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Discussion Starter #1
Last month I moved back to Boise, Idaho (grew up here) from Seattle, Washington. Now that I'm back with ol' cronies, we've been hitting the dirt roads in search of fire smoke stink. This weekend was camping in the Sawtooth range of Idaho, near Stanley. I took the opportunity to do some dutch oven cooking since this trip was all about eating due to the presence of my 8-months pregnant sister-in-law (in other words, hiking was out). No complaints from me on this one... food is a lovely substitute. And Hiker Chick... the Eureka screen room that I'd purchased off your recommendation couldn't have been a better acquisition. Nice for relaxing bug free... and since we were off-grid so to speak, the screen room became a wonderful privacy wall for our very-much-appreciated porta-loo.

Looking forward to finding more off-the-grid camping sites near Trinity Lake or Roaring River, Idaho in the coming weeks. Any camping E owners in Idaho/Boise?

Is it just me or does the E seem most content when filled to the brim with gear and dirt? Even my 2wd E seems to handle the bumpy, muddled backroads just as well as my brother's Toyota 4wd truck. Of course don't ask me to go head to head keeping up with him during hunting season. Gotta tell ya though, since it dipped below freezing each night this weekend, I certainly appreciated using my E as a sleeping bag. I definitely had to cheat the first night by turning the engine and heater on for an hour. Oh it was bliss.

We really enjoyed the dutch oven breakfast pizza we made one morning (recipe courtesy of Byron's Dutch Oven Cooking). I adjusted the recipe by adding 1/4 cup corn and a 1/4 cup sliced olives. Jimmy Dean's all-natural pork sausage added good spice and with a healthy dousing of Tobasco at the end.... it was delish! The best meal of the trip though had to be my sister-in-law's spicy pork bulgogi (Korean BBQ). I think I saw on another post in this section that we tend to eat better when camping than at home... this is SO TRUE.

Of course being back in Idaho means, my redneck brother has to bring his .22 for, I dunno what... rabid chipmunks? At least I got a kick out of him showing his pregnant wife how to use it... Meanwhile, I'm happy shooting cameras :)

For what it's worth... and don't expect great vistas, but we found some great no-fee spots along Iron Creek Road off of Idaho HWY 21 (about 3 miles before Stanley). The location is perfectly situated for access to some fantastic trail heads, and you definitely don't have to deal with the crazy ding-dong crowds of Red Fish Lake, etc.

Happy Campin'!



The back side of our camp spot... speaking of which, also made it perfect for the loo location.


So proud, still clean. What?


I think between all of us and a healthy round of bullets, we successfully shot a twig off a tree across the stream... thank gawd we had no neighbors


Took the E up to Custer and Bonanza... old ghost towns from the gold rush days...


After enjoying the spicy pork bulgogi, we realized we should always eat with chopsticks when camping: just throw them in the fire when you're done. No clean up!


The only downfall to a dutch oven breakfast is the time it takes to cook it
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Also, upon return...

My brother's wife and I realized that we really DID like having our own toilet on this trip... and believe me, I've heard all kinds of things about how having your own toilet and shower doesn't make it "real" camping. But to those people I say, drag your silly bison pelt and go sleep under your OWN tree.

Needless to say, last night I picked up Cabela's shower shelter for $30 off retail (they're running a sale and will honor the online sale at the stores). For $100, this thing is pretty dang cool. I was so excited last night I set it up in my living room. Even though it says it takes 2 to put it together, one rabid camping enthusiast can do it all by herself. Based on the construction and fitments, whoever is producing tents for Eureka must also be making these for Cabelas (unless they're just sourcing the same items). Identical hooks, guy lines and construction techniques...



Photo looking up... the brass hook in the middle is for the 5 gallon shower pouch to attach to. I'm a little amazed the structure is strong enough to support the weight, but apparently so. Also visible are the plethora shelves, nettings, etc.


