|In the background you can see the steam rising from the hot spring pond.|
|Here's the hot pond, showing the office across the way and the bath house behind the pond shed.|
We had breakfast in the small kitchen - I heated pizza and Brad had granola, while a friendly orange tabby cat hung out and visited with us.
This photo shows the cabins available to rent at Crystal Crane Hot Springs, the bath house, and behind the cabins, the hot spring pond.
Back on the road, we soon discovered we were already off course, not on hwy. 20, but somehow the night before, while in Burns, we’d missed a turn and were on hwy. 78 instead! After laughing that we were already lost we headed north & were soon back on 20, eventually sliding into Vale Oregon. This place was “Mural Town”, so of course we had to stop and go for a photo walk.
A drive-by photo of Snake River reflections in Idaho.
From there we buzzed through Idaho, taking I-84, I-86 & I-15, returning to backroads on hwy. 30 east. Looking at the map earlier, we’d seen Lava Hot Springs off hwy. 30 which intrigued us. Again it was dark when we drove into the town of Lava Hot Springs, completely unaware of what to expect. We had to stop and explore so we parked across from what looked like a bustling giant hot spring swimming pool. We walked down to take a look at the pool and the Portneuf river running through town, took a quick stroll around the small downtown area, then not seeing anywhere we wanted to stop we soon were back on the road, thinking the next town might be a bit less resort-like. Soda Springs Idaho was another small town to explore - in the dark. Finding a quiet, dark street near the pioneer museum across from a couple of churches we pulled in for our first night of “stealth” camping. Quietly slipping our 2 duffles and cooler into the cab of the truck, we quickly climbed into the back, put up our curtains, and soon were sleeping - as best as we could with trains and the occasional vehicle slipping past.