Monday, July 14, 2014

Quirky, historic Idaho City ...

Slightly weird in Idaho City (Dar Hoch)
Fulltime RVer Thom Hoch, writing in RV Sabbatical Journal, talks about a recent meandering journey through historic Idaho City and the Boise Basin gold mining area.

Thom and, his wife, Dar, are traveling in their Four Wheel Camper and 2013 Ford F-350 SRW (6.2L gas, short box, 4wd).
RVers Thom & Dar Hoch are their traveling rig.
For this leg of their summer travels, they were exploring State Highway 21, primarily a two-lane highway from Boise to Stanley. This scenic route, also known as the Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway, is labeled on the maps with those little green dots and marked "May be closed in winter." (Not recommended for big rigs.)

About 38 miles off I-84 is Idaho City, the 'Queen of the Gold Camps,' sitting at an elevation of 3,907 feet. Portions of the ID-21 highway originated in the 1860s, as a toll road connecting Boise with the gold mining areas near Idaho City.

"Our first stop was the NFS ranger station in Idaho City for ideas and tips, followed by a light exploration of Idaho City itself," writes Thom Hoch. "They like to say it was once the largest town in Idaho … just after gold was discovered here in 1862. Everyone from miles around who had a notion that it might be pretty cool to get rich quick moved in. And a short time later pretty much all of them left again about as poor as they were when they arrived. Only a small handful of miners made any significant money… as well as the whores, gamblers, and purveyors of ardent spirits who found a motherlode of a different vein."

Idaho City cemetery. (Dar Hoch)
Continues Thom: "What remains today is an interesting mixture of the old and the new, dilapidated old historic buildings surrounded by a few rehab’d or new ones, modern day merchants mining tourists, a museum, self-guided tours, and an old pioneer cemetery atop a nearby hill. With a partner who’s into genealogy and looking for ancestors wherever she goes, you can guess where we spent a good chunk of time this morning."

After a late breakfast (and a wonderful piece of home-made pie for later) at a local diner called Trudy’s Kitchen, the Hochs were back on ID-21 heading east toward Lowman.

- Learn more about historic Idaho City by clicking here.
- To follow Thom and Dar's adventures, go to RV Sabbatical Journal
- To read additional articles about Thom and Dar Hoch in RVWheelLife, click here.
- To read more about the RV lifestyle by Julianne G. Crane, go to RVWheelLife.com.
Photos: (Courtesy of Dar Hoch).

Thursday, July 3, 2014

More great spots to RV from coast to coast

Looking for an interesting destination for your next RV trip? Fox News produced a list of its recommendations. We've checked them out, and brought in a few thoughts of our own.

Montana: Apgar Campground (Glacier National Park)

The largest campground in the park, it's a treed campground with shade and a bit of privacy. Don't miss the sunsets on nearby Lake McDonald. Check out horseback riding, boat rentals, and day hiking. Bus tours take you over the Going-to-the-Sun-Road without risking your rig!

Maine: Baxter State Park

Dana Moos on flickr.com
Here's a mountain-style trip for you. At the north end of the Appalachian Trail, you'll find plenty of wildlife watching to be done. Moose, black bear, and white-tail deer often can be seen from roadways during the summer months – yes, stay in the rig, you don't want any close encounters of the wildlife kind. Plenty of water too, with waterfalls to explore. Look for warm summer days, but be sure to dress warmly when you come for the fall foliage displays.

Jonas Lamis on flickr.com
Texas: Palo Duro Canyon

Hike or mountain bike? Enjoy outdoor musicals? Canyon exploration? Appreciate natural art? Here's what the painter Georgia O'Keefe had to say about the place: "It is a burning, seething cauldron, filled with dramatic light and color." RV and tent sites available.

Oregon: Nehalem Bay State Park

Endless beaches to explore. Build sand castles, fly kites, beach comb. Bring your bike for a trip along a nearly two-mile bike path and don't be surprised to spot elk, birds, even coyotes. Listen to the roar of the ocean from your RV.

Maryland: Assateague Island National Seashore

No hookups here, come prepared to dry camp. Hiking, swimming, fishing, and designated four-wheel drive tripping over some beach areas – bring your own rig. Crabbing or clam digging is close at hand.

For truly fresh seafood, try crabbing or clamming in the surrounding bays.

designatednaphour on flickr.com
South Dakota: Ingall's Homestead

Come on Paw, Maw, grab Laura, Mary, and Baby Carrie and let's check out the place made famous by Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House" books. Covered wagon rides, pioneering activities, and at the end of a strenuous day of "pioneering," retire to your comfortable RV with hookups available at the campground.

Arkansas: Crater of Diamonds State Park

Yep, you can look for your own diamonds while you're here. It's the only "open to the public" diamond-producing site in the world, offering a 37 ½ acre plowed field to dig around in. Don't have your own search equipment? You can rent it on site.

Florida and Mississippi: Gulf Islands National Seashore

Sparkling white beach sand. Historic fortifications. Nature trails. Primitive tent camping (by permit) on the islands, or bring your RV to Fort Pickins (in Florida) on a road trip. Swimming, snorkeling, and boating.

For Fox News article, click here.