Leaving Home-Base Area
Jagger and I approach Thompson Falls State Park and the good memories start flooding back.
Thompson Falls is a good place to stop about 150 miles from my Home-Base. I’ve camped here a number of times in the past. This was also the first campground that Jagger and I had a brown bear visit our campsite. It was also one of the stops I made when Aiden and Seth were traveling with me for a few months, back in 2017.
This year Jagger and I are traveling in reverse, heading West as far as the Washington Coast. Once again we use this as a resting place and stay only two nights. Here I will also double-check that our reservation in Idaho is still open because of the rapidly changing COVID lockdown. I’m close enough to my Home Base to turn around very easily at this point.
Thompson Falls State Park
Thompson Falls State Park is a small campground right on the Clarks Fork River, just below what once was a big waterfall. It was dammed in 1915 over a set of waterfalls to generate electricity, a blessing, and a curse I guess.
The campground only has a few sites that the Coach will fit in and is strictly dry camping. Water is available with Vault toilets, but no dump station for miles around. The Hosts are pleasant and the facility is well cared for.
Moving on to Idaho During COVID
We left early Monday morning arriving at Sam Owens Campground at 2:00 PM when they accept new arrivals. I’ve had my reservation here for months as it will be over the Fourth of July weekend. Reserving in advance has saved my bacon several times already due to the COVID lockdown.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect since Jagger and I are traveling during the COVID lockdown. We will be staying a maximum of fourteen days at this campground I hope.
Arriving at Camp – More Memories
Once again the memories come flooding in. This is the second time I’ve camped here. The first was with Aiden and Seth.
The first task is to dump our tanks from the Thompson Falls stay. Since we are staying fourteen-days I need the waste tanks to start out empty. As I attempt to swing into the Dump Station I stop. I can’t make the turn and need to back up into the main street. Fortunately traffic was light. I then proceed into the campground and around a loop pulling the Coach slowly to approach the Dump Station once again. Success. After rinsing out our tanks, I pull the Coach to her resting place for our two week stay over the Fourth of July Holiday. Then I spend the usual time setting up our home and campsite.
Affected by COVID?
It’s busier here than I expected. It’s really the first glimpse of how COVID has affected this camping season and people in general. I arrived on a Tuesday and the campground was fuller than I expected to start out. By the weekend it was packed and overflowing through the holiday. Afterward it stayed pretty full considering my previous visit several years ago. I was surprised not only by the volume of campers, I saw very few masks. People were partying as nothing has changed. Big groups. And of course for several nights we had more than abundant fireworks, even though fireworks are banned. It’s like people are out of control!
The most unusual thing I noticed was in the way the Hosts’ cleaned the restrooms and sites. After each camper left their campsites they took a solution of bleach and thoroughly cleaned the table and area around. They were meticulous.
After the Crowd We Visit Lake Pend Oreille
After the big holiday and the crowd thinned out, Jagger and I walked to the lake several times. From our campsite we passed the campsite Aiden and Seth shared with us on our visit several years ago. Once arriving at the lake I’m surprised I don’t see the boys building a raft.
I think being forced to stay somewhat Isolated because of COVID is taking a toll on me and causing me to reflect on past memories and not focusing on my current camp tour. At times I feel confined to camp, but I’m sure I’m better off than most confined to their home.
Safe Travels…Gary and Jagger