Idaho RV Trip 2016

Diary of Roger and Linda's RV trip to Idaho, Reno, and Eastern Sierra Mountains - July 2016

07/01/16 Left for our Idaho trip this morning. Drove to Lone Pine and camped at Boulder Creek RV.

Drove to Reno/Sparks today. Camped at the Sparks Marina RV Park for 4 days. Our friend Kathy and Conrad Evans had dinner waiting for us at their home in Sparks.

Linda, Kathy, and I hiked and ran Charlie Dog (using electric Stampede electric jeep) at Eagle Regional Park in Sparks. This park is very large, new, and a scenic place. I loved it and visited it several times for hiking, electric jeep bashing, and drone flying during our stay in Sparks. We had dinner at Eldorado Casino in La Strada’s Italian upscale restaurant, which was very good, being a standby restaurant to us for many years.


07/04/16 Continues to be hot in Reno area, so we exercised early each morning. Kathy cooked us and Nels Erickson (a long time friend and bridge celebrity), a 4th of July dinner of barbecued ribs, German potato salad, cucumber salad, and peach cobbler for desert. Yum Yum.


07/05/16 Had dinner at Harrah’s Club teppanyaki restaurant called Ichibans. It was great and a fun night out, with Conrad and Kathy,


07/06/16 Left Sparks NV at 7:00am driving 425 miles to Caldwell, ID. Camped at the Ambassador RV park just for the night. Still very hot, so we hunkered down in the conditioned air of our 5th wheel.


07/07/16 Left early for Clarkston, WA. It started getting cloudy and rainy on the way. We arrived about 2pm and checked into the Granite Lake RV Park located at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers. We had beautiful river view RV site.


07/08/16 We stayed for 3 nights at this awesome RV park. Weather varied from rain, to cloudy, to sunny throughout the day. Stocked up on food from Costco and local fresh produce vendors. Tyler, Barbara, and Natalie including her two young kids showed up at mid day. Cooked fresh sweet corn and BB pork for dinner.


07/09/16 The rest of our camping group; Doug & Lana Willingham, Scarlet Willingham with her son Jason, daughter-in-law Oriana with her two sons and a very young daughter, and finally Gretchen Benson showed during the day. The weather was same as the previous day with short periods of sun with broken clouds. I flew my drone about a 1/2 mile across the Snake River acquiring some nice footage of the river, landscape, and the pretty clouds in the sky. That night we went to Roosters Bar & Grill having a nice get together on the start of our Aquarius annual get to gether.


07/10/16 Left Clarkston WA for Aquarius at 7:30am. The scenery coming in was awesome and the forest was very green, lush, and healthy looking. As we got closer to Aquarius we were adorned with many wild flowers along the curvy road. It took us about 2.5 hours to drive the 100 miles into the back country on the North Fork of the Aquarius River. To our surprise the 9 site campground was empty when we arrived. Tyler and Doug got there before us so they got to pick the sites they wanted and one of them was the one Linda wanted. We picked a site we had camped in many times before and were very happy to get set up as it was not raining when we arrived. It did start raining in early after noon however and we hunkered down in our rig and listened to a classic audible book called Treasure Island the rest of the day until my early bed time of 8:00pm. This place has no hook ups so conservation of water and electricity is very important. I froze my butt off both nights while there.


07/11/16 The night was icy cold dropping into the high 40’s. Woke up to more cloudy weather with intermittent light rain during the morning hours. Linda, Lana, and I walked the dogs along the beautiful river to a trail head and back. It began to clear around noon. I decided to drive to Skull Creek upstream to do some photography as it was turning sunny now. Got back and I prepared hamburgers and corn on the cob for dinner. Gretchen grilled her salmon on our grill and joined us for dinner. After dinner we discovered that our refrigerator was not working as my Haggen Dazs ice cream was soft. I took the unit apart and could not find any obvious problem. Tyler and Jason found a dry dead tree and cut it up for camp fire this cold night. Had a fun time at camp fire and decided that we would give all our food to Scarlet and Lana who had space in their refrigerators. We would drive to Orofino and or Lewiston in the morning to try and get our refrigerator fixed and then return.


07/12/16 Another icy cold night. I got up about 7:00am and made sour dough pancakes for Linda, Gretchen and my self. Gretchen brought fresh blueberries and peaches to kick up the pancakes a bit. Got on the road about 8:30am for the long 2.5-3 hour drive to Lewiston. When we arrived in Orofino we found out that the only RV tech had moved 2 years ago to Lewiston, so we continued on another 50 minutes to RnR RV in Lewiston. The service department told us that perhaps they could get us scheduled in late August!!!!!!!!! What can I do for those 7 weeks with no fridge. I tried Lewiston RV next with the same response. We certainly hate to miss Scarlet’s spreading of Joe’s ashes. We wish our tender condolences to both Scarlet and Doug for Joe’s untimely and early death. He was perhaps the greatest Willingham ever. Linda and I both enjoyed Joe’s friendly humorous personality whenever we were with him. We decided to start back towards Reno. Hope Scarlet and Lana enjoy our frozen and refrigerated food. I drove back south to Grangeville where we stayed at a beautiful little RV Park called Bear Den RV Park.


