The Coy Family Scrapbook

Willow Creek Campground

View of campground

We got a bit of a wild hair on Friday night and decided to head out the next morning with some brand new kayaks to Willow Creek Campground.  This campground is pretty small and not very RV friendly.  There are less than a dozen sites with only a few that are RV accessible (small RV – ours fit fine), and they are located at the upper part of the campground, not as close to the river.  The other thing that makes this not as desirable with an RV is the long dirt road to get there. Once off the highway, the road is about 20+ miles long, with 15 of that being a winding, narrow dirt road which took us an hour.  Our little Kodi was filled with dust when we arrived.  All in all, though, we enjoyed the small-scale size with only a handful of other campers.  The main attraction to this campground is the beach area right on the river (see pic above, taken from the road).

WC Campsite

This was not our first visit to this campground.  We came a couple of years ago with some friends in the middle of the summer.  We were literally attacked by mosquitoes when we got out of the car and the hubbies had to make a run to the store for bug spray.  Three hours later they returned with the bug spray and it hardly seemed to help at all!  So we made another attempt as a family to head up for the day in mid-September.  Pleasantly surprised by the lack of mosquitoes, we vowed to come back and try camping again.

The kayaks were great fun!  We took turns going down the swift moving current near our campground, paddling on towards the reservoir for a ways, and then being picked up by the non-kayakers.  It was so much fun and so very relaxing when we were on the water.

Of course, Camille had to go swimming and talked Reid into it too.

Daddy Camille swimming

A very brief but fun trip!

Daddy Camille roasting shmallows

Here are some thoughts I have about the campground in general and the campsite:


  • Small, out of the way campground, pretty quiet
  • On the river
  • Clean vault toilets
  • Water pump
  • Beach area next to the river
  • Mild nighttime temps


  • Long dirt road to get there
  • Not many sites for RV’s
  • Can be buggy in the summertime
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Kodi’s Maiden Voyage

We took our new camper (Kodi, we named it) out for her maiden voyage last weekend.  I decided to keep a log of campsites to keep as a reference to remember what we liked and what we didn’t like.  Because, honestly, don’t all campsites look alike after awhile?  Of course, I hope to recount our many amazing memories in these campsites as well.

We left at about noon on Friday for Grandjean Campground and arrived around 3:00 or so (I think).  The drive is up Hwy 55, right on Banks Lowman Hwy, left on Hwy 21 to the Grandjean turn-off.  After the turn-off, we traveled seven miles up a dirt road (which took about 25 minutes of our drive).  The dirt road wasn’t too bad as it had just recently been smoothed out.  It ran along the river so it was a beautiful, scenic drive on the way in.  We passed the natural Sacajawea Hot Springs and decided to put that on our list of things to do over the weekend.

Upon arrival at the campground, it was pretty empty (school was not out yet) and we had our pick of sites.  We pulled up to one that was right next to a large, flowing stream but had little shade.  We got out and trudged up the road a bit to check out some other stream-side sites.  The other sites had lots of forested space and the stream was a little ways off from the campsite so we ended up choosing the first one we landed at.  In hindsight, I would have preferred something a little more shaded and private but this one worked well for us and the loud noise of the stream was like a large fan that produced a really wonderful white noise.

Our set-up wasn’t too bad but it was our first time.  The biggest challenge was getting the RV to be level.  Once that was accomplished, we discovered that our water pump wasn’t working.  We hadn’t really run it at home before we left so this was new to us.  We didn’t even know where the pump was located!  After some searching, Reid decided that the pump must be under the dinette bench.  It was a bigger job than what we could accomplish at the campground so we decided to tackle it when we got home.  Thankfully, we had access to the campground’s water pump so we just did dishes the old-fashioned camping way.

