Sunday, September 6, 2009

Idaho #2 -- Massacre Rocks State Park

We licked our collective wounds for a couple of days, and on Friday moved to Massacre Rocks State Park 40 or so miles east of Lake Walcott S.P. It was an easy trip....for a while, then, when we pulled into a rest stop to check our some historical information......well, I'll let you read for yourself John's post on our Escapees' (our RV club) site:

We had a lucky day today. We were doing a 60 mile drive to our next campsite when we pulled into a rest stop 10 miles from camp. It was a historic site and we decided to take a look. When I pulled on the parking break I noticed a deafening silence in the cab. There was no rushing of air through the parking break valve. I then pushed the parking break in and watched my pressure drop to 70 pounds in a heartbeat. Not a good sign. I pulled through the parking lot, made a loop, and the pressure kept dropping. Another bad sign. I thought, at least I am in a rest area and not on the side of the road. I picked up my phone and had service. A better sign. I dialed my mechanic back home and he answered, a very good sign. He said he was 90% sure I had a air line leak or more likely a brake chamber leak. I told him I was in the middle of nowhere Idaho, but only 10m miles from the park. We decided to try the run at a high rate of speed and made it. I was worried about backing into a spot and my breaks locking up time and time again. I stopped at the state park office explained my problem to the manager and he said, "Well, I have a very easy spot to back into, it is the camp host spot who left yesterday." Another excellent sign. I said, "Well. most camp host spots have septic, can I use it?" He said, "might as well." So now I am parked in a camp host sight w/septic in a state park. My bride says, "Do you think the air card will work?" I said , "With the way our luck is running, I bet it will." Mind you this is after 5 on Labor Day weekend. I look at the router and we have solid green lights!!!!!!!!! I get on the computer make two calls, find a mobile mechanic and he will be here tomorrow or Tuesday. Tuesday is fine for us. So here we sit in a state park on the banks of the Snake River, full hookups, a gimpy truck but not crippled with cell and internet serivce for 4 or 5 days. Thank you Lord.
Regards, Bags

So here we are. Massacre Rocks S.P. is located along the Oregon Trail at a site where several wagon trains had skirmishes with the Indians. Several settlers were killed, as well as an unknown number of Indians. A couple of miles from the campground, you can see the deep ruts worn into the rock by countless wagons that passes this way headed for Oregon or California.

The terrain is high desert...very few cacti, but lots of sagebrush and rocks left from lava flows some 14,000 years ago. The camp is located alongside the Snake River, and has lovely overlooks, as well as access for fishing and boating. (Swimming is prohibited due to swift currents.)

We've had repairs done to the Falcon. (The problem was a faulty brake chamber.) After doing some errands in Pocatello, we'll be ready to pull out tomorrow for Utah.

Being retired is wonderful; you can change your mind and your schedule anytime the spirit moves you! The longer we're here, the more we find to see. Sooooo....we stayed another day and spent some time investigating sites from the Oregon Trail located in the park and nearby. What is now Massacre Rocks State Park is near the half-way point in the Oregon Trail, and it began the most difficult portion of the trail. Nearby you can see some of the trail ruts from the trail, as well as "Register Rock," a large boulder where immigrants scratched their names and the dates they passed. It's fascinating, and worth a stop if you're passing this way.

Immigrant wagon trains followed the Snake River for some 300 miles through Oregon, but certainly didn't ford the river at places like these within the park.

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