07/13/16 Left for Caldwell, ID about 9:00am after getting breakfast at local restaurant. On the way back entering into the town of Payette we passed a small RV shop with a sign that said REPAIRS so we stopped in and a very nice owner opened up the refrigerator and found that it was actually working NOW ????? He said that the failure could be related to altitude or a temporary blockage (spider web, moisture, rodent nest, etc.) at the flame location. He gave me a verbal course on propane refrigerator trouble shooting and repair, especially clearing blockage near the flame. He said the most likely two mechanical problems could be the temperature sensor or the thermocouple. He also said that the fridge could be turned on by someone in the RV and I could be outside at the control panel with a fire stick to ignite the flame at the sensor if the igniter was not working. I was so happy for the education that I decided to buy these spare parts for $50 total to reward the guy for his schooling. The 3rd most likely thing to fail is the igniter which cost $40, but he did not have one in stock. I may purchase one at Camping World for future insurance. After this stroke of luck with the refrigerator working again, we considered weather to drive back to Aquarius? We decided that we would be driving all those curvy miles to only enjoy one day at Aquarius, so we continued south to Caldwell. We checked into the Ambassador RV Park again for the 2nd time on this trip. After getting set up we went out to purchase food. We had grilled fillet Mignon wrapped in bacon, local fresh sweet corn, grilled fresh local green & yellow zucchini marinated with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. We ate outside with a nice glass of wine in perfect 80 F. weather with no wind having a perfect dinner experience after the good news of getting the refrigerator working again.


07/14/16 Slept late until 9:30am. Got up and cooked french toast with ham for breakfast. I spent most of the days fixing little problems on the 5th wheel. I swear screws do not want to stay secure in and on this trailer. Also spent time socializing with a few of the travellers in the park. I barbecued mustard olive oil chicken on the grill, white steamed rice, sauteed fresh delicious sweet yellow beans with onions, and bacon.


07/15/16 Got up at 8:30am and cooked ham, cheese, omelets with toast for breakfast. Did some more shopping to replace our lost food. The Ambassador RV Park kicked us out because we had no reservations. We researched the area and found a new park called Canyon Springs only 3 miles away. This park is also great and perhaps better than the Ambassador. The WIFI in this park is the best of the trip. It has open country just outside the park where we can walk and run Charlie girl dog. I cooked fried rice tonight using left over chicken and corn and some new green peas. Yum Yum


07/16/16 This RV park is very pleasant and we stayed at it for 3 days. Each morning we took the dog and the electric jeep to a city park called Mallard Park where Charlie dog got to chase the truck for 30-45 minutes until she was dead tired. The park was actually a frisbee golf course, but was used more as a dog walking and human walking park. It was modern and had a nice view of a near by lake.


07/17/16 This morning we went to Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge on Lake Lowell. Another beautiful park where ran Charlie and I flew my drone over the lake getting some great footage.


07/18/16 Did the long drive to Sparks and checked into the NV Marina RV Park. Met Conrad and Kathy at a Barbecue restaurant for dinner and crashed into bed early.


07/19/16 Did shopping today to stock up on food for our upcoming 5 day stay in the Sierra Nevada’s. At night Linda and I treated Conrad and Kathy to dinner at the Eldorado Casino’s gourmet steak house called Roxies. Yum Yum


07/20/16 Drove to Bridgeport California and checked into the Paradise RV park located on the Bridgeport Resevoir. They had no TV and I could not get my satellite working. I got so mad at the piece of junk Weingard satellite antenna and threw it off the roof of the 5th wheel. I had been wanting to replace it and now I will have. to. The park was small and old, but very clean and adorned with many flowers and artsy statues. The relatively young owners were charming, very helpful, and very knowledgeable about the area. The temperature was very pleasant ranging from 46 F at night to high 80’s or low 90’s during the day with very low humidity.


07/21/16 We visited Twin lakes today for a hike and photography.


07/22/16 Today was the famous Bodie Ghost town about 6 miles from us. It is long steep drive up the mountain and the elevation is about 9,000’ This is definitely my favorite ghost town in the whole world. Any body getting close to this area should not miss it. Take a look at my photos on my web site.


07/23/16 Today we drove to Lundy lake, a awesome beautiful and scenic location in the high mountains. The final road in is about 6 miles wash pan dirt road, but the scenery makes it worth while. Did a bit of hiking and of course photography. Charlie dog accompanied us on all our day trips and she loved it, especially if their were squirrels, rabbits, or chipmuncks in the area.


07/24/16 Today we got up early and drove to Virginia Lakes about 15 mile south west up in the mountains close to 9,000’ high. We first stopped at Virginia Lakes Resort a beautiful little place right on a lake. The kids were bringing out long strings of trout. Linda, I, and Charlie dog walked 1/2 way around a lake that had majestic beauty among the tall mountains. There was still lots of wild flowers. I had a field day with my camera. Stopped on the way out and talked a while to other visitors. Next we visited Trumbull Lake Campground which was awesome. I and Linda decided that we would like to bring our 5th wheel up the mountain and dry camp there for 4-7 nights. My size rig will just fit into this campground. Reservations can be made at Reserve America and will be definitely required this time of year. Linda did a short hike on the trail that goes to Trumbull Lake which has a beautiful waterfalls at about 2.5 miles in. Would love to come back here in the fall and photograph the water falls along with the fall colors of the decidious trees. Drove back to trailer around 1:00pm and had lunch. Got things ready for our departure home in the morning.


07/25/16 Got up at 6:00am and we were on the road by 7:00am. It was a long 450 miles home. We arrived 4:00PM.

Last updated on September 19, 2016