Back in September, my husband and I agreed to try and spend one weekend outdoors, car camping, each month until the weather prevented us. Over the course of the pandemic, we’ve discovered that it’s very important for us to have some time out of the studio apartment. And there’s just something really restful about sleeping outdoors, especially when it’s colder outside. 

Since it tends to be a bit colder in October, we chose a lower elevation destination. Still a bit high, but not up in the mountains. We went to the Murphy Hot Springs area near the Nevada border. It’s right near the start of the Idaho Centennial Trail, so I’d been near there before, but this time we were going to drive down into the canyon and see if we could find the hot springs. 

Well, the hot springs are closed for Covid-19 – not an unexpected outcome. But there were a few BLM campsites available, and we chose Juniper Grove. The campsite was quite windy when we arrived near lunch, but also lovely. The East Fork Jarbridge River flowed by right next to the site, close enough to hear the water burbling over rocks. And we had the site mostly to ourselves at this time of year. 

I’d imagine it would be more crowded in the summer, when the spot would probably provide a cool relief during hot summer days. In autumn, it would have been too chilly without the dappled sunshine. We managed though – in part because we learned from our September trip that bringing tea and bouillon cubes would be helpful to keep warm. Whenever either of us got too chilly, we’d just boil up some water and slurp down something hot. 

The night was cold, but we both slept really well and woke up super refreshed. I hope we can find a good spot to camp in November; we’re probably going to need some restful sleep right around the first weekend of the month. 

Yup, there was a pit toilet – thank goodness.

And the whole place smelled delightfully of Juniper.

What curious mushrooms, bursting from the trunk of the juniper.

The tent is firmly staked out to beat the wind – which did die out after dark.

A good spot to relax – achieved! 

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