Nature’s Capriciousness in Idaho – Streams, Mountains and Storms!

June 2022 – Our western states RV trip delivered us to Idaho right in the heart of the bustling city of Idaho Falls, and even though we had plans for quieter adventures further north in the state, we hung around the city for a while enjoying the River Walk.

Idaho RV trip - Meandering at a slow pace

.

We savored the scenery each time we strolled the paths, but the only thing our pup, Buddy, ever noticed was the big population of squirrels that scampered up and down the tree trunks.

Puppy looking up into a tree

“Hey! Come back down here!”

The squirrels taunted him mercilessly, chirping at him from safety high up in the branches.

Idaho Falls Squirrel

“You’ll never catch me!”

He wanted to catch a squirrel so badly, but they were just out of reach!

Puppy jumps up tree trunk chasing squirrel

Almost…but not quite!

From Idaho Falls, we wandered northwards towards Salmon for a while, keeping an eye out for an easy-in / easy-out gas station where we could fill the gas tank on the toy hauler (which gives us gas for both the RZR and the generator while we’re camping).

Filling up the toy hauler with gas requires pulling the trailer very far forward at the pumps because the gas cap is at the far back end of the trailer. End-to-end, our truck and trailer combo is about 50 feet long, and not that many gas stations have sufficient open space at the end of the pumps for a vehicle to stick out 50 feet!

Mark looked at a few city gas stations in Idaho Falls and decided they were all a bit too busy and too tight. We’d end up blocking traffic in the whole gas station while we filled up!

Luckily, as we traveled through the countryside, we found a gas station with no other customers, no overhangs to hit with our tall rig, endless room in front of the rig to pull forward, and a cute store to boot.

Fueling up the RV in rural Idaho

Plenty of room to fuel up the toy hauler!

Puppy by the store door in rural Idaho

.

Inside the store were the usual gas station goodies, but they also had lots of small animal pelts like foxes and an antique sewing machine!

Small animal pelts and an antique sewing machine

Inside the store: Interesting small mammal pelts and an old sewing machine too!

We strolled the back streets of town for a while and spotted a pretty church framed by snow covered mountain peaks. Classic!

St. Joseph's Catholic Church in eastern Idaho

Right out of a picture book!

Later, we played with some of our images of that church and made one look like the photo was taken a long time ago.

Old time church in Idaho

Perhaps this church looked like this way back when…

That was pretty cool, so we did it to another photo of the long defunct “Bit & Spur Grocery Store.”

This is just a matter of applying Sepia tones to the image but the effect is great… Perhaps a little crinkling across the image from the photo being folded and maybe a handwritten note with a date like 1885 would help cement it as an authentic antiquity, although Buddy would have to ditch his harness and I’d need to don a long dress and a hat!

Old time look at a store in rural Idaho

Bit & Spur Groceries!

We carried on with our journey, and as we rolled slowly down the road, we just loved the views. This was ATV / UTV country and we rode around on the RZR looking for photo ops. There were plenty!

ATV riders with mountain backdrop in Idaho

Open country backed by snowcapped mountains – ideal for an ATV / UTV ride!

A rocky creek sparkled in the sunlight.

Rushing water in an Idaho creek with mountains

.

This was the perfect spot to play with smoothing out the rushing whitewater by keeping the camera shutter open extra long on a tripod (about 1/6 to 1/15 of a second). With moving water like this, you could take a dozen photos of each scene and every one would be different because flowing water makes constantly changing patterns!

Babbling brook with snocapped mountain Idaho

.

Water rushing in a stream in Idaho mountains

.

White water stream with mountains in Idaho

.

When I wrote an article about Idaho for Highways Magazine many years ago, the editor titled it “America’s Alps,” which was very apt because the snowy peaks are certainly reminiscent of their European counterparts! Mark grabbed a plastic stool and his guitar, and as he played for Buddy and me, the scene was right out of the Sound of Music!

Singing sweet songs in America’s Alps.

A crown of soft clouds began to form around a mountain peak, and we fully expected to see Julie Andrews come pirouetting down the hillside, arms flung wide with radiant joy as she sang her heart out.

Snowcapped mountain in Idaho

A mountain peak was suddenly wrapped in a veil of clouds.

Instead of suddenly seeing an ebullient Julie Andrews dancing down the mountainside, we noticed that storm clouds were beginning to fill the sky.

The weather forecast had called for a big storm to come sweeping through with a 70% to 90% chance of rain for two days and a night. We’d already experienced mornings in the 30s and afternoons in the 90s in our short time in Idaho, and one of the locals we met had jokingly told us that Idaho is bipolar when it comes to weather.

Were these clouds the beginning of the expected tempest?

Gathering storm in Idaho

A gathering storm!

