posted in: Boise, Road Trip, Stanley, Van Life | 10

In the last 2 months, I’ve decided that Idaho will forever be “home” to my heart. We were greeted with clear waters, the smell of pine warming under the midday sun, and mountains—Glorious mountains.

Not long after crossing the state line, we stopped and I hiked down to the waters edge. I stood there awe struck by 360 degrees of beauty and reflected upon our journey thus far. Surrounded by silence, I felt a gentle calm that I’d been missing for weeks. In that moment, I considered begging Eric to leave me there in the wild; void of all other humans. Then, I remembered the fate of Chris McCandless, the guy that left conventional society behind and lived in the wilds of Alaska until he died of starvation (if my memory serves me right). A very basic summary, but you get the idea. So, instead, I marched back up to the van and on we went.

First stop—Motel and Tires.

By this time, I had come down with something (flu vs. cold) and Eric thought perhaps sleeping in a warmer climate with access to a hot shower would be just the cure I needed for a speedy recovery. Yes, he’s very sweet. We stayed a few nights in Pocatello and took care of some business by getting an oil change and better tires for the van.

Craters of the Moon

Eric and I made the drive to Craters of the Moon and stayed at the campground which is only $15 per night. It was quite the experience and genuinely feels like you are on another planet! Sunsets and stargazing are amazing as well.

Unfortunately, I was still under the weather so we didn’t get to bike the park as planned. Instead, we meandered around our camp checking out the rock formations and I took a few photos.

Here are some pics from our evening there.

The view from camp
A sea of lava chunks
Where I spend most of the day/night
Is this what it’s like to walk on the moon?
Watching the sun go down
Eric only takes normal selfies with me when I’m sick 😉 haha

If you’re ever passing through, I highly recommend making the stop. There are several trails, a scenic bike ride or drive, caves, moderately private campsites, and an interesting history for you knowledge hounds.


Oh Stanley. How I wanted to show thee love and hike you and bike you and worship the ground that you are, but that never happened. I’d spent 1 1/2 months anticipating our return to Idaho JUST so that I could be wild and free in the Sawtooths before winter hit. Instead, I spent 2 days drinking NyQuil like I had invested stock in it and going in and out of consciousness. I honestly do not remember much about those 48 hours but Eric was a saint.

With the weather getting colder and colder, we decided to leave.

Not. A. Single. Picture. From. Stanley.

I didn’t even think it was possible.

But, that is how sick I was.

Arrowrock Dam

There are a ton of dispersed camping areas in and around Arrowrock. That said, it’s not the quietest stop. Cars zoomed up and down the road most of the evening and well into the night. I think it’s a heavily used party location until you are 30+ miles out. Unfortunately, we couldn’t go that far since Eric had to work and we needed internet. While in the Boise area this we stayed out here a handful of nights.

Though not known for it’s peacefulness, it is quite beautiful in its own way.

After another few nights of dealing with my illness, we decided to get another motel to escape the cold nights. I can honestly say, our van is far more comfortable than any motel, which is nice to know! Being sick just sucks no matter where you lay your head at night.


My first mountain rainbow!

Since Stanley didn’t work out and I was feeling a bit better, we left Boise for about 4 days and went North up to Crouch. It was so beautiful and Thursday was perfect. Then, the weekend hit and a few cars turned into a few thousand cars. I’d never camped on such a busy road. It was insane! There was a car or ATV every 30 seconds or less ALL DAY LONG. Lesson learned: Avoid this area on the weekends!

Here are some photos:

Eric waiting for me to catch up. Being sick really takes it out of you!
Idaho <3
I made us a tasty dinner
Eric made us a nice fire
And S’mores for dessert!


I was sick roughly 9 of the 12 days we were in Boise. Moral was at an all time low and we seriously considered getting an apartment and forgetting the whole van life thing until Eric was ready to retire too. Looking back nearly 2 weeks since departing Idaho, I can say I’m glad we didn’t give up. But in the moment, I was ready to throw in the towel and live out my days in beautiful Idaho while hiking, biking, and playing my little heart out.

It’s very easy to play in Boise

On day 1 of feeling better, we took a short ride.

On day 2 of feeling better, I went on a walkabout to regain some stamina. A nice start to fall with all the beautiful colors along the Greenbelt.

On day 3 of feeling better, I went on an 8.5 mile hike with Debbie!

Thankful that I got to see this awesome lady while I was in town! Thank you for driving us to Bogus and picking this excellent hike!

We even had a little snow on top of the mountain!

And just like that…we left Boise. If we weren’t able to get together while I was there, I do apologize. Our time there seemed very short.

Goodbye Idaho

I’m not sure when we’ll be back, but if we survive this journey, I hope to make Idaho home again someday. For now, we have our sights on Utah so stay tuned for more blog updates!

Until next time friends….

10 Responses

  1. Mary Jane Irwin

    So sorry you were under the weather, Jenni; that is so miserable…on so many levels. Your descriptive journaling and stunning photos make for anticicipative (is that a word?!) reading; love it! Glad you are back on track! You and Eric continue to be nothing short of amazing!💕

    • Jenni

      It fills my heart to know that you enjoy the blog! I don’t really see us as amazing (there are some REALLY amazing people in the world) but thank you so much for the kind words! It would be lovely to meet you in person some day!

  2. Barbara

    I hope you continue to feel better and can fully enjoy your adventure!

    • Jenni

      Thank you Barbara. I’m feeling better now and building back up my stamina day by day. Happy adventuring!

  3. Marie Schlake

    So sorry you were not feeling your usual self especially while in Stanley! But relieved to see you bounce back for a smidge while in Boise. Safe travels as you & Eric continue on your amazing van adventures in Utah!

    • Jenni

      Thanks girl! Appreciate it. So far Utah is amazing with a bonus of being WARM! 🙂

  4. andrea

    sorry you were sick for your birthday! you must have been feeling really bad to not take a single picture!

    i think it’s awesome that your heart is still so open to finding home, wherever you are. too often people turn their hearts off and close up; i’ve been feeling a lot of that lately; but your perspective to live and play is really refreshing.

    what’s next?!

    • Jenni

      Don’t close off that heart of yours, I think you’d be short changing yourself! Life is what we make it, right? I struggle with that ALL THE TIME even if it looks like I’m always having fun. It’s easy to lose sight of those words and let the jaded thoughts infiltrate our souls. We are powerful in mind, body, and spirit. Sometimes it’s nice to escape adulthood and live life through an eyes of a child where PLAY, EXPLORATION, and DISCOVERY ignites our passion for life once again. I’m trying to find more balance in life. What’s next? I don’t quite know. I’m practicing living day by day right now and letting life unfold as it may. Next week I am spending some time hiking/biking in Zion NP so that should be awesome!!! Thanks for your comments and perspective. I always enjoy hearing from you. We should hang out next time I’m in Boise!!

  5. Heather

    I’m so bummed I didn’t see you while you were in town! wow you must have been seriously sick to not be able to venture out in Stanley 🙁 Just going to have to come back! 🙂
    You are definitely inspiring me to get back out there adventuring!

    • Jenni

      Yes, I was bummed that I didn’t get to see many people. By the time I was feeling a bit better, I had one day during the week and I spent it with the lovely Debbie D. on a hike. Get out there girl!!! Many adventures to be had…but hey you’re creating family memories…what’s better than that?

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