Usually the cowboy and I research our destinations a touch better (a lot better) than we did Thursday’s location of the Hell’s Canyon area, just over the mountain from Grangeville. While the rest of the country is sweltering, since we arrived in Idaho we’ve been enjoying very reasonable summer temps up until yesterday. And then we made an error in judgment by going to a BLM recreation area called Hammer Creek on the lower Salmon River—people, avoid this place like the plague in July and August—maybe even avoid it in June and September!!!
There is a seven mile stretch of 7% downhill grade as the highway drops into the canyon. The landscape changed dramatically going from forested hills to dry high desert.
When we arrived at the campground about 3pm, it was 102 degrees outside and 102 degrees inside the truck camper. We knew before leaving Montana our little 2000watt Honda generator would not pull the air conditioner load—so we cooked/roasted. I went and sat in the river, we spent some time at Larry and Geri’s and waited for the sun to go down. While we were roasting/baking we made a decision—early Friday morning we were heading for the hills and cooler temps. By 10pm we were at 84 degrees in the camper and went to bed—and sweated the night away—it was still 70 degrees when we got up at 5am!
Fortunately the rest of the gang felt the same way we did and followed us back up the 7% grade hill and into the mountains above Grangeville where the elevation is over 4000 feet and it never got above about 74 degrees today—much, much better!! We enjoyed a fabulous ride today and tonight are going to enjoy some of the blackberry cobbler/tart I made with blackberries the whole gang picked yesterday while we were frying! The berries were just starting to get ripe—I would love to have a bunch more!
We will stay here a few days—we have a fabulous boondocking site and more trails to ride. Larry and Geri have some stuff to do—oil change, mail delivery, etc.