Sunday, September 03, 2006

Bruneau Sand Dunes

We stopped in Boise to get gas and the Nav system led us through the entire city, past Boise State University on the way to 84. What I saw was not impressive, but unimaginative and full of chain restaurants and gas stations. Maybe we missed the downtown, but from what I saw, I couldn’t tell why this city is always listed in the top ten places to live.

We were headed to the Bruneau Sand Dunes, based on the suggestion of Siri, Katti’s friend. Although all the park rangers we met on this trip were kind and helpful the ones at the Sand Dunes top them all. They let us borrow a sled to ride down the dunes.

We were the only people there and when we got out of the car, I was still feeling awful. Cold? Allergies? The 97 degree temperature felt like 120 in the sun and the air was so dry it was hard to breathe. I found a little shade under a tree where I could watch the kids, but felt like I might pass out any minute. I shared the shade with dragon flies and something else that kept biting my shins.

The dune sledding was not successful. As hard as the kids tried, they couldn’t get any momemtum. They might have had more luck on the bigger dune, but it was a hike from the parking lot. Maybe if we’d gotten there earlier in the day when it was still cool, they may have had more interest. But as it was, they just wanted to get into the car to cool off in the air conditioning.

We decided to skip Craters of the Moon, even though we really wanted to see it, because we didn’t want to repeat the delays and late arrival of the day before. We pushed ahead at max speed, getting terrible mileage. It seemed like we filled up the tank every couple of hours. By 7 or 8 PM we were close to Teton Pass. If I had known what it was like, I wouldn’t have gone that way. With 10% grades it seemed like we would blow a valve going up and then on the way down each time I hit the brakes a tire rattled and the steering wheel moved and vibrated. This must have something to do with the way the brakes work on the TAB. Since then, I haven’t had problems braking and nothing seems to be wrong with the tires.

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