Day 11 – Idaho Falls

This morning I slept in because it was all wet outside. In the late morning it finally cleared up a bit for breakfast and we could dry the tent before heading on. We went to two more lava tube caves which were not that great compared to the ones in Lava Beds NM. We then continued East and came through Arco. This town was the first town that was powered by a nuclear power plant. Here, people still know what freedom means. In a small park they have the tower of a nuclear submarine. And a Trupack demonstrator! I only know these cans from the parking lit at the WIPP site and it was really funny seeing one up there in the middle of Idaho. At the local’s diner (Pickle’s place) we had a fried pickle (of course) and an atomic burger. While crossing Idaho National Lab we stopped by at the first nuclear power plan for electricity (EBR1 – Experimental Breader Reactor 1). Unfortunately, we visited too late in the year so the reactor was already closed for the season. In the parking lot there were two prototype reactors for airplane turbines. I am not sure what drugs people were taking back in the days to get the idea of propelling an airplane with a nuclear reactor. In Idaho Falls we wanted to stroll through downtown after checking in to our motel. Unfortunately, downtown was closed by the police who reacted on a bomb thread. No downtown Idaho Falls for us. All we could visit were the falls which was also nice.

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Day 10 – Craters of the Moon

In the morning it cleared a little bit (it stopped raining) and we could see a tiny bit of the mountains. However, it was too wet for us to go hiking so we decided to drive on to Craters of the Moon National Monument. Once we got there it was already sunny in patches so we decided to pitch the tent first and explore later. Craters of the Moon in another gigantic lava field with volcanoes and more lava flow tubes. We hiked one really nice flow tube and ‘climbed’ a cinder cone. In the evening it was warm and sunny and did not start raining until we already had gone to bed. But then it started pouring down with thunderstorms.


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Day 9 – Sun Valley

We left Boise and drove into the mountains. We stopped in Idaho city which is a semi-ghost town. It has a bunch of old Wester time houses and a visitor information with a grumpy lady. And a sweet store. We drove on and soaked in some hot springs along the way. We also saw some colored birch trees – the first signs of fall and winter. Unfortunately, the weather got bad and I had to finish the proposal so we decided against camping (which was very sad because the Sawtooth range offers a great scenery). So we ended at the Best Western Tyrolean Lodge in Austrian style. We had dinner camping style, at least.

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Day 8 – Idaho

After all the resting it was time for a day on the road. We left Bend Eastwards. This was a sad moment because we left the West Coast for good for now. We have been living on the West Coast for a long time and had lots of good memories. East of Bend it first is pretty flat before it gets a little bit hilly towards the Idaho border. We stopped at a small diner in Vale for a late lunch (at 5pm Mountain time) before continuing all the way to Boise. Since I had to work on the proposal again we did not visit downtown Boise.

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Rest day (day 7)

After all this driving we decided to have a rest day in Bend (also because Bend is really pretty and because I had to work on a proposal). Our accommodation belongs to ‘The Mill Inn Bed and Breakfast’ and we were invited over for breakfast. It was delicious with toast, eggs, omelet, and waffles. It was so good we actually moved in to the Mill Inn. In the morning we enjoyed the sun at a state park. After lunch it got busy and a group of teenagers showed up for a party. Since we did not feel like partying with those kids we went to the old mill district. It was funny to see all the people float on the river which runs through Bend. Later, I got at least some work done…

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