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After a month at the City of Rocks and Castle Rocks, Idaho, it was time to hit the pavement and get home to Seattle.

Birds of Prey
I’ve never had a bad night camping in the many years I’ve been camping. The odds caught up with me; with my stay on the Snake River near the Swan Fall hydro power plant. It was a Sunday night; it should be a quite night – correct? I was tired of driving. I-84 throught Idaho was busy, boring, and hot; so I simply picked a camp site that look adaquate. I settled for camp site #1, which was very close to #2, #3, and #4 and a vaulted toilet. Not a good site, but it being Sunday night, I was sure it would be quiet.

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Overlook view. My camp site was towards the top of the photo at the bend in the road.

And I did have a good view of the canyon wall where I hoped to see the birds of prey.

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The canyon wall seen from my camp site.

After settling in I noticed that the dusty road in front of me had lots of traffic that impacted me with noise and dust. The road was narrow and ended a couple of miles from me. I thought the traffic and dust would slow down about 8:00 pm. People need to get home to get a good night sleep for work on Monday – correct? But the dust and the traffic didn’t slow down till about 10:00. It remains a mystery to me why there was so much traffic: drug deals at the end of the road? A party? Good fishing? But at 10:00 it was time for a good night’s rest.

That was when a car pulls into my camping area with music blasting. With a smile I walked over and asked them to please turn the volume down. Nice kids, they turned the volume down and then told me that they were having a party there that night. !?!  I had wild thoughts; nudity, guns, drunks, etc.  Turns out they weren’t too wild and I was able to get some sleep.  I  only got up once to ask them to turn the volume down.

And the night kept denying me a good night sleep. Remember I wrote it was hot; so hot I went to sleep with only my screen door shut. In the middle of the night Razzy decided that we needed a watch dog and she was the dog to provide the service. First I heard a growl, then a bark, and then another bark. I got up and closed the door. In the morning I discovered what Razzy was barking at. The kids had let their dog run free after the party and they slept.

I had originally thought of staying a few nights, but the area didn’t fit my desire for the middle of nowhere feel. I left the next morning heading for home. I laughed about asking someone for a refund. The camping was free.

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Swan Fall dam.  Initially built in1901 and expanded in 1907 to supply power to the Owyhee mining district.

Pilcher Creek Campground
With no need to hurry home, my next night was about five hours away. It exceeded my expectations. This is a small county park on a lake west of North Powder, Oregon .  I had a quiet water front site where I watched a duck family as I relaxed.

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I slept well. The next day I was home.


View from my camp site.

Note that there are no road signs directing one to the campground and there is no campground sign at the entrance. But follow your map and slow down when you think you are close and you will figure it out.