Home for the Holidays, by Thomas Kincaid

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday

Welcome to Outdoor Wednesday @ Home Musings and a look at our recent camping trip to the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho. [Be warned: There is a story before all the pictures!]

The weekend of August 21-23, right before school began, we decided to catch some family time in a scenic place. So, we took some saved up gas money, our groceries, some borrowed camping equipment as well as some of our own, packed up the car, and headed north.

We made it up into Idaho in pretty good time (4-5 hours), by evening. Then, the ordeal part of our trip began. When we stopped for a break in Ketchum, Idaho, only 48 miles from our intended destination, our car completely stopped and would not start. It is an electrical problem that we can usually get around, but this time, the starter was dead as a doornail and wouldn't budge. So, here we were in a small and unfamiliar town, in a dead car, with evening setting in. and no money for repairs. What to do?

We all took a long walk to cool down our tempers and then sat down to discuss together what we would do if the car didn't ever start again. We tried over and over again, for the space of three hours, late into the evening, with no luck. Then, my daughter suggested that we pray, so we bowed our heads and poured out our hearts to the dear Lord who knew our predicament. As soon as our prayer was over, this really wierd idea popped into my mind. "Get out of the car. Lock the doors. Wait a few minutes, then unlock the driver's side. Get in. Belt up. Lock the doors and turn on the ignition."

Okay, so I know this sounds really wierd, but we were desperate, so I did everything in that order and GUESS WHAT?!?!? The car started right up. (Since then, we have had to do this several times and for some odd reason, it works. Hopefully, soon we can repair the electrical system!). We were all ecstatic and praised and thanked the Lord for wierd ideas that work.

At this point, it was very late and we were going to have to find a camping space in the dark. Not a great idea. So, we started driving further into the Sawtooth Mountains. That's when the second leg of our ordeal began...trying to find camping space late on a Saturday night while AVOIDING GAME! That's right! Every campground was full and there was no place to go but forward AND we were driving at night, or feeding time, for many kinds of animals. I cannot tell you how frightening it was driving slow around the curvey, mountain roads, constantly beeping at, swerving from and stopping to avoid all kinds of animals. We kept count and the final total of game we narrowly avoided were 12 deer (including one buck with a 12 point rack on his head!), two moose and three foxes. NO, I am not kidding!

It took us to 3:30 in the morning to get all the way through the mountains. There was nothing left to do but head to Boise and spend some of our food money on a hotel (super discounted, because we checked in at 4 a.m.). By the way, when we mentioned to the near calamities we had with animals en route, the desk clerk said, "yeah, that's why locals don't drive in the mountains at night!"

Ok, so, duh. Now, we know.

After a few hours sleep, we had a decision to make - give up and head home, or try the mountains again, hoping that by Sunday afternoon many campers would have left. We opted for the second and that is why I have the following pictures to show you of the next two heavenly days.
About 40 minutes from Boise, inside the Sawtooths, we found a near empty, stream-bordered campground.

The children were joyous when we decided on this double campsite.

The trees were HUGE and wonderful.

And right next to our campground was a sweet little stream...

...where someone had written a message of love to someone special...

That message was magical to us and we didn't remove it.

Sparkling water over the rocks...

We set up our tents ...

My daughter tried finger painting with mud.

Mark took pictures of the water.

The next day, our brave boys bathed in the frigid water...

The experiece really "woke" them up! :)

My daughter even took a dip.

But the greatest surprise of all we found our last day on a hike...

The mountains hold a secret...

Can you guess what it is?...

Can you?...

Shhh...don't tell a soul...

Fall is ever so subtley starting in the higher elevations! Isn't it wonderful?

I hope you enjoyed our camping trip. For more Outdoor Wednesday posts visit A Southern Dreamer.




Mary said...

Elizabeth this was a wonderful post. I'm so glad your family had such a good time and delighted you took pictures to share with us. I hope you are having a wonderful day.

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

Looks to me that you had a wonderful adventure. I really liked the finger painting in the mud. hmmmm wonder if she left them there -- they would be there etched in the stone years from now?? :)

Thanks for sharing.

If you get a minute I would always enjoy you stopping.

TTFN~~Claudia ♥ ♥

Regina said...

Wonderful and fun outdoor!

Becky K. said...

A very wonderful and sweet post. I am so glad you were safe and all was good, in the end.

How lovely that your daughter suggested prayer.

I remember a vacation,as a young girl, that we could not find an open hotel. We ended up in downtown Washington DC after midnight and paying premium for a hotel room.

I don't know which is worse...a country family lost in the big city in the middle of the night or your family lost in the country in the middle of the night. Either is scary...that is for sure.

Becky K.
Hospitality Lane

Karen at Nittany Inspirations said...

This is my kind of vacation. We love camping. We had the same experience, not finding any place to stay. We ended up staying a a seedy motel that creeped me out.

The Feathered Nest said...

Looks like you all had a wonderful time sweet friend!!!! Thank you so much for sharing all of the photos, and I am so happy to see a glimpse of fall! xxoo, Dawn

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Oh Elizabeth!
Looks as tho you had a wonderful time honey. I love the rock message, and that you left it as it was. It will mean something to each visitor who comes there. Love the creek and the babbling water. The Fall leaves were just splendid. Here in Phoenix, we don't see much of the changes in seasons. It pretty much stays the same. HOT!!! I do miss Fall. Yes I am an insulin diabetic. I take (5) shots a day. Not fun either. I am trying really hard to get back in shape and be able to cut down my shots and oral meds. Praying about it and taking it one day at a time. Thanks for stopping by sweetie. Look forward to seeing you again. Country hugs, Sherry

Blondie's Journal said...

A wonderful post, Elizabeth!! You have given your family the opportunity to create memories that they will carry with them through life!

I love all the foliage and even that ice cold stream!! How fun! And the stone "message" is absolutely sweet!!

Happy OW!!


Alexandra said...

Beautiful pictures! i really like the Pacific NW.

Beth at Aunties said...

You sweetheart!

We are running sometimes faster than we can right now...but the Lord is blessing our lives also.

We got back from sweet BOISE early this morningish. 1:30 am We got our new handsome and very healthy baby grandson Wednesday by emergency c-section. It was scarey! She had un diagnosed Placenta Previa.

We have been loving our other four grandchildren there and doing a ton of dishes & laundry... ect!
Dad is still in the nursing home. We just moved his stuff into our garage a week ago Saturday. We soon will have too move him into another place in 3 weeks when the medicare time period is up. He is working hard on gaining strength but has lost much of his memory and bodily controls. With our demanding callings and family responsibilites we have had no time for us. Our trip to Virginia is now off:{!
Life is still wonderful and and we are hanging on to the ride!
Ketchum is where we spent our honeymoon:) I am glad you got there. Did you see Redfish Lake?
I haven't ever been to the Boise National Park.
It looks beautiful! Oh, and I also love the miracles and love that Heavenly father so richly blesses our life with daily!

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

This was such an inspiring post on so many levels--highlighting both divine and human love.