Before touring the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway starting in Ashton, Idaho, I just had to stop by the Idaho Potato Museum to discover the history of potatoes.
Idaho Potato Museum
The Idaho Potato Museum is in Blackfoot, Idaho and cost $4 to tour the museum.
What a deal.
There's a HUGE baked potato out front which you can stand next to it and take your picture. They even installed a camera stand so you can put your phone in the stand and set the timer to take a picture. How cool is that?
Various artifacts from the “olden days” of farming potatoes by hand were plentiful in the museum – showing us how potatoes were planted and harvested.
Best of all, there is a potato cafe to order potato fries made to order!
As usual, I met the nicest people while traveling and this time I met Priyanka Patel and family while in the potato museum.
They were traveling from The Bay area of California and they too were traveling East to Yellowstone National Park for some adventorous fun.
See you on the road Priyanka.
Mesa Falls Scenic Byway
A quick drive North to Ashton, Idaho would begin the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway and #4 of 300 on my quest to complete the National Geographic's 300 Scenic Highways and Byways.
I could see the Teton mountains in the distance, named from early French trappers called Les Trois Teton, which means the three breasts. Leave it to the romanic French to come up with such a glorious name that we still use today.
Unfortunately I was not able to see the Upper or Lower Mesa Falls due to the holiday weekend crowd and nowhere to park my big ole RV.
That was a real bummer, but such is life sometimes and we just adapt and move on.
I really need a Class B RV I think. Lately I've been looking at the Hymer Class B vans which seem to have everything I need and want and I would be able to get in and out of spaces easily. It's more like a car.
Boondocking on the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway
Prior to coming out to Mesa Falls, I knew that this was all National Forest land so I could boondock for free on any spot I found. I had scoped out a few spots and headed out to survey my findings.
The first spot proved to be a little too muddy and there were dirt bike riders enjoying some of the hilly areas nearby so I decided to leave and check out my second spot on Snake River around Island Park, Idaho.
It was so incredibly beautiful and beyond what I thought it would look like. There were fly fisherman fishing in the sparkling waters of Snake River, birds singing, and water trickling around the embankments.
I brought out the chair and rested while looking out at the picture perfect landscape of Snake River and the mountains behind it.
As the sun started to fade and the temperature started dropping, I watched the sunset over the mountains and the sky turn these brilliant colors of orange reflecting off of Snake River.
This was my first boondocking experience in the wild and I must admit I was little nervous. It was so dark outside that you could hardly see 5 feet in front of you and I could hear every little creature outside.
There was one point where I thought I might just leave and go to the gas station several miles down and just camp there, but my chair was outside and that would mean I'd have to go outside in the dark and pack it up.
Hmm, bolt out of the boondocking space to the gas station and leave the chair outside with dust on it from my post haste escape at full throttle on the gas pedal OR stay, even with my nervous energy and overcome my fears? So I decided to have a chat with myself.
Okay, hit the pause button.
I'm really not turning into one of those single people out of touch with reality and starts talking to themselves. Oh no. I've talked to myself for years, so I'm already there.
I've even begun talking to the navigation lady on my GPS. When she tells me to turn, right, and I keep on going, I'll say something like, “Thank you, but I think I'll go this way.” Of course that's my polite voice. When she tells me to navigate off road and into a building, that's where my “not-so-polite” voice comes out.
It went something like this, “Okay Amber – You can do this. There's nothing to be fearful of – all is well. Think about the outcome you want and only that will happen.” So I did invision the outcome and it calmed me down so I could fall asleep.
I however was happy to see daylight.
Let me know about your boondocking experiences in the comments below.
Overnights & Places Visited
Place: Mesa Falls, Idaho
RV Accessibility: Okay for all types of RVs
Cell Phone Signal Strength: 2-4 bars on Verizon
Park Pass: n/a
City/State: Mesa Falls, Idaho
Video/Audio Equipment Used
Sony A6000 Camera – For most still images and vlogging
Sony Action Cam FDRX3000 – For dash cam and walking/talking video
Joby Gorillapod – Used for holding the cameras as a tripod or mounting to just about anything to capture a shot.