Idaho Exploration

Idaho Exploration

July 24, 2019 2 By Ciara Groesbeck

I recently went to Idaho and explored the most beautiful parts (in my opinion).

I want to share with you, but first I will admit I was hesitant to write this article. Why– you may ask? Well, because these areas are under-explored, hidden gems and I want to keep it that way for the sake of the adventurists out there.

What I will share are some amazing pictures I was able to capture and the importance of spending time with the ones you love; in this case, my brother and my mom.

First, let’s set the scene.

A Few Months Ago…

My mom asked me if I would like to go to Idaho (my brother lives in Idaho). My initial thought? Yes, but not without my boys. Some may say I am completely and utterly obsessed with my dogs, Boone and Crockett– and they are beyond right.

After weeks of trying to figure out how I could just drive to Idaho so the boys could tag along, it was decided that Erik was going to watch them. I was searching for every excuse to bail– too much pressure on Erik, the dogs would miss me too much (which was true), and the list goes on.

Ultimately, missing my brother far outweighed the wimpy excuses I had drummed up and off we went– just my mom and I.

From Boston to ….

Our destination took 9 hours by plane and 6 by car. It was a long day, but it was so nice to see my brother’s face through the window at the airport (he reportedly teared up a bit– so yes, he is the sensitive one).

Many winding roads and lots of laughter later, we arrived at a beautiful lake where my eyes immediately scanned for dogs in the parking lot. If you know me, then of course I found some and shared a kiss or two with the most adorable border collies. Sad to see them go, but the views of the lake were spectacular and so welcomed after a long day of travel.

We cruised through the small town, then found our home for the next few days; an utterly adorable (and brand new) tiny home! It was nestled next to the river with beautiful views of cows and antelopes to one side and mountains and horses to the other.

It was well past 9 PM when the sun started to settle into the hills, slowly shutting the lights off on this side of the world for the night.

We were in bed, happy as can be, dreaming of the next day’s adventure.

Up Early and Out the Door…

But first, we enjoyed the sunrise as it gleamed against the water and lit up the mountainous backdrop. Breakfast consisted of a tofu scramble, toast with pb and banana and the biggest smile.

What a lovely place to wake up to. These were my thoughts for the remaining mornings spent here as well.

Today was going to be our big hike and I was excited! The trail was smooth and my constant thought was “I could totally run this”. The weather was a perfect sun-ful day and I took pictures every 5 seconds.

We ran into lovely people with lovely dogs (I only got kisses from one adorable bernadoodle, though). The switchbacks were welcome as the whole hike was open, and you could see for miles.

It was only a few miles in when we came to our first destination; a beautiful blue-green lake and not a soul in sight. I propped myself into a tree and gazed at the surrounding mountain-tops. On to the next lake we go!

This was quite a different destination for me– as I was used to mountain tops. After experiencing hiking to an alpine lake, I can easily say I have room in my heart for both. The glacier water so blue it looks fake, keeping my gaze for quite some time.

After sunbathing on a rock, eating all of our snacks and taking pictures with the self-timer (running through slippery snow as well!) we started our descent.

Our tummies grumbling all the way home.

Another Adventure Awaits

Deciding to go on a shorter and lesser known hike this day, we packed our bags (snacks and books being the main priority) and drove.

We decided to stop along the way to visit some more beautiful lakes. Lakes being the destination here made sense, they were serene– the clearest, calmest waters I have ever experienced.

My brother would fish and my mom and I, we would read, take pictures and chit-chat.

After crawling over the forest roads, we pulled into the parking lot where it seemed we were the only ones adventuring today. We walked over this single track dirt path as if it had been swept, just for us (yes, it was that clean).

We laughed, snacked on oranges and waited for my brother to call it quits with fishing (he was 0-5 at this point in our trip).

We frolicked back to the car in search of more adventure.

Every 2 Miles or So..

We would pull to the side of the road where my brother would jump out like a little kid again, running, fishing rod in hand.

After many stop and go’s, we landed a promising spot. My brother in his glory, while my mom and I put our faces to the sun and embraced the peacefulness that surrounded us. The sun was warm, but the water frigid and every paddleboarder that cruised by was brave (and balanced) to say the least!

He caught a fish!

Back to our Tiny Home…

For one more night. This place was magical, seemingly bringing the most outdoorsy people together. We played with the camp-ground pup, Tyson (the most adorable chocolate lab) and cuddled up on the couch under the canopy.

We sat here until dusk (around 10PM-ish) and then made our way inside for sleepy time. The evening’s lullaby was brought to us by the not so distant fireworks. They may have been loud, but they didn’t put a damper on our sleep what-so-ever.

You Have a Special Place in My Heart; Idaho

Maybe Idaho is special because the mountains are grand, the canola fields impossibly yellow and the speed limits high (love this!), or maybe it is special because I was able to experience it with the two people most dear to me.

Every time I travel, I get this sense of rejuvenation– seeing and doing new things will do that.

Those times in nature, on the windy roads going over passes and the many laughs shared (mainly picking on my mom) made the time spent in and around an airport totally worth it.

The boys were in such good hands, I hardly think they noticed I was gone (they only mauled me with kisses and wouldn’t leave my side the entire day). For that, I owe Erik a huge thank you– this made my trip so much more relaxed and enjoyable.

Idaho, I will be back and the boys are coming along next time.

Until then, Happy trails.

–Ciara (in spirit, Boone & Crockett)