Our first Maximus road trip took us up to Everett, WA. A family project kept us in one parking spot for nearly 3 weeks. Another aging kitchen in need of renovation put Steve to work. With Steve working and guiding the construction, he and his son steadily made progress erasing the decades of flooring and putting in its place new walls, cabinets, counters, appliances, flooring, and even a window. Home renovations seem more dear when you labor through the dust and debris. A lot of sweat equity went into this project. Both Christian and Hayley worked hard to turn it into a kitchen they’ll appreciate and admire for years to come.

At the pivotal point when a project no longer needs the master builder, it was left in the hands of the “kids” to finish it up. We look forward to seeing the final touches going in. Even more than that, we looked forward to being wheels up and hitting the road.

This route takes us from western Washington thru Oregon and into Idaho. My goal of demonstrating how we use Harvest Hosts for a road trip was crushed. Our departure weekend coincided with the Washington wine country spring release celebrations and no room to accommodate us.

Parking that idea for another leg of travel, I located two Boondockers Welcome hosts. Mixed in with shorter drives and forest camping time created a relaxing journey all the way down to Boise, ID.

Day 1 was a long drive day. The drive took us nearly all the way to Walla Walla Washington and covered almost 50% of our total mileage.

What remained was two short drive days to camp, explore, take the Jeep out and play with the new drone.

The Route

Day 1 | Driving WA 90

Reversing our route over the Snoqualmie pass. We visited the falls and a very nice park just a few weeks ago. Memories of those visits were still fresh and needed no follow up visits. See that post here!

So, we continued onto our host location making the usual stops for fuel, food, and doggie breaks.

Day 2 | Whitman National Forest

A pleasant road trip made simple! The formula needs to have sub 2 hour driving durations with interesting destinations and a day (or more) of play. This was exactly that type of road trip. We successfully arrived at our destination by lunch time following a leisurely and slow exit from our overnight host location. Goal for the summer is no more bee line drives!

Camping near Spring Creek in Oregon

I spotted this area located not far from the I-84 using two tools. The first was iOverlanders; an overlanding mapping tool popular with campers looking for wild camping. The area only had one review (usually a plus in my book) and was convenient.

The second tool was my OnX Off-Road trail mapping tool. This is where I determined it wasn’t just one spot but a multiple forest roads, dotted with marked dispersed camping areas and one developed free campground. The area was comprised of many large OHV trails.

We parked at the trail head which was also the coordinates from the iOverlander application. Then, unhitching the Jeep, we explored further along the trail to scope a camp spot. Leaving the main forest road and following a smaller road, landed us an area we choose for camp.

Camp in the trees

Jeep has Fun

Finally!

It is time to tour random roads, circle up and down the mountains, and even find some snow. I already have my off road map downloaded. I turn on map tracking and we set off for a couple of hours. Most of the drive was under tree cover. Then we ended up on a high knob. Discovering a picturesque clearing and an unmapped “pond” with a view was a nice treat. That deserved a few photos. I marked the spot as a waypoint on the map for a future camp location. Although the road up was mostly single track, the camper would easily drive up here. The road was in good shape and not too steep. Tree branches might get in the way, but that’s what the aluminum armor on all the edges are for…just let them brush the camper and move out of the way.

X marks the spot Jeep found

There was still snow in several areas. One specific section of road was deep and evidently needed to be broken down by Jeep. Of course, there’s a drop off on my side of the Jeep! Sliping and sliding in Jeep near the edge is not my idea of fun. Here’s our Instagram post of dirty Jeep.

Day 3 – Burnt River Canyon

We detoured over to this canyon full of active and old mining claims. Winding alongside the river and tall rocky canyon walls we found a couple little stopping points and a handful of riverside, dispersed campsites.

The tall limestone canyon walls makes this a climbers playground. It’s also known for big horn sheep. We saw neither 2 or 4 footed rock climbers just lots of geese.

Google Earth view of where the Canyon Starts

Video

Video shows the road travel, camping, and jeep exploring. We slipped a lot in the snow which gave me a heart attack. Finally, after rainy weather and camping in the trees, we were able to test the new 2nd alternator to charge our Leaf battery bank.

Drive into Boise

After our mid-day, canyon drive, we headed into Boise. I (Cheryl), had a flight early the following morning. We parked overnight at another Boondocker’s Welcome hosts home. This location was a small neighborhood and we parked on the street. Although street parking isn’t typical for us, it definitely comes in handy when you need to be in a larger city.

Getting up bright and early in the dark is a drag but then I was quickly off to the airport.

On the way into Boise Airport

What’s Next

We split up for nearly a week. Cheryl headed to visit Mom in Hot Springs Village, AR and Steve headed to Gooding, ID and the location of a future project we’re working on putting together.

If you enjoy personal travel stories and especially camping, follow this blog by entering your email below. You can also follow us on Instagram @WorkingOnExploring or @Maximus.4×4.camper, and subscribe to our WorkingOnExploring YouTube Channel on for our build and trip clips. Good luck on your own exploring and we’ll see you from the road somewhere soon!