We commenced our Autumn Road Trip on Blue Eyes’ 57th birthday, October 23, 2020. We drove from Portland to Boise, Idaho. We left just after lunchtime and drove straight through with the consolation prize for Blue Eyes being a birthday dinner out at a Boise restaurant, with proper social distancing. The restaurant, walking distance from our hotel on a crisp Fall evening, was lovely, and we only felt a little bit uncomfortable out in the “real world” during the surging coronavirus situation. We promised each other to limit our actual in-restaurant dining during the rest of the trip, however, since The Peacemaker’s 27th birthday was two days later, we broke our promise pretty quickly.
On Saturday, Day 2 of 16, the Peacemaker had chosen two stops for our journey from Boise, Idaho to Salt Lake City, Utah. The first being Glenns Ferry, a very small town in Idaho and a stop on the Oregon Trail, where pioneers made their treacherous Three Island Crossing on the Snake River. There is now a State Park with Oregon Trail History and Education Center at this spot.
It was a bit chilly near the river (actually really chilly as I had to dig through the car to find what I like to call my Pillsbury Dough Girl puffy white coat), so on the way out of town we stopped into a little coffee shop that happened to be attached to the Glenns Ferry Historic Opera Theatre. As we entered the cute (and cozy warm) little coffee shop, we heard the most agonizing sound. I thought the shop owner was playing some horrific music and quickly exited after placing my order. As I ventured out front of the shop, I realized we were next to the theatre and there was a live matinee being performed of Frankenstein (the week before Halloween) and the noise we had heard was the performance. It was so eery and I totally wish I had thought to make a recording of it. I bet it was a good show! Small town theatre can be pretty great.
After warming our chilled bones, we headed to our second stop of the day, Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. If you are ever out in this remote location of Northern Utah in the American West, I highly recommend driving through this sanctuary. The Bear River marshes are part of the Great Salt Lake ecosystem. https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Bear_River_Migratory_Bird_Refuge/about.html
The visitor center is currently closed due to Covid, but the 12 mile Auto Tour is open, and amazing. It is a bit of a dichotomous situation, however, as there is hunting allowed (in season) at the “sanctuary.” We were a bit disappointed by this, as along with the gorgeous sunset and the sights and sounds of hundreds of birds, we also heard shots in the distance and saw numerous camouflaged hunting boats on the water, it was still one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. But seriously, who knew there was a Swan hunting season???
A couple hours later we were safely checked in to our Salt Lake City hotel, just in time for a bit of snow! Thank goodness we packed appropriately.