Laughing Dog Park

June 24, 2018.  Finding out there is a dog park in Spokane Valley WA, I also find out there is a Walmart amendable to an overnight (or two) stay in their parking lot in Post Falls ID just a few miles from the park.  

The Patricia Simonet Laughing Dog Park is located at the old rest area off I-90 in Spokane Valley.  Easy to find and with the assurance from a clerk at the Walmart that it is still there I go ahead and say it. “Do you want to go to the DOG PARK today?”  All hell breaks loose and the boys get in a wrestling match, fierce but fake, and ends with fast tails wags as steady as a metronome. Got some happy dogs here!

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This is a lovely, well-used dog park.  Half of it is shaded with large trees and has a nice walking path. The other half is open with a nice sidewalk along the perimeter.

 

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Lorraine with her Sheva
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Sam, the large Airedale with his owner. Charlie loved this dog. Perhaps he thought it was our Burger, come back to us, just in a larger version.

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DSC_0043 (3)  These two nice young guys spend about an hour at the park; Cleaning up dog poop!  I stopped them when they were leaving to thank them for doing it.  They seemed surprised, but told me they do it at the other dog park in town, too, but it’s really a mess there.  How cool are these two young people!?!?

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John and his labradoodle, Gracie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Scott and Rosie

Just because there is this really nice dog park, populated with really nice dog lovers, we spend another night at Wally and visit again the next day.  Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel!

Couer d’Alene Rails to Trails

After our overnight in Cabin City we motor out of Montana and into Idaho. The town of Smelterville has a Walmart that allows overnight stays so we do.

On the second day it’s apparent that it’s time to do laundry AGAIN and an internet search tells me there is a laundromat in Pinehurst, just up the road.  I plug in the address and we are westward bound toward this cute little town … but there is no laundromat here any longer.

As we had back to Smelterville I spy with my travelling eye (catchy, no?) a sign for the Couer d’Alene River Trail. This would be a nice place to spend the afternoon and walk the boys!  We find a spot along the edge of the parking lot so we can have the side doors open while we grab a bite to eat, then we head out.

The paved trail follows the Couer d’Alene River and the old railroad tracks for 70+ miles! Walkers, joggers, and bicycle riders are out in force on this beautiful, sunny day.  Recumbent bikes are thick as herds of cattle. They look fun and comfortable.

My photo of the board showing the trail and telling the story about it did not turn out, but you can read about it HERE .  Teamwork!

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Mesa Falls and Island Park

The morning of June 5th dawns bright and beautiful.  I feed the boys, walk them only long enough for them to do their business then we are on the road.  Today we take in Mesa Falls, the reason for our little side trip off Hwy 20.

Charlie is looking forward to the ride and the possibility of seeing a lizard. Or squirrel. Or prairie dog.  If it moves, he’s interested.

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It’s a short drive from last night’s camp to the entrance to the falls.

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I point Freedom’s nose northward and we finish up this beautiful drive on Hwy 47 heading for Island Park, billed as the “longest main street in America.”  It is that for sure, if your Main Street consists only of fly shops, a couple of motels, and gas stations every few miles.  I believe the signage said it’s 33 miles.

With Island Park behind us I begin looking for a place to roost for the night.

We make a quick stop here so the Chiweenie Brothers can stretch their legs and relieve themselves. Mom spent quite a bit of time at Mesa Falls. It was just so beautiful she couldn’t help herself! This scenic byway should be on your “to see” list if you’re traveling this way.

Driving into the town of West Yellowstone I find there is no place to park for the night and end up back up on the mountain.  Every forest service road along this stretch is for day use only it seems.  I settle on a trailhead at Targhee Pass in the Gallatin National Forest.

We are right next to the highway, but traffic noise does not keep us awake. With two nights of mosquito misery and then visiting Mesa Falls and climbing lots of stairs I am exhausted, and I don’t think anything would keep me awake.  That is until Fries wakes me up around midnight trying to get under the covers.  The air above us is fraught with thunder and lighting. And I do mean right above us; as in right overhead.

