Lucky Indeed

Claire wasn't the only one who didn't know what adventures awaited her. Wow. It started innocently enough -- we headed south yesterday afternoon towards Ketchum, Idaho. First stop was a break along the Salmon River...

We (me + four dogs) spent the night at a wonderful RV campground at the Mackay Reservoir - here is the view from the RV this morning...

I checked Google Maps before we left. Puzzling -- it said I was only about 50 miles from Ketchum but it would take almost two hours to get there. Hmmm... That should have been a clue. But it was still early -- I just wondered if Ketchum was in another time zone.

My ex-friend Google Map told me to head north for a bit on Highway 93 and then to turn left on Trail Creek Road.


I wasn't concerned about the signs warning about range cattle but when the pavement ended, I started to feel distinctly uneasy. When the signs warned about not towing trailers, I looked for a place to turn around. There wasn't any. When the signs said the road wasn't maintained for passenger cars, I talked myself down from the top of the Panic Tree.

Oh, it was beautiful for sure...

...and crawling along at 20 mph gave me lots of opportunity to enjoy the scenery...

...and to contemplate the implications of being stuck in the middle of nowhere. I could not safely turn around because the edges of the road were muddy. I had no cell service. There wasn't so much as a cow in sight. All I could do was go forward...

And just when I thought it could not get worse, I was at the summit and HOLY WHITE KNUCKLE DRIVING -- it got so much worse. Four miles d.o.w.n. on a single lane rocky dirt road with a sheer cliff on one side. IN AN RV. I am not kidding or exaggerating -- it was absolutely the most terrifying drive I have ever done.

When I hit pavement again, I got out of the car and kissed the ground (okay -- kidding about that part) but I did get out (shaking and near tears) and took this photo, which does not do it justice to the insanity that is Trail Creek Road...

I arrived at Sun Valley Animal Center and the fact that the staff quickly spread the story among themselves told me I was not wrong to think I had just had an Adventure with a capital A. Or maybe a Misadventure with a capital M.

Good thing I was in an RV named Lucky. 

And let's hope our luck holds for the day -- Harper is having her second TPLO this morning, and she isn't the only one who needs some strong drugs!

P.S. Someone posted this video of the down side of Trail Creek Road on YouTube -- YIKES. 


by BarbZ on Mon, 06/12/2017 - 11:32

Was a lovely drive in the Suburban. Can't imagine doing it in an RV. Glad you made it!! Sending soldiers to Harper B.

by Marti on Mon, 06/12/2017 - 11:39

Cuz that wasn't really a road. It was a path or atrial. Holy wow. Glad you made it.

by Kathy L on Mon, 06/12/2017 - 11:40

Oh man, and I'm scared of heights and cliffs. My friend and I wound up on a road like this in a motor home pulling our horses. No way to turn around. Just forward and hopefully not off a cliff. I'm so glad you made it safely. Now if only you can unclench your teeth and open your mouth. Good luck to Harper. Have fun at your shows, wish we were there.

by Amy Christiansen on Mon, 06/12/2017 - 12:25

After talking to my sister and knowing we have at least 2 possibly 3 (the creek is a river) river crossings, my housesitter will be dog sitting again. Although I am bummed leaving them behind, I figure this is my RECON trip to actually see if I can make it in to her remote cabin, if so the dogs and I will go later in the summer, but RECON a good idea for this chick traveling the wilds of alaska with the ever changing scenes and trails.. dogs will be bummed I will be bummed, but thank goodness you guys made it and your post just cemented my decision this trip for me. Thank you! (again)! Love your adventures so...Best wishes for Harper!!

by Joanna Vatsis on Mon, 06/12/2017 - 12:40

I cannot even imagine driving in a canyon on a dirt road. We had to drive from Price to SLC through the canyon several times a year when I lived in Utah. I was so dangerous with a paved road, cannot even fathome it, on a trail or a dirt road. You are my new heroine!!!! God bless that you were all safe!

by Kay Lynn Odle-Moore on Mon, 06/12/2017 - 12:46

Oh my Mary-Ann! Your post made me cringe......what a nightmare to be with four dogs and in an RV with NO place to turn around. I must say your sense of humor returned by the time you wrote this post, but it must have been more than white-knuckle driving. SO glad you, the dogs, and the RV made it safely. Extra hugs to you and to Harper! Sending you and Harper positive thoughts! AND no doubt a different route on the return trip!

by Kay on Mon, 06/12/2017 - 14:12

So glad you made it over the OMG trail. Cringe-worthy for sure. Extra good luck to Harper.

by Mary-Ann on Tue, 06/13/2017 - 19:48

OMG Trail -- how perfect is that? Better than Peed My Pants Path ;)

by Dianne on Mon, 06/12/2017 - 14:12

OMG M-A, so glad it all worked out and everyone including Lucky came out the other side with 4 on the floor! I can imagine the dogs having to cover their ears with the cursing that may have ensued. Oh wait that would have been me:)

We learned early on our big RV trip to be more than a bit skeptical of google maps.

