers. I loved Bitterroot, which had friendly knowledgeable bartenders, good food, friendly patrons and a great atmosphere. Oh and competitive with anywhere taplist. I had to struggle not to just stay there the whole time I was in Boise.

The Boise Bike Project also seemed very cool, although as an educational program they don’t fix bikes unless you help/learn. Quite frustrating for me after I walked my bike with 2 flats for half an hour to get there and just wanted a beer while I paid someone to fix it.(I can change a flat usually, but my tires are super stiff and my thumb strength weak, so these tires are a pain in the ass to get back on after replacing a tube). They also said bikes left in front of the shop overnight are considered donations, which I felt was a bit shady.

Ooh also another bar I kind of want: Spacebar Arcade. 6 old pinball machines and a selection of other classic arcade machines, as well as classic systems connected to a big screen from the seating area. A good selection of local micro brews and interesting events.  Upstairs there is a restaurant with Indian and Sushi I think? Something to combine and take the rest of my money.

Idaho Hailstorm

I’m sitting in my tent in a hailstorm in Idaho in Targhee National Forest.  The thunder has quieted, it was a roaring coughing rumble all morning. Ice litters the ground around me – the hailstorm is melting off in the heavy rain. On the good side the flies and bees, which previously plagued this campsite, are gone. A few things are getting wet but I think it’s all stuff that can get wet.

I wonder how long the rain will last? I would prefer not to pack up in the rain or mud so I’m staying another night. It’s gotten quite chilly as well. Luckily I am way equipped for that.

This site has been great, except no cell reception. There are meadows of wildflowers and great pine forests. The Camas Prarie below. Gorgeous. I haven’t seen much wildlife – mostly little things, insects, chipmunks, squirrels, harrier hawk, hummingbird, rabbit, but I keep thinking I hear some. It’s amazing how loud everything seems without much background noise. Natural noises of fabric moving and of rain on different surfaces. Part of me wants to sit and just learn the pattern of noise around me. Another part says: “Great background sound for reading”. On that note, I’m off to a book.

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Ps Buffy hates this so much.

Forest outside McCall, Idaho

I’m once again on the tailgate writing this on my phone. I was hanging peacefully in my hammock when the occasional rain drop began to hit me.  I waited a while, but thunder grew louder in the distance. So I took down the hammock, put the rainfly on the tent, moved stuff under cover.. and the storm has been sitting slightly to my northwest looking fierce for 45 minutes.
I’ll have to rush away if the rain really gets here, I’m currently taking advantage of the truck bed electrical outlet to charge my phone and laptop. I’m also testing out a new to me tent – we’ll see its rain proof quality if the storm hits. At this point I’ll be disappointed if the rain doesn’t arrive.

The whole aspen quaking thing, by the way? It’s true. They make a very distinct sound in the forest. Ooh, this reminds me of a song I only know from Rock Band: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9bZwTH15qBQ . No oaks here though.

Sego Canyon – Thompson Spring, Utah

Pictographs are etched in the cliffs behind and next to me. A sunset has peacefully spun through the rainbow, framed by a U of red Utah cliffs. A distant mesa forms a flat bottom, barely hinting at its more detailed beauty.  Moab is that way, so is Colorado.

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Interspersed among the pictographs and historic Ute art vandals have scrawled new names and graffiti. The nearness is the main reason I object – there are miles of blank walls in these canyons and you must nearly obscure and definitely impact the existing art?  Well and that just writing your name is lame. If you’re going to be monumental be admirable too.

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I’m sitting on my tailgate. My back’s against the cooler, my bare feet dangle over gravel. A citronella candle burns next to me and a beer on the other side.  Buffy sits in her dog bed water dish and food bowl beside her. I’m writing this in the twilight to dark on my phone with no service(also using Twilight App to minimize night blindness and sleep cycle disruption).

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I’ve just taken a sunset dinner break which has gone too long. I painted and photographed and got nerdy with my laptop. Buffy and I did a brief walk and practiced some tricks.

No camping allowed here and it’s getting quite dark for finding a wilderness campsite. Luckily I saw several small BLM roads nearby and I’m equipped to sleep in the back of the truck.

Now I’ll wait for the moon to come out- here’s hoping it’s not a moonless night- and head down this nearby BLM dirt road to the first legal pull out. Then I’ll sleep.

The night has gotten darker and brief flashing lightning has come closer brighter. Thunder rumbles. I’m camping here after all. I passed through sudden fierce storms earlier on the highway. It makes the chance of accidentally parking in a wash too risky. A cool wind blows from the West bringing gusts and the premonition of storms.

A link to the Sego Canyon BLM site if you want to visit yourself.

Hopewell Lake, New Mexico

Atlas Sounds Logos provides a perfect soundtrack. Wildflowers surrounding a perfect little lake with families fishing all around. Picnic tables and bathrooms complete this little slice of heaven. Camping is also available nearby.

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The interspersed meadows and woods of this area of New Mexico has magic.