Every epic trip to a new life includes some kind of unplanned adventure, right? Most of what we have done so far has been planned. But not everything can be plotted on an epic trip.
The morning of Day 5, right after the dog ate my car seatbelt (unplanned) while she was left in the car while we were looking at dinosaur bones, we headed back on the road to City of Rocks National Preserve, Idaho. I kind of lost track of how long that drive was supposed to be, mostly because at this point does it even matter?
For most of the trip we have stopped every two-ish hours (planned) because I have to pee (planned in a way, I guess). So little was there between Dinosaur National Monument in Utah and Salt Lake City that we went a full three hours without stopping (unplanned).
Also, I was/am pretty angry about the seatbelt, so I wasn’t in the mood to talk.
We finally pulled into a McDonalds outside of Park City for a bathroom break, then got on the road again with the intentions of stopping at a rest stop in about 30 minutes for lunch.
That didn’t happen (unplanned). Instead we took a different, rest-stop free route through Salt Lake City, and didn’t find lunch or gas until 2:30 p.m. (Unplanned).
Envision with me, now, how hangry we all were at that point. Hangry. Here is my less-hangry face due to eating. (Eating- planned. Hangriness – unplanned.)
Back on the road. More driving and then at some point later, who even knows when, we entered Idaho, again with the time warp. We ended up at City of Rocks National Preserve at about 5 p.m.
It was a good thing we got there when we did, because we scored one of the last camping spots in the National Park area. (Unplanned, but it worked out.)
This area is apparently very, very popular with rock climbers, and you can see why.
We had a really pleasant night and morning, with temps dipping into the 50s and coming right back up again into the 70s and 80s as soon as the sun was out. We went on a hike (planned), packed up the gear (planned), hit the Ranger Station for our coveted Jr. Ranger booklet and badge (unplanned), and then hit the road again. This time? Destination: Boise, to visit my family. (Planned).
Here’s where things get eventful. On the roof of our car are two roof racks — one rocket box and one cage. We’ve told you about them in a video.
They were a good plan. They still are a good plan. What is not good? When stuff goes flying off your roof rack. That’s bad. (And unplanned).
And therefore we lost a sleeping bag in a dry bag and a citronella candle somewhere around Mountain Home, Idaho. How do we know that? Well, it’s missing. But also a guy drove up alongside us on the highway and made frantic “you should really stop and check out your roof rack” hand gestures.
After we decided that, yup, it’s gone, we continued with our plan (planned!) to take a small detour through Birds of Prey National Preservation on our way into Boise. Also: we brainstormed ways to keep things from flying off the top of our car like giant rockets, presumably narrowly missing (or hopefully not hitting) those driving behind us.
Birds of Pray was a good plan … until it became apparent that instead of taking Range Road (planned), as in “Home on the range,” through the preservation, what we were on was unpaved Range Road, as in “National Guard training area shooting range.” (Unplanned.)
But the excitement didn’t stop there. When we got to the end of Range Road, about 25 miles later, we found ourselves at a “road closed” sign (unplanned!) with the option of turning around (um, no) or continuing down a not-made-for-Volvos access road against a train track.
We took the access road. And thus:
When we got off it and finally back towards the highway to continue our trip to Boise (planned), we ran across the answer to the age-old question of “Why did the cow cross the road?”
Next time on missives from the Humans Outside #North2Future adventure: when you go hiking and suddenly there’s a dangerous hail storm. Stay tuned!