Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Iron Creek Camping in Stanley Idaho - Day One

Last Thursday after work Raisin, Jay and I drove up to Stanley, Idaho to set up camp at Iron Creek Campground (a mere two or three miles from town).  The campground is very small (only 8 official campsites) but several of them you can pull through vs. backing up into.  Since the dogs are not very good with providing help in this area I knew I was on my own so camp site #4 was perfect for me to drive right into.  I had been suffering with an awful sinusitis all week long which forced me back to the doctors and was pretty tired and worn out when I arrived (it's about a three hour drive from Boise) but with the sun quickly setting there was no time for me to rest.

It usually takes me about an hour to set everything up when I am alone right down to the chairs by the fire and the dog's black bowl filled with water.  Once I was set up I slipped on an additional layer of warm clothing (including gloves and a ski hat) and took the dogs for a brisk evening stroll.  The dogs and I quickly discovered that we were not only completely alone in the first come-first serve campground but there was also not anyone even parked at the Iron Creek trail-head which is immensely popular.

Our first evening was not just chilly but downright cold.  I built a quick fire, made a very fast dinner and relaxed briefly before the dogs and I headed into the tent trailer for the night.  Naturally the dogs awoke me at 6 a.m. (just like work days at home) to potty.  I was stunned to see how dark the camp ground was (the moon was even hiding) but the sky was filled with millions of stars.  It was breathtaking but painfully cold.  I am never fearful with the dogs with me but I did have this uncomfortable feeling while we were out in the complete darkness.  I had on my headlamp (which was rather dim) and wondered how scared I would be if I discovered eyes peering back at me in the darkness.  Raisin and Jay's glowed eerily and my imagination had me worried about what else might be looking my direction.  The dogs did their business and then we zipped back into the tent trailer and into our respective sleeping bags and dog beds for another hour or two. 

We did see deer and grouse on Thursday night in the campground.  And although there was a complete lack of humans there were also small birds and critters galore.  I love the peace and serenity of an empty campground.  With the stream running right through the camp ground the setting is very relaxing and beautiful. 

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