From Salt Lake City we got an early start and headed north toward Stanley, Idaho a good 6 hours away. We stopped in Twin Falls, ID to see the Niagara Falls of the west, Shoshone Falls, on the Snake River. With the water up so high from the above average snow fall in the mountains the falls were amazing. What a sight to behold thundering over the chasm splashing up with a mist that rained down on us from far away.
Traveling north from Twin Falls we passed over the saw tooth mountain range via the Galena summit road and down into the rugged mountain town of Stanley, Idaho. All along the way we were amazed at the rugged beauty of this part of Idaho with the Salmon River running close to the road on the back side of the pass.
We set up camp at the Elk Mountain RV resort and prepared for a cold night. It got down to the lower thirties which is common in this area as it sets many of the coldest temperature night minimums in the United States during the summer and winter.
Today is my 61st birthday and we celebrated by visiting the beautiful Red Fish Lake area. We stopped in the lodge and marveled at the views of the lake with the mountains in the background. This is one spot we will definitely go back to and spend more time one year.
In the afternoon we visited the ghost town of Custer, ID, an old gold mining town from the turn of last century. It was great fun looking in the old buildings as many have been restored and tastefully preserved to show what life was like back in those times.
We finished the day by breaking camp and traveling down to Challis, ID to the lovely Challis hot springs to set up camp and soak for the night. Challis hot springs was a surprise for us as we had just read about it while having breakfast in Stanley that morning. When we arrived we found a place that was like right out of a story book. Our campsite was right on the banks of the Salmon River with the hot springs set into a background of mountains making for a view that was breath taking. The springs and grounds were passed down from the same family for 4 generations complete with a bed and breakfast. It was just the kind of place that made my birthday come to a great ending with a smile on my face.
Today is our 18th wedding anniversary. We celebrated by soaking during the morning at Challis Hot Springs. In the afternoon we traveled north along the scenic drive from Challis, ID to Hamilton, MT passing along the Salmon and Bitterroot rivers. We arrived in Montana via the Lost Trail Pass which still had large snow drifts piled up on the sides of the road unusual for this time of year.
We stopped in Hamilton, MT at the Anglers Roost Resort right on the banks of the Bitter Root River to set up camp. Afterwards we went into to Hamilton and had a romantic dinner at one of the local grills to celebrate our anniversary.