Started the day with a bit of rush hour traffic.
I’m not sure why, but they all decided to go to work at the same time. Just like in the cities.
The ranchers waved us through the crowd and we were on our way.
West to Idaho
After a short stop at Fossil Beds National Monument we crossed into Idaho and ended up along Bear Lake. We’re closer to the fires in Oregon. The haze is obvious, but the air quality still seems okay.
We stopped at the Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge for a few hours on Friday. Most of the wetlands were dry – birds were scarce. But for some reason an American Bittern decided to hide in the middle of a pond. They normally hide in reeds and grass where their posture and coloring makes them nearly impossible to see. I’ve only see a couple in my life, both while flying.
This one was hiding in plain sight.
After Bear Lake we headed up into a nearby forest service campground for the night.
The conversation the last few nights is on our camping style, which niceties we really need to be able to enjoy traveling and how that has changed over time.
For us, most of our camping is not for the camping experience – sitting around the campfire, cooking over an open fire – but rather as a way to facilitate traveling to places so that we can see and experience nature in different areas of the country.
Untill now we’ve favored campgrounds with flush toilets and electric. In reality we only use 120 volt electric a couple minutes a day for the micowave and for the conveniece of not having to mess with battery charging. We can do everything else with propane and batteries.
So what’s driving the conversation?
- With the virus floating around, we’re not enthused about using public restrooms and showers. So the value to us of paying extra for modern facilities is declining.
- The COVID inspired camping crush means modern campsites are busier. The less we depend on electricity, flush toilets and showers, the easier it will be to find camping spots.
- State budget issues will force increases in fees for State Parks, probably affecting non-residents the most.
In other words, events are leading us towards a more primitive camping style, which in turn leads us to rethinking where we camp and how we prepare.