Sunday, September 6, 2015

Day 3-Shoshone Falls to Sawtooth National Forest Redfish Lake

So much for a good nights sleep last night, more like restless due to the fact that our campsite was 50 feet from the main road. I woke up multiple times from tractor trailers slamming their jake brake, shitty cars with too loud of exhausts, and motorcycles jolting me awake. Finally just before 6:00am I decided to put on some music in hopes that it would drown out the noise and lull me back to sleep; again, wrong. I decided I was up, and might as well start on my blog since there was nothing better to do and I didn't hear Anna awake yet. Around 7:00 I heard her unzip her tent so I let her know I was awake too. We stayed in our tents for a half hour or so before deciding to get up and pack up. Since we were eating breakfast at the falls (which Anna forgot and almost started making her oatmeal) we were ready in no time. Back at the falls the guard let us in for free since he said he wasn't open yet which was pretty awesome since we were only staying for breakfast and then heading out. It was a gorgeous morning and there was no other place I would have wanted to be other than sitting in front of the waterfall eating my bagel with cheese and craisins with the occasional mist across my face. We stayed for about a half hour or so before deciding to head out when people started to come down the stairs to check out the falls. Anna drove today and we only had an hour and 45 minute drive to our destination or so we thought. The drive was beautiful, the perfect mix between farmland and mountains; my ideal spot. Not before long, we were entering Sawtooth National Forest, meaning we only had an hour left! It was gorgeous; the mountains, the valleys, and stone structures. Multiple times I was hanging out the window or sunroof getting photos (at least I wasn't driving this time.) The GPS took us to a gated dead end in which we could not drive past, and it said we still had 9 minutes left. We turned around, and headed back down the gravel road we came in on back towards the paved road. Surely they wouldn't put a lake lodge on a gravel road right? We stopped in a ranger station and I knocked on the door to ask for directions; no answer, I knocked again while hearing a faint voice inside but still no answer. Heading back to the car a ranger pickup pulled in with two ladies and I approached them to ask for directions. What they proceeded to tell me was, distorting. When Anna mentioned "Redfish Lake" to them, they said there was no lake in here that we were looking for Sun Valley which was back the way we came in Twin Falls. I can't complain since the views were gorgeous, and I don't regret it, but we now had a 3 hour trip ahead of us. Since we had no cell service where we were I was happy we weren't staying for the night. We got back in the car and headed back the way we came, all the way to Twin Falls where we jumped on 93 in the right direction. We approached a very populated area with stores and gas stations and even two McDonald's within a couple miles. It was there where I saw a very well done 50's style red pickup truck, loved it. We proceeded through a few "ski like" towns and then Sun Valley which was very "ski like." From there we drove out of civilization and back into the wilderness. From these photos I would never guess we were in Idaho, it has surely surprised me in a good way. Such beautiful country, and exactly that; I feel like I am in another country. Again, we were in Sawtooth National Forest (but the right one this time.) As we neared closer to the lake, maybe 35 minutes out; we began to see ranches and cattle and the thought crossed my mind, "I can't believe people actually live out here how beautiful." The Rockies sure are a breathtaking sight. We arrived at the Lodge and it was like a little village, there were buildings everywhere and a restaurant and general store. We wondered around briefly and then decided to ask where to get a campsite. Luckily we just had to continue down the road a little further. We arrived at one of the lake campgrounds and drove up to what looked like was a caretaker site; Anna wasn't sure that's what it was so she turned around and headed back. It was then when I read on the sign "See caretaker campsite ahead." So we did a 10 point turn and headed back up to where we just were as the woman got out of the hammock and started walking towards the car. I greeted her and apparently I was excited to be here because she was shocked by how much I had to say right away about a campsite. Nevertheless, there was one site left on the water, and site #12 was ours for the night for a steal at only $17! Last night we paid $27 for a noisy restless night next to a main road and tonight we will be lakeside in peace. We drove over to the site which had access to the beach area right from our tenting area, and filled out the required information with the woman taking care of things. She had the most beautiful almost eery blue green eyes and there was something very odd about her, but overall I think genuine and nice just a close talker. We unpacked our