We decided to go for a walk, kind of storm chasing in a way, but on foot. Suddenly, Mark said, “Look at that cloud over there!” A huge black cloud was bearing down on the valley and traveling at a good clip. The odd (and beautiful) thing was that the sun was still out in patches here and there.

Storm clouds over river in Idaho

Yikes! Check that out!

We ran for cover, collecting a few shots of the wild skies (and fast puppies) on the way.

Puppy runs at top speed

.

The wind was whipping like crazy, but there was no rain yet, and the menacing skies changed minute by minute as the clouds unleashed a thick veil of rain and snow on the mountains.

Summer rainstorm in Idaho

A distant tempest.

Storm clouds in the Idaho mountains

.

The big black cloud began to rumble. Despite its threatening noises, however, there were bits of blue sky and sunshine here and there. Suddenly, a rainbow appeared.

Puppy sees rainbow from RV window

A rainbow!

We ran out again, cameras in hand. All around, the billowing clouds seethed and frothed, from low down on the ground to high up in the sky. It was spectacular — and there wasn’t a drop of rain in the sunny spot where we stood!

Sun lights up storm clouds in Idaho

Wow!

Storm clouds sweep through Idaho valley

.

And then, as quickly as this summer storm came, it disappeared down the valley, leaving blue sky and receding clouds in its wake.

Bipolar, indeed!

Sunburst in Idaho storm over river

The storm passes and leaves sunshine and blue skies behind.

Later, as the sun set, memories of the afternoon drama were still visible in the sky. We were treated to shades of orange and black followed by soft tones of peach and gray.

Sunset begins after a storm in Idaho

Vestiges of the afternoon squall.

Idaho sunset seen from an RV

.

This was one of those beautiful occasions where the adventure came to us. We weren’t out sightseeing or looking to discover new things. Instead, Nature dropped in on us and treated us to a thrilling show of roiling clouds battling with rays of sunshine.

This big “two day” storm blew through in an hour or two and eventually misted us with a fine spray that lasted all of 90 seconds! But the spectacle left us totally wide-eyed with wonder!.

Tail end of summer storm and sunset in Idaho

A faint pink flame crosses the sky.

Subscribe
Never miss a post — it’s free!

Other blog posts from our travels in Idaho:

Our most recent posts:

More of our Latest Posts are in the MENU.   New to this site? Visit RVers Start Here to find where we keep all the good stuff and check out our GEAR STORE!!

<-Previous || Next->

16 thoughts on “Nature’s Capriciousness in Idaho – Streams, Mountains and Storms!

  1. Just beautiful imagery! Takes me back to just traveling at leisure from one place to another. Thanks for sharing your adventures and pictures. I am glad to see Buddy doing well! (And you two also, of course)

  2. What a poetic experience….the beauty of nature – at it’s simplest ! Thanks for making the “every-day”- exceptional….

    • It was amazing how an ordinary day (in a beautiful place) became truly extraordinary when the clouds and sun began to play with each other, each one becoming a little more intense as the minutes passed! We are truly blessed to be able to experience this and share it too.

  3. Simply fantastic photos and writing! Your blog has been and continues to be an inspiration for our own Snowbird adventures which we started last winter. Great to leave the Canadian winters for scenery in the heart of Texas and other places South. Can’t wait for December to arrive to start again!
    Thanks again, all the best to the three of you!

    • Thank YOU, Leonard, for appreciating our various postings. We know exactly how you feel about December…we were chomping at the bit from March through May as we raced to get ourselves, our home and the rig ready for a summer adventure. Enjoy Texas and all the beautiful points in between!

    • We loved taking those pics and wandering around staring at the sky for an hour. What a great life! The photo of Buddy was Mark’s image and he caught it just right. We both take tons of pics of Puppy Chow showing off how fast he is, but it’s rare to catch him all stretched out, four paws in the air, with a shadow underneath!

  4. The place is beautiful, peaceful, scenic and not crowded – very secluded!! Now that’s my favorite kind of place to be!! Thanks for the relaxing vibes! 🙂

  5. Absolutely love the pics in this post! And Buddy never disappoints- being the miracle pup he is! The squirrel and tree pics reminded me of a dog we were dog sitting a few months ago. He really hated those squirrels and they would come down the tree taunting him. I got a couple of videos of the situation.

    I really enjoyed the church pics too!

    • Thanks, Janet! I think animals love to play and they love to tease each other. We have two ravens that hang around our yard, and they dive bomb Buddy and he chases them like crazy. We also saw the most classic Wily Coyote / Roadrunner game one day when a roadrunner stood in our yard turning this way and that while looking at Buddy as if to say, “Come get me!” Buddy crept towards him, crouched low, convinced he was going to get him, and at the last second when Buddy sprinted, the roadrunner took off. I wish I’d caught that on video, it was hilarious! Please say “Hi” to Steve for us!

Comments:

Your email address will not be published.