It's pretty big... maybe a bit bigger than the Paha Que shower shelter? Yet half the price although the Cabela shower shelter's floor does not detach... potential annoyance.


Today I've tested the 5 gallon shower bag that it comes with and am a little disappointed that it seems to leak. But since it was included with the shower shelter, and I technically didn't have to buy it, what's a little leaking gunna do? It's too heavy for me to lift when full so I think I'll partially fill it at the camp site, hoist to the roof of the shelter, and then fill it the rest of the way with a funnel and some boiled water.

We're planning to use it as a shower for extended camping stays... but really I got it as a water closet for those of us wanting adequate privacy (and who can't squat in the woods: namely, when pregnant). This leads me to enquire if any of you have recommendations for porta-potty's? We borrowed one this weekend but it was more just a toilet seat with a bag underneath. I'm wondering if there are highly collapsible systems that are also sturdy (after all, I don't want to add TOO much gear that has to be hauled and set-up)? And what about those waste gels... do you have to buy those or couldn't one use corn starch and laundry detergent or something? I'm no chemist, but surely there's a much cheaper home remedy...

Thanks gang....
 

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I think between all of us and a healthy round of bullets, we successfully shot a twig off a tree across the stream... thank gawd we had no neighbors
Too funny!

Love the pics, especially when they include your beautiful E! I dunno about anyone else but I'm going to need to see the recipe for the spicy pork bulgogi.
 

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Used to live in Hailey!

I lived in Hailey for 9 years and my sister and brother-in-law have lived in Ketchum since the mid-70's. I used to go up to Stanley and the Sawtooth's many times each year. Used to go cross country skiing in that area. Brings back many good memories.
 

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Christmas in Ketchum, Idaho

I spent last Xmas in Ketchum with my sister and brother-in-law. We had a little(!!!!!!) snow one night! Also, here's a photo taken at Galena Summit from August 2008.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Bulgogi... my sister-in-law, who's originally from Seoul, and I are already talking about more recipes that could be converted to camping food... Kalbi, Kimchi Stew, some of the rice/pine nut porridges, etc. I'm ALL for it and dang, now MY mouth is watering. And really, Korean BBQ almost seems perfectly suited for camping. We used one of those Korean grill plates on top of a butane-type burner, but some grill plates could be put right over the fire... I think like this one (offered via Amazon):


Here's a pic of the type of grill we used:


OH, and I'll be sure to ask her for her spicy pork bulgogi recipe. She also has a good kimchi recipe that she'd probably share.

Ramblerdan... Ha! Well, I just washed my E again. Next camping trip I promise to drive it through some muddy puddles. The problem is I waxed it with that silicon "ICE" wax and honestly, it almost seems to repel dust. Pretty awesome but its hard to make me look like a legitimate Element abuser.

Shoot Rojogan... NEXT time I'm up that way, I'll make sure there are no winter storms forecasted. Uh, I don't think I'd be going anywhere if buried under that kind of snow. And frankly, 30 degrees was a little too cold at night for me anyway. It's worth saying though that Hailey is an awesome little town... all the charm of the area without the loopy-doopiness of the more posh areas of Sun Valley. I bet your memories are beautiful!

Speaking of weather, I've been pondering getting one of those Oregon Scientific forecasters... wonder if they're handy for high elevation camping?
 

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Oregon Scientific Weather Forecaster

My Dad and I have a number of weather gadgets from Oregon Scientific and they make great products. My Dad used to vacation in Sun Valley and he always took his forecast radio with him. I would definitely get one.

I lived in and around Seattle for many years. I had a new Toyota Tercel(FWD only) when we had some really bad winter weather come through for 2-3 weeks-lots of snow, really cold temps, lots of ice-and had no problems getting around, even without snow tires. Heading back from Ketchum last Xmas coming through the Cat Creek Summit area, there must have been at least 8-10" of new, powder snow on the highway-had not been plowed yet! Boy, was I glad I had 4WD-no problems getting through!
 