tents, set them up, and decided to make lunch. I settled on another Mountain House and Anna made a Ramen Bomb; an AT original of Ramen and instant mashed potatoes mixed together. Good thing we brought our newly purchases bear canisters since we are now officially in bear country! After lunch we decided to research our next location; technically on our list is Washington state and to be exact the northern most section which would be about 10 hours. We decided to see if there was anything else intriguing in-between to cut up the time and driving distance, but got a little overwhelmed and decided to put that off for now and catch up on our blogs. We checked out the beach area and the water was like being on a Caribbean island, it was crystal clear and a pretty green/blue hue. I blogged at the picnic table and Anna drove over to the lodge to charge her computer and upload photos, it began to sprinkle so I ran my computer and camera in my tent and put on both our rainflies in case of a downpour. As I was finishing up, I saw the Impala pull up; perfect timing. The sprinkle passed and we both continued to blog on our computers. Ana finished before I was done with day two, and decided she wanted to go swimming. Mind you, I am sitting with my Vermont flannel hoodie on and it's a cloudy 63 degree day. I moved myself as well as my computer down by the water and continued to blog while she inched her way into the water. She did go under finally and came out right after wrapping herself in her towel saying, "I'm not going to stay in you know long enough for me to fully go numb" which I agreed was probably the right decision. She loved every numbing minute apparently because she turned to me and said, "I wanna go in again now." I encouraged her to do so if she wanted to and she stayed in for awhile this time. Out she came and put on pants, a sweatshirt, and toweled her hair and sat beside me shivering, but was overall happy she went in. We sat in the car so she could warm up, and to charge my phone to decide where tomorrow will land us. Originally we were going to spend a half day hiking here tomorrow, so we could relax today; but tomorrow calls for rain. We decided that we would just head towards Washington and if we make it the 10 hours to Seattle; cool, if not we will stop somewhere to sleep no worries. Next the question was what do we do today? We were both up at 6am, have not adjusted to the time difference, and could have totally laid down for a nap. I was battling with myself over going for a hike, taking a nap, or kayaking; Anna was struggling with the same thing. We decided against a long hike, but figured we would ask the general store about any good places to see either driving or short walk, and also how much the kayak rentals were. We walked over to the store and seemed lost inside so we asked a guy outside if he worked here, he then replied with "he is employed here he doesn't necessarily define himself as a worker." Ok buddy, way to get technical with me; I have a question and want to know if you can answer it or if your just riding that bike your on with your family. Needless to say, he advised us to go in the store and they have all the rates on a business card. We went back in the store, obtained the card, and asked about pretty things to see. She told us of a few options but we decided on the beach walk around the lake; also kayak rentals were only $8 for an hour so we decided to rent after our walk. The walk was nice, got a lot of great photos of the mountains and lake that I wouldn't have seen from our campsite so I am glad we went. We also took some goofy shots of Anna trying to balance. We walked the beach back to the dock to rent the kayaks and hopped in our vessels. We paddled under the dock and out into the open waters. Anna will tell you that her kayak had a mind of its own for steering but I'll just say mine steered just fine. We paddled against the wake and the water was a little choppy. We saw a couple paddle up in a canoe and yelled "ahoy!" I chimed "ahoy" back, I later referred to them as Noah and Allie (from the notebook.) We made it out pretty far before deciding to just float and relax. It was calming to just be out on the water even if it was a little chilly. We talked of sushi and seafood and how we couldn't wait to reach the coast to get some, and then paddled back to shore. We were both growing hungry as the aroma of fried seafood and French fries filled the air from the lodge restaurant. Though this time we would settle for chili mac for me, and lasagna for Anna. We ate dinner, got ready to climb in our tents around 8:20, and both entered with a book. I decided to catch up on today's blog post while bundled in my zero degree bag on this frigid 52 degrees it is currently. I can hear our neighbors who are much older, and not very close by, verbatim. Talking about the weather, and how every site is taken by the water, and if the hot water is for the dogs; please go to bed soon. I'd love a peaceful night tonight and not a repeat of last night. It's supposed to get down to 37 tonight!

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