We disassembled our campsite at the beginning of the day and reorganized the trunk to make everything fit more soundly. The car was still in 4-wheel drive as we bounced and skidded down the dirt trail that we had driven up the day before. We reached the gravel road and 30 miles after that we reached the paved highway once again. We drove for a while and noticed the car was still in 4-wheel drive and after a brief discussion with my dad on the phone, figured out how to get the auto-lock something-or-other system off.
The whole state of Wyoming lay in front of us and we had a car that was now ready to cooperate. Our destination for the night was Rockbridge, Idaho, or at least a place to camp somewhere in eastern Idaho. My grandmother suggested Craters of the Moon, but it turns out its just a big igneous rock plain with nowhere to camp. Instead we continued on to Bruneau, ID and went south to the Bruneau Sand Dunes.
We arrived in the afternoon, and after missing the exit to the park and talking to a very nice Mexican gentleman, we paid the $4.00 entrance fee to check out the state park. The dunes and a small lake sat awkwardly together between a butte to the north and south, and plains/farmland to the east and west. After testing the sand dunes for legitimacy we decided that it would indeed be fun to camp on them. Three huge problems were presented to two stubborn boys. One: we were on the smallest of three huge dunes, and we needed to be on the biggest one. Two: the campsites in the park sucked. Three: we didn’t want to cough up the extra 8 dollars.
To remedy the situation we left the park in search of the nice Mexican gentleman or any of his hardworking neighbors. We drove around the crop fields that we had seen earlier looking for anyone to ask for a secret route around to the big dune. Everyone had checked in for the night and we decided to take the road less traveled, or rather, the road never traveled. The Juggernaut (my silver Xterra) earned the name that we had christened it at the beginning of the trip. Its 4-wheel capabilities proved incredibly useful; we trail-blazed through a prairie and thanked our powerful machinery by cooling it down with a mud bath. Unfortunately, the Juggernaut’s hard work was for naught. We didn’t find a route behind the dunes, so we were forced to return to the dreadful organization of the state park campsites.
We did, however, manage to dodge problem #3, we just parked in the visitor’s spot and never ended up having to pay the extra eight dollars. We decided to take our equipment and hike around the first dune and get to the largest dune. On the way we were attacked by a hoard of moths that distracted us from the true predators, mosquitoes. Andrew was hit hard, I didn’t know if he was going to pull through. I nearly dragged him to the top of the hill. It was a close call… not really, it was just kind of itchy from then on.
We picked a campsite on the side of a dune and started to cook dinner and admire the setting sun that cast a pinkish silhouette on the hills. Again, we sipped Ramen and chewed on perfectly burnt hotdogs. Afterward we crawled into our sleeping bag at the top of the dune and said goodnight. Within ten minutes we felt raindrops and Andrew asked the brilliant question of “Hey Matt… what are we gonna do if it rains?” and then answered himself with a confident, “It won’t.” Good enough for me.