We started the trip as we start all of our trips, pushing pavement in our trusty Mazda Tribute, Betty White, after the work week has ended. We were in in high spirits as we left the hustle of the city behind us and drove on into the desert of southwest Idaho. Driving through the Snake River Plain, we delighted at seeing hawks and ravens wheeling and hovering over the desert scrub brushes looking for their dinner while we flew by.
As we passed Pocatello in the dwindling sunlight, we had our first hints of the gorgeous sunset that was about to be on display for us, but it wasn’t until we were closer to Idaho Falls that we were given the biggest treat of that evening, with the sun invisible and a diffuse golden glow lighting the western horizon. Unfortunately we did not stop to get pictures of this view, as the urge to get to our normal camp spot as shortly after dark pulled us onward and into the mountains.
As we left the Interstate and followed the highways back to our turn off in Swan Valley the sun finally decided it was done with our part of the world and the stars began peeking out as darkness descended. We pushed our way towards Victor, eyes peeled at every turn looking for our pull off and any wildlife that we may encounter. Thankfully, the night ended uneventfully with us pulling off the highway onto a Forest Service road. Clearing out the back for the night, we enjoyed the fact that we weren’t fully loaded for one of our long trips, with just the cooler, a tote, a bag of clothes and the dog stuff to deal with. We quickly piled it all in the front seats and set up the bed under a dark sky full of stars and the hint of the Milky Way.