In Idaho, land of the potato!

I was very sorry to leave Yellowstone, we will go back there in a future year, there is still lots to explore.  It was a good departure from the campsite and a good drive out of Yellowstone.  We saw more bison as we drove out, one was sunbathing right beside the road and cars were stopping to photograph and film him-it caused a huge traffic jam-in all the 2.2million acres he could lay…we think he knew the chaos he was causing!

 

As we exited Yellowstone we were in Montana-this is a state I hope to see more of, it’s full on horse country with snow capped mountains all around.  In only 20 minutes we had driven the little corner of the state and we were in Idaho as we now head west.

We had about a 3 hour drive to the RV park, in a place called St Anthony.  We found the place easily and finally got set up in our spot.  It’s hot here, about 90deg f, we have descended about 3000 feet.

 

This RV park is called Sandhills.  As we approached the park we noticed there are Sandhills here-funny that.  Even though we are just under 200 miles from Yellowstone, there are still elk, deer, bears etc here.  The boundaries of the park are unknown to the animals!

 

The sand dunes are 10,600 acres and is BLM land-bureau of Land Management.  The dunes contain one of the largest herds of wintering elk in the United States. Along with the 2,500 elk that winter near the sand dunes, there are also 1,500 mule deer and 500 moose in the area. During their time in around the sand dunes, the big game will shed their antlers and come spring, several hundred people are known to come to the dunes to collect these.  (Thanks Wikipedia)

 

However, the RV park here has another type of wildlife-‘All Terrain Vehicle’ riders.  This park is full of huge RV’s all towing huge trailers that have these ATV’s in them.  The ATV’s (some are called Razor’s) look like something out of a Madmax movie.  Everyone here has one and that is why they are here.  It’s noisy and dusty but it’s a family scene and everyone is very friendly.

We were watching some of the buggy men (all men…) tonight and saw a pretty nasty crash.  Apparently, the driver is ok but his Razor is no longer!

 

The scene here seems somewhat shocking and strange to us after 5 days of wilderness, pine trees and the gentle sound of a river flowing, the scent of pine and flowers.  Still, being Harley riders, I’m sure we can adapt…

Here are some of the ATV riders…

The next day we had a slow and lazy morning.  I went off in search of a supermarket to stock us up a bit and Stuart washed the coach.  During his time outside he met our neighbours on both sides.  Nancy and Wayne from Ohio were very nice people, and on the other side was a guy called Tracy Chapman.  Tracy owns a Razor and offered to take us out on it that evening.

This is Tracy and his Razor:

 

We headed out in the afternoon in the car to explore St Anthony, that took only a few minutes, not a very big place-they did however have a car wash so we washed the Equinox-it’s been so dusty we forgot what colour it was!

 

After dinner Tracy got us in the Razor and off into the dunes with some of his mates in two other ATV’s.

 

The dunes are a very extensive area with some high hills.  The sun was low in the sky and was glowing a warm rose apricot colour, casting it’s colour on the sand.  We rode off into the distance and soon found what’s called a ‘bowl’.  The gradual back of a dune, not the sharp drop off that are also everywhere.  Tracy likes to give the Razor a run up with rev’s at full noise and drive us up into the bowl and take us horizontally along the top.  This seemed to defy physics, if those revs drop, so will we!!  However we quickly realised that Tracy had done this before-he was a pro.  I took my Sony camera and recorded the whole adventure which will be a great memory jogger of the fun we had that warm sunny evening.

After many white knuckled rides along the tops of bowls we headed back to the campground.  Tracy introduced us to the group of close friends he was with, who were all such nice welcoming people.  As the sun was just about to dip below the horizon we headed off to watch some of the speedster brigade start their wheelies.  This is a different scene, fun to watch, but from a safe distance.

We got chatting to another group of people staying at the camp, all of whom have their own ATV’s.  They were so interested in us, being over for the summer and travelling through the US in our RV.  They wanted to know all there was to know about New Zealand, and like every other American we speak to, they hope to visit NZ one day.  It seems to be on everyone’s bucket list!

This nice group of people, most of which were half our age (well, Stuart’s) invited us to join them the next day, they were heading out to the ice caves nearby.  This is the kind of hospitality and friendship we find everywhere we go.  Genuine, honest, friendly people.

The next day however we were pulling out of the campsite and heading to Banbury Hot Springs in Buhl, Idaho.  We so enjoyed our stay at Sandhills, not for the sand hills, but for the people we met there.

The movie link to watch us having fun in the Razor is at:

https://youtu.be/8ASxpaO2m5E