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You won't be seeing boring travel day photos in this post. Nope, all but the first two miles and the last twenty-five were driven on I-84 East between Farewell Bend, OR and Bruneau, ID.

Upon our approach to the eastern side of the capitol city of Boise, ID we saw an Airstream Dealership from the Interstate with plenty of inventory in the sales lot. We've been told that hasn't been the case lately. Then a few minutes later I thought, what if those units weren't for sale? What if they were there waiting on parts or for their service appointment to arrive? I sure hope that wasn't the case here!

We did make one pitstop in Boise at a Costco. Tricia has just about finished up her supply of vitamins and Costco has the brand she likes, only we no longer have a Costco account and they wouldn't let us in the store to buy anything.

Well that's not exactly true! After speaking to the Customer Sevice person for several minutes we went into the store to "use the restrooms". On the way back out the door we stopped at the Food Court and "paid cash" for our lunches.

That way we didn't have to explain we no longer have a Costco account. We purchased a ¼-lb. Hot Dog with refillable Soda, a slice of Pizza and a Cinnamon and Sugar Churro, all for just over $5.00, what a bargain!

Getting back on the Interstate we encounter the usual traffic issues that come with a big city. Even with 8-lanes of Interstate the traffic was still quite heavy. Add in the perpetual construction, constant lane changes and dissapearing lanes made for a less than pleasant experience. Once outside of the city limits everthing went back to normal on typical 4-lane highway.

After exiting the Interstate we had 25-miles of countryside driving before arriving at Bruneau Dunes State Park. We then easily found our reserved campsite. Since today is Columbus Day we didn't recieve the 50% Senior Discount on the camping fee, but tomorrow and the next day are both discounted.

Idaho sure doesn't make it easy to figure out the price of camping in their state parks, especially for non-residents. Most parks have a $3 upcharge per night for out of state campers, I feel that's very reasonable. But at five of their most popular state parks the nightly upcharge becomes unreasonable at $24-$64 a night. That's right, an extra $64 a night to camp each and every night, just because you don't live in the state. We won't be visiting those parks, no way!

Oh yeah, almost forgot, all state parks require a $7 a day Motor Vehicle Entrance Pass, that's for everybody. But at those five "popular parks" out of state residents pay double, $14 just to drive into the park, whether you're camping or not. That just tells me they don't need tourist dollars to support their state parks!

The 50% Senior Discount is only honored at nine of their least visited parks, and only on Monday through Thursday nights (excluding holidays and premium sites). That's why we decided not to completely avoid camping in the Idaho State Park system.

All that said, Bruneau Dunes State Park was already on our "Bucket List to Visit" because they have something here that doesn't exist anywhere else in the United States. More on that tomorrow!

Just outside of Costco we spotted a near-peak fall color display in this tree.

That's quite a Welcome Sign here at Bruneau Dunes State Park.
In case you didn't know, that iron work is in the shape of Idaho.

There is absolutely no shade here in the campground.
Glad we can make our own! Now where is the breeze we were promised?

Even ROVER is wearing his sunglasses here in the late afternoon sun.

TUESDAY - This morning we ventured over to the Visitor Center here at Bruneau Dunes State Park where they have a small museum displaying artifacts found inside the park.

Here is what we learned about how these huge sand dunes were formed and why it happened here.

At the end of the last Ice Age, about 14,500 years ago, melting glaciers overflowed the ancient Lake Bonneville which is the location of today's Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. The melt water brought clay, silt and sand downstream through the Snake Canyon and deposited everything here where we find it today in Bruneau Dunes State Park.

Burneau Dunes is located about 20-miles from any densely populated area and makes for the perfect location for star gazing due to the low levels of light polution. For that reason the Boise Astronomical Society promoted the construction of an observatory here is 1998.

The park offers the public a chance to view the stars through a 25-inch telescope, one of the largest public accessible telescopes in the Northwest United States. They run their programs during the summer weekends and of course, as usual, we are only here for Monday through Wednesday nights and this weekend is the last show for the season.

At 470' the tallest sand dune in the United States is located here.

We spotted someone, not me, climbing to the top of one of the shorter dunes.
This is permitted here, encouraged even,
since they rent sand sleds and crash helmets in the Visitor Center.

The observatory is dwarfed by even the smaller of the sand dunes.
The Big Dune can be seen in the background.

At the base of the sand dunes is a large lake that is stocked with fish.
I imagine that is to help encourage people to visit and pay the $7 park admission.

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