Although it was tempting to stay in Lava Hot Springs for say - the rest of our lives - we finally pulled ourselves away in the early afternoon.
Soda Springs was our next destination - it was the next town up - 21 miles - and they do boast about a geyser. Sure - a geyser - we could see a geyser.
More amazing scenery along the way. This area is really blowing our minds. We are so glad that we are in time to see all of the fall colours.
I'm not sure if I have mentioned yet that this is the earliest we have been on the road - last year we didn't enter the USA until Oct.21 and the year before that was Oct. 14. We are quite enjoying taking our time through this northern section - usually we have the snow biting at our heels.
Sorry, the picture is a bit blurry - that happens at 65 miles an hour out of the window.
At first the road winds up and is fairly steep but the reward is coming down into this huge valley - full of large farms. We really loved it through here - we could live here.
You can see the highway on the left - nice, straight and flat along the valley floor.
Then we came upon a large body of water. Funny - just as we were wishing and hoping for a pull out there was one.
Turns out that this is the Alexander Reservoir and we are now comfortably parked at the Oregon Trail & Maria Park. We made ourselves at home here for the rest of the day. For the first hour or so we sat on the dock. A perfectly hot day to sit back and do nothing.
Why not get a little tanning in prior to our arrival into Mexico. Of course it turns out that Derek got a bit too much sun - his tomato coloured skin is now a reddish brown.
There was a little playground - this is a nice rest area but it must not be used much and isn't really maintained. Sad.
Cassia was on it just long enough for me to take a picture of the bee on the thistle flower.
After dinner we decided to wait to see the sunset. So - what does the Wood Clan do to entertain themselves - why see how high we can throw Cas's flip flops of course. Much fun.
It took awhile but the sun finally sunk down into the valley. Nice.
Since there was a 'no parking overnight' sign at the Park we decided to carry on to Soda Springs for some stealth camping. We're not sure if it would have been checked but we didn't want to risk it. On our way in we stopped off to see the Geyser even though it was almost dark.
A path up to the viewing platform.
We didn't realize until now that we made it just in time, the geyser only goes off on the hour. We'll come back in the morning.
Morning! We spent the night not too far from the geyser by the field area with - not one but two playgrounds. In the morning Cassia went to the playground only to find it still cold and wet. On our way back to the van I took a picture of the Dinkey Engine.
And a view of the old part of Soda Springs.
Funny thing. When we were just leaving the van to head to the geyser a State Police truck pulled up. Guess who? Yup - State Trooper Tom from Pocatello pulled up along side us. Yup - he thought that we may have broken down again - nope - just taking it slow.
Nice to see him again - thanks Tom - take care!
After breakfast and our quick tour we headed back to the geyser for the 10:00 am showing.
Some pictures while waiting for it to blow.
I'm on the viewing platform - you can see Derek, Cassia and Rufus on the left under the rainbow.
There is a ton of history in this area - much related to the Oregon Trail. To know me is to know that I love all things Oregon Trail - I have read many books about the move east across the states. Endlessly fascinating. You can read more about the Oregon Trail-Bear Lake Scenic Byway at this link.
And the Pioneer Historic Byway.
While at the Geyser we noticed that the Visitor Center beside it had a water faucet - while Derek was filling up our holding tank with much needed water, I went inside for some info. The Soda Springs brochure put us onto Hooper Spring Park a short distance from town. Off we went with the promise of free spring water and what - yup - another playground.
The natural spring water - we took a jug with us - ok - tasted - ok….
Lots of minerals though.
Across from the park you can see the Monsanto Slag Pour. The Company has been producing elemental phosphorus here since 1953.
A great park - we ended up spending the day here.
One of the more interesting ways we've seen to get up to the slide.
With the lovely grounds, beautiful weather, playground, restrooms and electricity we enjoyed our day there only leaving after dinner around 5:30pm.
The plan was to overnight in Montpelier.
We stopped at the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center (which I would LOVE to visit one day - but not this year) hoping to stealth camp there with wifi. But with 'no overnight camping' signs everywhere and no wifi we carried on - but first we dumped our tanks. Good to know if you are through this way - the Center has an RV Dump.
In the end we traveled quite far along Bear Lake to find an overnight spot - all the way into Utah actually - who knew that it was a resort area!!? Not us.
Thankfully we found a nice rest area just as it was becoming very dark. LOVE when that happens.