We pulled out of Marsing and drove 130 miles to Hagerman to a Passport America campground, High Adventure River Tours. It was a $15 a night with electric and water hookups. The sites are pull-throughs with grass and shade trees. The showers were clean. Nobody expects scenery from Passport camps.
Monday we left Hagerman for Ketchum, ID, famous for its trout fishing, snow skiing (Sun Valley), and Ernest Hemingway’s grave. This is truly beautiful country, to borrow one of Papa’s favorite adverbs. We skipped Hem’s gravesite – he is honored best by reading his books – and went to the Forest Service’s Wood River campground ten miles northwest of Ketchum. We chose Wood River because of its water and it’s only $6 a night with an America the Beautiful pass.
At Wood River the back-in sites were tight and short. There was one drive-through that was going to be $12, but with the fatigue of a long drive, we took it.
On the road everybody wants you to pay cash. The private parks hate credit cards, but don’t mind checks. Does that make sense on any level? Write them a check and it’s outstanding for at least a month, a severe annoyance to an old bean counter. I did not have exactly $12 to stuff in the payment envelope. I visited the camp host to see if his company provided him a Change Fund for cash campers. (Out West most federal campgrounds are managed not by the government but by a business trying to make serious money.) They didn’t allow a change fund. But in the process I learned that my America the Beautiful card was worthless in double sites, and we were to pay $24 a day for a no electric, no water, and no dump station site. We have never paid that much for a full hookup, not even in a private campground.
I was steamed. Kat was livid. We moved into a single site next door. It took fifteen minutes in a light rain, but we got it done while paying $6 a night. I truly enjoyed completing the Suggestions portion of the pay envelope.
Wood River is a beautiful campground. The river is cold, clear, and fast. There are steep bluffs boxing out the sun on both sides, and the wildflowers were exploding. We had cold weather both days, and realized there are many things far worse than wearing a sweatshirt on the fourth day of summer.