Deadwood Reservoir

We left Rexburg after the wedding to take a road trip out to the midwest. Dan dropped me off at Indiana University, where I took a 2-week course at the Summer Kodaly Institute for music teachers – I strongly believe that every music teacher needs to take this!

I could gush and go on about the Kodaly course and road trip, but I’m going to post about the 4th of July trip we took [in Idaho] just a few days after getting home from all of the festivities, traveling and studying. July 4th fell on a Tuesday this year, so Dan had only one day off for this trip. We’ve always wanted to go to Deadwood Reservoir because people have talked about catching literally buckets full of salmon there – with our fishing record, we were sure and excited about catching one!

Have you ever headed somewhere new and followed your preset directions until you saw a sign pointing to a different way to get there and started following that instead on a whim? Well, we did that Monday night and it turned out to be a scary 25-mile bumpy, one-lane dirt road through mountains with deadly cliff-edges! The views were gorgeous, but my appreciation of the sights was trumped by my fear of getting lost, damaging the car/boat, falling off the side, and running into a car headed the other way. We made it to our campground 2 hours later than expected, right when the sun was setting. Our campsite was right by the lake, and we had a good amount a space/privacy from the campers on either side. My pre-made tinfoil dinners were a yummy success (better than last time because I added cooking oil), and Bella had her first adorable run-in with a frog.

We woke up and packed up camp the next morning to go boating. We had seen a dock on the way in the night before, but did not want to head back in that direction [toward ‘deadly road’] because there’s gotta be a better way out of here when we’re done! We drove the other way around the lake [still dirt road] looking for another dock for what seemed like an hour or two with no success. The gas tank was down to its final quarter. Asked a car passing by for the closest town and best way to get there. Turns out that if we stayed on this dirt road for another 30 miles, we would reach the paved road that would take us another 30 miles to Cascade. Instead of turning around to go back to the first dock [to do what we were there to do!] we decided to fill up on gas at Cascade, then go fishing right there at Lake Cascade. This was the dirt road that we were originally supposed to take getting in – it was flatter and faster, but more round about from Boise.

Filled up the gas tank and launched the boat in Lake Cascade. We’ve been here before, and some of the things I remember are that my phone gets good reception, the grass grows tall in the water [lots of fishing lines getting stuck], and the water is really smooth for wake boarding.

We were ready to go, but…the boat engine would not start! [insert proper emoji here]

Then we went back home.

After this trip, we are going to make sure that we keep our gas tank full, carry a book map in case we get lost without reception, and to bring more than enough water.

Also, a future trip to Deadwood Reservoir will require more days than one to make the dirt driving worth it.


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Catch-Up Time

June was a whirlwind of a month! In the next few days, I will work on writing some catch-up entries. I just finished my 5th year of teaching and my second year at my new school. So far, it has been the place I’d like to be for the rest of my career: It’s two miles from home yet far enough away for me to walk anonymously in my own neighborhood, the staff is like family, and my administrator has been so positive and supportive with big-picture ideas and students’ best interests in mind.

The day after school finished with PD meetings and frantic cleaning of the home (seriously, no time to rest!), my parents flew in from New Jersey, then my Aunt and Uncle from Korea the next day, for our wedding. I was a little nervous about getting ready for the event because there is apparently a lot of things one must do to prepare, yet I didn’t feel like I did that much. Actually, most of what I had been planning on was the last-minute decorating of the cabin, which was 5 hours away. So, based on my experience, I have some good news for the low-maintenance bride on a budget, because it all turned out beautifully, and everyone was happy!

Anyway, since this is the Idaho blog, I need to mention our wedding location! Dan’s parents have been building a beautiful cabin at the top of a valley in Newdale, Idaho, which is about 10 minutes outside of Rexburg. His grandpa owned Green Canyon Hot Springs (first opened in 1903) at the bottom of that valley and the farmland around it, which has since been inherited and run by his Uncles. Dan grew up working at the hot springs during the summers. Below are some pictures of the area, with some of that last-minute decorating fun! After the wedding, the family joined weekly Sunday dinner at the Springs (closed on Sundays except for family), then visited Yellowstone, which is just an hour away. Dan and I parted from the group and commenced our road trip, which I will post about later.


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Lucky Peak Rooster

Now that we’ve taken our motorcycles out to Lucky Peak, I think I feel ready to commute to work on my Honda Nighthawk on a great weather day. On this trip, my heart wasn’t beating out of my chest, the big traffic light intersections felt okay, and I survived a big left-hand turn out of the park into busy and fast traffic [HWY 21]. We even had rain on the way home. I know it was just one experience, but Dan says that was probably the trickiest it can get for a motorcyclist and all I really want to be able to do is drive the 2 miles to work at 35 mph and save some gas.

Anyway, the reason for the trip was to see the Rooster Tail, which is currently spurting 1500-2500 cubit feet of water per second out of Lucky Peak Dam. It is supposed to relieve the river beds from the massive water pressure that has built up from last winter’s precipitation. The last time the rooster made its appearance was five years ago, so a ton of people were expected to come out and see it. Naturally, Dan wanted to take the bikes with hopes of finding an easy parking spot. Check out the pictures below, and see if you can find the cars in the background for scale!

Half of these photos were from my iPhone but now that we’re more committed to remembering our adventures, I am going to start getting back into photography with my SLR. I’m looking into getting a wide angle lens and finding quicker ways [a first world problem] to transfer to and edit on my computer.


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Sage Hen Reservoir

Idaho has over 7200 miles of groomed snowmobile trails and many of them are interconnected, making it possible to travel super long distances. We parked at the Wellington lot at Smiths Ferry, and our intention was to make it to Dry Buck Summit via this map saved on our phone. The trail itself offered many more roads and turns than the map indicated, so we got lost. Dan had a GPS to help us get back to the lot, and my mind was singing a song on repeat just in case: Right left right right, left right left left…. needless to say, we improvised our route and our trip turned into the 44-mile Sage Hen Reservoir Trip!

Aside from enjoying the views, I like to ponder the fresh footprints that we come across: lots of bunnies, someone must have already done this trip on an ATV – oh wait, were there 2 of them? because its tracks just split up. Or maybe it was just going back home. Human footprints and dog prints. People must have camped (in the winter?) and gone for a walk. Anyway, it was a refreshing and gorgeous experience.

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Burgdorf Hot Springs

Mesmerized by the roaring whites of the Payette River, we made it to McCall late in the morning and parked in the lot at the end of Warren Wagon Road. Burgdorf Hot Springs is only accessible by snow machine this time of year, so we packed our swim suits and towels and make the 22-mile trek to the springs. The path was mostly straight and smooth, and I made it up to 70mph on my machine.

The receptionist’s personality matched the charm of this historic venue, and Dan with his potty humor appreciated her joke referring to the several ‘outhouses’ that were available on site. Rode the 22 miles back and made it to the car just when it started to rain. We chased the river back home in the pouring rain feeling so warm and happy.

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