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I toured this area a year ago last May/June. There was still snow on the ground in places. We camped near Custer, and toured the ghost town. I also drove part of the way toward Challis, but did not try the full distance because snow supposedly still blocked the highest pass.

I like the Korean style grilling, and have a couple of the domed pans. But I'm leaning toward the simpler Mexican 'comal' or tortilla grill - flat carbon steel with a slight raised rim. I use the butane burner a lot at home, but for camping prefer an alcohol stove. The butane does not perform well in cool weather.

Did you sample any hot springs in the area?

My picasa album for this area is
http://picasaweb.google.com/pauljatEOC/Idaho?authkey=Gv1sRgCKj09pv43K6HAQ&feat=directlink
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Hey Paul...

Awesome photos... what a great tour! I was a professional student in Northern Idaho for many many years and many many thousands and enjoyed seeing your pics from that area as well! 'Course back then, I had a Honda Prelude so my camping at the time was limited.

We didn't hit any hot springs this trip although that woulda been a superb bone-warming experience. Unfortunately, since it was just a weekend outing, all of the area springs were packed with people. Much better to go when you can have your own stinky circle of submerged stone (and you know where the stinky comes from: sulphur from the Earth and no where else). Bonneville has to be my favorite though (looks like you had the place to yourself when you were there).

Fortunately for us, the snow was gone from the roads, but it looks like you benefited from that time of year: so green it hurts your eyes! Speaking of green, I miss Seattle... you'll have to enjoy some brackish air for me.

Here are a few more photos from our tour of Custer/Bonanza this weekend... plus a photo of a pictograph we saw while geocaching near Redfish Lake. I have a thing for old wood stoves, and the Pfeiffer Residence that appears in one of your photos is where I got these shots...

The "stamping mill" where stone was crushed to retrieve gold dust... doesn't look like it will be there much longer


I tried to find the stamping mill in the historical database and came up with this, although it doesn't LOOK like the building in my shot even though it says it was in Custer, hmm


A bathtub ordered from Sears Roebuck sometime late 1800s?


You'd practically be feedin' this thing every 10 minutes... but so much cooler lookin' than baseboard


Barely visible... but perhaps an elk?
 

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Speaking of weather, I've been pondering getting one of those Oregon Scientific forecasters... wonder if they're handy for high elevation camping?
Love your photos -- what a gorgeous area to be able to live and camp in.

And glad the Eureka Northern Breeze worked out for you. It's an investment but amortized over just a couple storms, it's a fantastic bargain. You'll get years of use out of it.

I've been using one of these little weather stations for years. I'm a big fan. Highest it's been with me is 3700 feet. Just got back this afternoon from three nights in Shenandoah NP and had that device out at all times at camp.

Thanks again for sharing the pics. That is the cleanest camping E I have ever seen. I'm ashamed of what a grimey mess mine is.

:)
 

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Lunarlight,

I was up in this beautiful area a couple of weeks ago. Redfish Lake is a zoo, but I was lucky enough to snag a spot on Little Redfish Lake which is for non-motorized boats only. The campground is called Mountain View and only has 7 campsites.



Above was my setup. Below are pictures of some lakes in the area.


Alturas Lake


Little Redfish Lake


Redfish Lake at sunrise before the powerboats take over


Stanley Lake


This is a campground called Stanley Inlet on Stanley Lake. I would love to spend some time camped on that beach there.

I really enjoyed my time in your part of the country.

Regards,
Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Greg... AWESOME photos... I mean, AWESOME in that truly spectacular way! Can they be eaten?

And it would appear, I shoulda tried getting out of my sleeping bag much earlier than I did to catch a glimpse of some of those gorgeous dawn's you captured. Bravo!

I agree... best to avoid Red Fish Lake nowadays. It's nothing like what I remember as a kid... t'was so much more peaceful back then. But of course, we also had to walk through 18 feet of snow on our way to school in those days... and I had an imaginary, er, severed hand as a friend.
 
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