Sending all good thoughts for Harper B for be getting better soon! And can't wait to hear all about the show success!

by Dianne on Mon, 06/12/2017 - 14:31

BTW, the landscape photos are beautiful and love that Borah Peak is on your map. She was watching over you.

by Mary-Ann on Tue, 06/13/2017 - 19:49

I love seeing Borah Peak and resting my mind of the dog named after that mountain -- Abra's mom heart

by Wendy's dad on Mon, 06/12/2017 - 15:37

Now is the time to think about what you would have done if you would have met a similar vehicle to yours coming from the other direction.
Don't be on the road in the first place?
Back up?
Other person in equal panic back up?
Stalemate, let's party?
Seriously, you need a plan.
I can tell you from experience that if you are on a mountain trail that 'may' be wide enough for someone to pass that you be the person that hugs the mountain side. Fold the mirrors in and get within 2" of the mountain side and let the other person pass.

Another suggestion is to take the RV to a big empty parking lot with some home made traffic cones and practice backing up for long tight distances. Or even going forward in tight situations.

Lastly get, and carry, a 50 foot, or longer, tow strap with a 50,000# rating along wit a means to hook it to the RV and a 2nd vehicle, so if you do have a problem someone that comes along may have a good chance to pull you out of your predicament.

Be prepared.

by Mary-Ann on Tue, 06/13/2017 - 19:50

Clearly, you are an Eagle Scout! Thank you for these most excellent suggestions.

by Rickie van Berkum on Mon, 06/12/2017 - 16:04

I did the exact same thing and he first time I drove with my trailer to Trailing of the Sheep Festival. That road sucks you in to the point where you can't turn around and you're stuck taking that awful one way road It was terrifying. I can't believe google maps still sends you there.

by Emmy on Mon, 06/12/2017 - 19:38

Tell her about the cow!

by Mary-Ann on Tue, 06/13/2017 - 19:50

Do Tell!

by Jennifer Z on Mon, 06/12/2017 - 16:48

Just reading this got my heart racing. Even more so reading in the comments about the possibility of someone coming the other direction. Thank goodness _that_ didn't happen! Best wishes to Harper for her surgery, and for you to have an uneventful drive onward.

by Carol K on Mon, 06/12/2017 - 17:01

Those photos are off the chart gorgeous!!!! the 5th one from the top of the creek I would buy from you? Seriously! I love those kind of adventures and live to tell the story- my mother would have approved- she always took the scenic an a mini-bus no less...many a time cross country we ended up just like this- with no phones either in those days...Good for you!!! Love it!!!

by Mary-Ann on Tue, 06/13/2017 - 19:51

I do love a good adventure but .....

by Chris H on Mon, 06/12/2017 - 17:56

Oh my. That is absolutely terrifying! Happy you all made it OK and thinking this drive will be the most white-knuckle inducing part of Harper's procedure. Last time you did this you fit in a visit to DC and a family reunion! Hope she heals quickly. In my experience the 2nd one was easier and hope that's the case for Dear Harper too.

by Mari on Mon, 06/12/2017 - 18:31

Holy moly! That looks like a road at a construction site - where only CAT trucks and loaders should travel.
So glad to here you made it through relatively unscathed (gray hairs and mental anxiety aside).
Also, hoping Harper B's procedure went well, and she's soon Harper B as in Bouncing back to herself.

by Terri Zimmerman on Mon, 06/12/2017 - 21:53

Did she blow her other knee?

by Mary-Ann on Tue, 06/13/2017 - 19:52

She did indeed blow that other knee. Harper B for Bionic (or Big Bucks ;).

by Lesley on Tue, 06/13/2017 - 23:28

Wow! It's never a good thing to have a white knuckle trip in an RV. So glad you made it safely! On the bright side, you did see some stunning scenery. :-)

by Jill on Wed, 06/14/2017 - 08:44

So glad you made it through! Good thoughts for Harper please B better soon!

by CA Heidi on Thu, 06/15/2017 - 13:09

I am such a nervous driver -- too many years of working in ERs and seeing all the accidents that no one planned to have has left a mark on my psyche. I knew the whole story you made it through (you wrote the story, after all), but I found myself holding my breath at some of your pictures and descriptions. I hope you send your blog post to Google, so they can update their &%*O*%)% MAP PROGRAM!!!

Dear God, I am so glad you are all safe.


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