Bend OR and Boise ID

Tuesday we got ready and then departed for the 90ish mile drive to Bend OR for a 2 night stay at the Elks Lodge. We were out of the park about 1000 and headed east on US-20. Several folks we’ve seen in the past couple of weeks cautioned us that this road was “terrible” and “not RV worthy”…with the first 35 miles east of Sweet Home supposedly being the worst.

Yeah…it had some curves as it was along the river…and yes it had a mountain pass…but it was only 6% max grade and ol’ Big Red only made it below 45 on a couple of uphill sections and even then only down to 42 or so. Mostly we were in the high 40s to low 50s speed wise and that was driven by the curves and not the grades. We’ve learned that…as opposed to being in a car…when you are pulling the rig the advertised yellow sign speed is usually just about the right speed to go. Connie followed Neil and we only had to pull over into the slow vehicle turnout once…we arrived at the Elks Lodge about noontime and quickly got settled into site 3…a very nice back in with 50 amp power but no water or sewer…since we only had 2 nights Neil just put 65 gallons of fresh into our tank before we left Sweet Home.

We had a cocktail…or two or three…three I think it was…at the lodge bar then went home and had a pot pie for dinner. Our original plan was to visit a couple of walkable to breweries on Wednesday…but Connie wasn’t feeling very well so we shook up the jello and decided to just stay home. She still wasn’t feeling well by evening so we just had some cheese pasta with butter and Parmesan on it for dinner.

Thursday…we had a 320 mile drive…and also would be losing an hour as we went into Mountain Time…and needed to get to our next destination at Gowen Field Fam Camp by 1630 so we could get the key to the utility box from the billeting office. So…we started underway preps at 0700 and were out of the Elks Lodge parking lot by 0805. The first couple of hours were nice…no traffic…but by 1000 the idiots were out in force zipping around you and cutting you off. Roadwise…it was a 2 lane road that was alternately dead straight and curvy through the mountains alongside the river. A couple of minor passes…with passing lanes for faster vehicles…the curved sections were actually worse than the drive from Sweet Home to Bend a couple days earlier but still not that bad at all.

We did stop for one drive by Fun Stuff© on the way…a stop at Malheur Butte…a 25 million year old small volcano alongside what used to be Lake Idaho in eastern OR. It ain’t much…but it was the only thing we saw. It sticks up about 500 feet above the surrounding plains…but really not any more than the other nearby ridges.

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We headed out to a local pizza and brews place for dinner…food was decent but not great…it was something called a Detroit style pizza…that means they take the dough, put the meat and toppings part on it and then the cheese then bake it. The marinara sauce is then added on top of the cooked pizza. Strange…but not bad.

Friday morning we headed out for a tour of the state capitol and lunch downtown.

The capitol building itself

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Center dome.

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Dome in the House chamber.

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Pano shots of the House and Senate chambers.

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Next…we headed off to Bittercreek Ale House for lunch…you can’t see it on the shot below but the glasses say “Good Beer”. Both of the adults had a glass of Blackberry Boom from Meriweather Cider Company located in Idaho. It was really great…Connie had a Caesar salad and cup of Loaded Potato Soup and Neil a cheeseburger…all of the food was likewise really good.

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After that we headed home…and I think we have nothing else to do here in Boise. We’ll do Mass and laundry tomorrow on Saturday but other than that will just laze around…Neil might crawl on the roof early to clean out the coils on the living room A/C unit to help improve its efficiency. Sunday we’ll head to Idaho Falls…with a brief stop at Craters of the Moon National Monument to see the movie and get our National Park Passport stamped. We’ll be in Idaho Falls…where we were 40odd years ago in the fall and winter of 1977/78 while Neil was at the nuclear power prototype in nearby Arco. After a 3 night stay there…we’ll head to West Yellowstone MT for an overnight stop then we’ll skip Yellowstone National Park this time…it’s the middle of July and 250,000 of our closest friends will be there…we’ll head north to I-90, around the park, then back south to Cody WY where we’ll be for 5 nights.

Interesting stuff found on the net.

Only people alive in the ‘60s will likely get this one.


Is this a big ol’ space lobstah eating a planet…or just a regular ol’ lobstah sitting in a bucket? Credit for it goes to and thence to the reddit user who originally posted it.


Only old people will understand this one…well, not old people actually as old is completely and unequivocally a state of mind…unfortunately one’s body doesn’t really hold up it’s end. Neil stopped at 12…bodily fluid jokes there are still funny at that age…but the ol’ body needs to do its part as well.


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About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
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