Charlie sleeps through it all, but poor little Fries is terrified.  He and I snuggle close as, thankfully, it is short-lived and moves on rather quickly.  I drop off back to sleep with the little guy snuggled close.  Morning comes too quickly, but I drag myself out of bed at the crack of dawn.  Today we visit the upper half of the figure eight that is Yellowstone National Park.  To be continued . . .

Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs!

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The Idaho side of the Grand Tetons

As we drive away from Palisades Reservoir we take Hwy 31 to Victor where I pick up my forwarded mail then we head north to the town of Driggs and begin looking for a spot to stay.

About Victor ID

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The Grand Tetons are even more amazing from the Idaho side.

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The Grand Tetons from the Idaho side
The Grand Tetons as seen from Swan Valley in Idaho

We end up in a boondock in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. Our camp in this national forest ends up being a one-night stand as there are many mud puddles from recent rain and although they are drying up many remain with standing water.  Those remaining must be teeming with mosquitoes because we practically get eaten alive.  The air is so thick with the buzzing blood suckers that I can vacuum them up with my little portable vacuum cleaner.  The poor Chiweenie Brothers spend a too warm night under a light blanket, but still suffered many bites.

On the way out of our camp I spot these butterflies enjoy some refreshment at one of the dryer areas

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From Driggs, ID we take Hwy 33 toward Rexburg where we will hit a Walmart to get supplies and gas up the green beast.  It is a beautiful drive through  potato farming country in the Swan Valley, the seed potato capital of the world.

No overnight at the Wally in Rexburg, so we head on toward Ashton where I plan to do laundry.  The laundromat is easy to find, but it’s been a long day, and I just don’t have the energy to tackle that chore.

I take Hwy 47, finding a dispersed camp site again within the Caribou Targhee  National Forest–also loaded with mosquitoes–and we spend a too-warm, restless night with the windows rolled up. Tomorrow we visit Mesa Falls.

Thanks for stopping by! Hugs, Shawna

Palisades Reservoir, Irwin ID

On May 30, 2018 we begin the hunt for a new back yard. We pass the little town of Freedom, Wy and I can’t resist taking a photo. 

DSC_0048 (3)It’s not far before we find a beautiful campsite along the Palisades Reservoir outside of Irwin, Idaho.  We motor down the dirt road and take a left at the vault toilets, an offshoot of the main dirt road going down to the water, and I get nauseous as road gets a distinct  steep slope to one side. It didn’t look so bad when I walked it upon arrival.  Too afraid to back out I go on.  We made it — what’s to worry about.  Getting back out that’s what! 

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the Chiweenie Brothers and I take a walk down to the water.  It’s calm, with a few pelicans paddling around. Love this spot!

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Better yet, we find “our” road turns back onto the main dirt road, and we won’t have to worry about going back out the way we came in. Whew!!

Recent rains farther north have the creek flowing into the reservoir at a pretty good clip, but although we do get a bit of rain and a couple of thunderstorms, it doesn’t amount to much.

We have a beautiful view of mountains to the east, and this huge area has several spots with lots of shade given by a type of tree I can’t identify. A few groves of aspen also dot sections here and there, their leaves fluttering with the slightest breeze.

The wildflowers are in bloom

On Thursday night an uninvited guest in the form a tan colored little mouse with a white bib pays us a visit in the middle of the night, and the hunt is on. The Chiweenie Brothers spend the next two nights on the hunt. Every time something rattled even the tiniest bit they shot off the bed in search of Stewart Little. They were not successful. On Friday night I took several drawers out of various storage units to let them have a better chance, but still nothing.

On Saturday I spent the day tearing the van apart hoping that the little bugger would find his way out while I was tearing into things.  I assume he did as Saturday night not a peep was heard from the boys. Sleeping all night can sometimes be a wonderful luxury!

We spend five days in this lovely spot, but on Monday, June 4th, it’s time to move on.  We are low on water and foodstuff; like M&Ms and the Kosher Dill potato chips I have become addicted to.  :), and, like all good things (and not-so-good things, too), our time here must end. 

We haven’t been down to the lake’s shore since Saturday because the weekend was pretty busy here with local traffic, so this morning the Chiweenie Brothers get a walk down to the water before our departure. They enjoy wading into the water, something that they never used to do, but since camping by water a lot this past month, they’ve found they like it.

