We stopped about 25 miles shy of the Wyoming border and set up camp at Paradise Reservoir in Irwin, Idaho, in the southeastern section of the state. It looked like a nice, quiet, open area to boon dock for a week. There were a couple of cars down by the water, and people were swimming, too. There were also a few RV’s dispersed under the trees farther away from the water. For the most part, it was pretty empty. It was mid week after all. We chose a spot about 200 yards from the water’s edge.
The weather had returned to the expected summertime temperatures in the mid-70’s to mid-80’s. Scott took a dip in the water while I took a walk around the sandy beach.
The next day, we got our bikes off the rack, and I took my first ride in about nine months. First, we crossed over the main road to a dirt road in a grassy field that led into the forest. There were HUNDREDS of grasshoppers jumping all over our legs as we pedaled through the bug-infested area. Scott found it very funny. I found it disgusting! We turned around and went back to the hard, sandy beach. At least there were no hopping creatures on the beach, but it was beginning to get quite hot again and no longer enjoyable.
We put away the bikes and switched over to our water toys. Down to the water we went with one kayak and one paddle board. The water was so refreshing! We were delighted to just sit and watch a very still white pelican as it watched for food, and bald eagles soaring overhead from one high branch to the next. There were a few human families also enjoying this delightful, summer day down by the water.
It was here that we noticed a sign that restricted camping more than five days.
As far as we knew, the general rule was a maximum 14-day stay on any National Forest Land. We soon learned that it had changed this summer due to Covid, in order to allow for the major increase in demand. Not only was the length of stay reduced from 14 to 5 consecutive days, but you also had to wait 30 days before returning to that particular camping area. This put a kink in our plans to meet my sister and her husband in Jackson Hole. We could not guarantee that we would find a place for our RV while they were visiting. Once again, we had to change our plans. We would begin our journey back up north and continue eastward.
The following morning, we drove east through Jackson and Grand Tetons National Park, north into Yellowstone National Park and east again into Cody, Wyoming. Finally, we headed north into Montana, stopping in the quiet town of Bridger for the night. We parked for free at Bridger City Park. There was space for about six RV’s. Across the yard, was a playground and town pool.
For $1, I was permitted to swim laps during the Adult Swim from 5 – 7 p.m. After about 45 minutes, I began wheezing and coughing. It was August 6th. I hadn’t had an asthma episode, or any illness of any kind, since March of 2020. Interesting.
On Saturday morning, we drove three hours north/northeast to Miles City. We had lunch with Scott’s nephew and his fiancée at Vintage Rustics, a local antique store known for its bizarre array of items for sale. It was wonderful to see the happy, young couple talk about their plans for their future. We are glad that we were able to spend that time with them.
Next stop, North Dakota!