Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Massacre Rocks State Park/ Hiking the OR Trail, #WYFF

For photos of the camping sites see this post. There are tent sites, pull through sites and back in sites. All RV sites were full hook ups. It cost us $32 (camping fee, park entrance fee and taxes).  The park is right near a rest area and is outside of American Falls, ID.  Here is the Official ID website for the park. We saw several sites where we would fit with a 38 Foot Class A and a toad. 

DSCN6343 devilsgateidaho e
Decumanus at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

This is a fascinating park. It's named for these big formations on the banks of the Snake River in Idaho.  We discovered three names for the boulders - Massacre Rocks, Devil's Gate and Gate of Death. The area was widened for the freeway to go through.  At the time of the Oregon Trail - one wagon could go through this pass at a time.  This is the site of  massacres by the Shoshoni in 1851 and 1862.

Wagon trains stopped in the area and camped for the night. It's fairly easy to find wagon ruts still left from those times. Many carved their names and dates on Register Rock as they camped in the area. 

We began our explorations at the Visitor Center. There are some stories from the area, a couple of displays and diaries to look at. They also have a small bookstore. 

We left the Visitor Center armed with new information, maps and directions from the friendly clerk.  We headed out to hike along the Oregon/California trail. It was beautiful and brought history alive. 
Stacia, Nolan, Alex & Michael at the Snake River

 At this point I was told, "You take photos of the flowers, we're going to find the Oregon Trail." 

 These are some of many wagon ruts left from the migration west. 

Confirmation we found the right trail....

Allowing people to hike the ruts, does keep them well-defined.

We were happy to complete the hike and find Nimo waiting for us. 

Stacia really wanted to swim in the river. She asked at the Visitor Center and was told, "The water is 48* degree. Each year we lose people who jump in and die within minutes due to hypothermia."

She replied, "So that means no?" 😯

The lady relented and told her it WOULD be o.k. to hike the trail to the dock and dip her toes into the Snake River. That is just what we did on our way back from the Oregon/California trail.


Look how red his feet are! 
 We hadn't remembered our water bottles, and two of us hiked in Crocs with no socks....but we had fun and made memories. 

We headed back to our campsite for dinner. We saved Register Rock for tomorrow morning. 

Michael spent time editing a paper for Krista on Women in Leadership. I need to read that paper.  I went for an evening  walk with Yuuki. The  kids enjoyed their screens. 😯

Uchi seen from down the bank.

Eventually, I would down around the river. Yuuki chased a couple of ducks and thought it was great fun. There were hundreds of swallows flying around.....

They were flying back to holes in the side of this bluff

 Michael was done with the paper when I got back to Uchi. He and the kids came down to watch the fish jump and swallows fly.

  #WYFF are weekly snapshots of where we are - and I know it's NOT Friday, but since we're usually not having fun on Friday, I'm going to start using a bit of creative license. I can't imagine anything better that this day. 

Loving Well & Travels

The previous evening was spent at Walmart - jacks up/slides in/ Nimo hooked up - at 0300, when Michael couldn't sleep, he started the engine and headed down the road.  This was the first time we did this....and it perplexed me......

I expected kids to fly out of the bunks at any moment

I cuddled up with the printer and tried to sleep. It was COLD, and noisy and smelly....and two hours later, I realized the window was open. Things were much better once it was closed. 

Beautiful views today on Hwy 30 and I 84  or 86...not sure WHERE we are

We stopped for breakfast around 0700

At 0830 we pulled over at Cokeville, WY and Michael slept a couple of hours. I contemplated driving on, but I knew he would rest better, if I didn't drive. 😏😏😏

 While he napped, I took Yuuki for a walk. This farm was for sale. It was listed as "commercial property." A light-bulb went off and I spent the rest of the drive searching for commercial property in the Matsu Valley. Hoping to find a small farm or ranch or something.....figure commercial property won't have restrictions about how many buildings we put on the property.

These three were eventually lured from the RV and joined me to explore.  

WOW. I figured out the early start when we pulled into Massacre Rock State Park. This man loves me well. I've long been fascinated by the Oregon Trail. On our way to CO we stopped at a rest area that had a display of local state parks and historical sites. I commented it would be fun to stay and explore the area. I had no idea that one comment, two weeks early, would prompt an 0300 start on the trip back. We spent the afternoon and evening hiking the OR trail, enjoying the lovely park mid-week, dipping our feet in the Snake River and exploring Register Rock and the park around it. Ladies, I didn't nag, I didn't "remind" him, he just remembered the comment and made it happen. Yes, he loves me well and my heart trusts in him.  
Site 41 and Massacre Rock State Park 
 I struck up a rapport with the clerk in the visitor center. She picked the site for us - it was the BEST. It was the closest to the river, had a trail to the fishing dock and great views!
View from my windshield

View from the Kitchen Window
I was immediately drawn to the remains of this house....remote and inaccessible by road.
River Joe Winter's home

This was a great site! I could have happily stayed here quite a bit longer. There is much to explore.

I found out the story at the Visitor Center. River Joe Winter built his home across the river in the 1936. For 25 years he hiked to the top of the bluffs to watch for fires. In the summer, he'd row across the river to get to land and then ride to town. In the winter he came across the Snake River on a sled he made with 12 foot runners. He had two barrels attached....if the ice broke he could float across. He was 82 years old when he died.

Our plan on this trip is to plan meals  I can fix "on the way." I had hoped for slow cooking - but Michael was happier with pressure cooker meals - to avoid running the generator all day. We have one 110 outlet that works as we drive, but nowhere to secure the pot near the outlet. He suggested we turn the generator on an hour before we stopped for the day, I'll pop food in the Instant Pot, and we'll drive the last bit with the generator running.  Dinner should  be ready when we stop and are set up.   We arrived at 1:00 p.m. - but I was able to get dinner in the pot before we left to hike and explore.  We'll keep playing with this.