I, however,  am shocked by what I see.  The lake has come up quite a bit in two days,

and–horrors!–our way out is covered by a deep puddle of water.  Dang!  We’re going to have to get out of here by way of the steep slope and the driver’s side will be on the downhill side.  There’s nothing to do but suck it up and go for it.  Camp has already been broken and our gear loaded up so I get the boys inside and climb in the driver’s seat. Oh Dear God, get me through this.

 I am sweating bullets as we creep along feeling my body lean to the left as we cross that sloping area. Once past the worst part and we gain the remaining ground to the main dirt road I heave a sigh of relief, but . . . I need to use the facilities.  I think it’s the first time ever that I’ve been happy to use a vault toilet.  

Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs!  May YOUR travels be smooth sailing.

 

Montpelier, ID

May 24, 2018, with Montpelier ID as our intended destination, we head north on Hwy 30 and leave Wyoming behind.

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Along the way we stop in several places to read information at the kiosks provided. Hwy 30 is part of the Oregon Trail where early emigrants, mostly from Missouri, traveled by wagon train to get to Oregon and California. At this particular stop the descent from the BIG HILL was described as being the worst of the whole 2000 mile journey.

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We travel through some beautiful ranching country.

We get to Montpelier and the hunt begins for the dog park that is here. The boys need some free run time and I especially want to find this particular park as it was the senior project of a local high school girl. There is no address, just the name of the road, Adams. I plug that into the GPS and we are taken on ride out of town, around a loop named Sharon, and finally out into what is a housing area, and then onto a dirt road. Twelve miles out I see this going nowhere I want to be, and I turn the van around. Sorry guys. SOOOOO happy I didn’t mention the D.P. words!!! They know the difference. I’m learning.
As we get back into town I notice a sign advertising that Butch Cassidy robbed a bank here. That devil gets around! Last I heard his name was back in Circleville, UT!! We’re not stopping.
We do stop at a convenient spot, however, to check ice. There’s still a big chunk, and I want to see just how well the new little cooler will actually hold ice so … I read over the directions to our next probable camp and we head out.

The Montpelier Reservoir

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is located right off the highway, and by the way we are back on 89, and we find a nice little spot by the overflow spillway.  Lots of room to walk the Chiweenie Brothers and some lovely grass for lying in the sun.  They won’t even miss the dog park I couldn’t find!

We only spend two nights here.  The intention was to spend all of Memorial Day Weekend here and be off the highways, but not all of this gypsy life is moonlight and roses.  There’s partying going on at the other end of this parking area, but we don’t hear much of it, however, someone takes exception and a sheriff shows up.  A trailer that had been parked but unoccupied for the two days we are here is suddenly gone.  A woman–a very gleeful look on her face–begins backing HER trailer into that vacated spot.  I think we have the unhappy camper right here with us now.

Later in the afternoon someone, who apparently knows the unhappy-but-soon-happier camper, pulls their huge travel trailer right in front of us, and I do mean right in front of us. All I can see out of Freedom’s windshield is their trailer’s slide out.  UGH!   By Saturday morning the area is so packed full of people one cannot step outside without being in someone else’s camp.  We are out of here.

Back to the town of Montpelier we go to get an internet signal so I can do research on where to head for a camp.  KOA is real close, but they want $35 for a dry camp.  Nope, not going to happen.  I remember a campground just beyond KOA called Montpelier Canyon and with nothing else close by and a tentative  direction to head if it is full we head back up the way we came.

Driving into the campground I am delighted to discover not only are there several spots available, there is a site, fairly secluded, along a chattering creek, and the cost is only $10 per night, half that for us old folk.  And here we stay until Monday morning.

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Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs!

 

CAMP AMENITIES

Water: No                    Garbage: No
Bathrooms: Vault       Electricity: No
Tables: Yes                   Shower:  No
Fire Pit:  Yes                 BBQ: No
# of Sites:  15                Fee: $10 per night, $5 with senior pass
Other:  Not all sites are shaded, and the campground is right next to the highway although I didn’t find the traffic bothersome.  Sites are small, and probably only a couple of them will accomodate a real large travel trailer, probably not a motorhome. Most sites have enough shrubbery and aspen trees to give a very descent amount of privacy between sites.  I lucked out and even had privacy from the road through the campground.