Grandjean water pump

The camp host was Darwin and his wife (didn’t get her name) from Nampa.  They were so kind and he knew that we were having some trouble with our pump so at one point, he came down to offer his assistance.  He was not able to figure anything out but his willingness to help us out was a blessing.  He even offered to bring us down some water when the pump was flowing really slowly.

We don’t have a picture of him but this was his ride around rig and his camp host spot.  We bought firewood here – a large bundle for $7.  Pretty good deal for a larger bundle than we could have bought in town.

We finally were settled around 5:00 and by then we were a little tired and a lot thirsty!  I made a note to bring a water cooler full of ice water for during our set-up time.  I’m sure that after a few times of doing this, it will go much smoother.  Our dinner was a team effort of cutting up sausage, onions, potatoes, and peppers and cooking them over the stove in the trailer.

Overnight evening temperatures were in the low 40’s which wasn’t too bad but we were all a little cold, especially Reid who forgot a hat (I put that on the camping list).  It was a restless night for most of us and we were all a little tired the next day but not to worry….naptime to the rescue!

Saturday was a bit overcast and barely got to the low 70s.  It was a perfect day for a hike so we enjoyed the woods and the scenery on our 2-3 mile hike (approximate distance).  Camille’s shoe had rubbed a sore spot on her heel so we decided to turn back.

We got back to the camper and got something to eat and then decided to try those hot springs.  It was about a 2 mile distance from the campground so we decided to drive.  We parked at the top of a cliff with a little dirt path that lead to the hot springs.  The main pool was occupied (and by “pool”, I mean a circle of rocks sectioned off from the rest of the river) so we settled on the other smaller pool.  Upon entering the pool, we all just about burned our feet it was so hot.  Once in a ways, we could get a good mix of cold water mixed with the hot water to make it a little more tolerable.  Poor Puppy burned his little paws when he tried to come in and join us!

Dinner was grilled burger and hot dogs.  We played lots of games and just had a really fun day!  The nighttime consisted of us making up a modified game of Capture the Flag in the dark.  This needs a bit of tweaking because we all found that there were certain things that didn’t quite work well in our version for just the four of us.  We all slept great that night…partly because we were so exhausted, partly because we were not as cold as the night before.  We did turn the furnace on and set it to 50 degrees but I don’t think it ever kicked on.  I believe the nighttime temps were around the mid-40’s.

Sunday was another very fun day.  After sleeping in until 9:00 and having a lovely breakfast of buttermilk pancakes and bacon, we split up to do our separate activities.  Reid and Camille really wanted to go fishing and Michaela and I were desiring another hike up the mountain.  Our hike was really beautiful along the Trail Creek Trail.  The trail wound its way up a bit of an incline through sagebrush and trees until we came to higher ground with lush meadows on either side of us.  At one of the switchbacks, we had a great vantage point of the river with lots of falls.  It was a ways off but we could still see it.  In fact, the rest of the walk we kept thinking we were getting closer to seeing more of it, but the trail kept switching back and forth and then the noise of the falls becoming fainter.  We might have kept going but the Dog was pretty tuckered out and we needed to meet back up with Reid and Camille and get packed up to leave.

Upon our arrival back at camp, Camille was so excited to report that while they were fishing (not having caught anything), they spotted a river otter!  What was cute about that is that she made a little “boat” out of tree bark, put some wildflowers in it and sent it down the river.  Apparently, this caught the otter’s eye and he wanted to see what this little foreign object was and it drove him out of hiding.  What a special blessing for Camille to be able to witness this creature in the wild.

Packing up the rig and breaking down was quite smooth and uneventful (except for the devil bug that Reid flicked off the trailer and it landed on me).  We left camp and took Hwy 21 all the way back, with a stop in Idaho City for ice cream.  We decided this would not be the way we go in the future because of the very steep and winding road to the top of the pass.  We were able, however, to make a water dump in Idaho City for a donation.

Some other notes about the campground:  VERY clean vault toilets that were literally immaculate (not even a bug to be seen) and smelled wonderful (the camp host had put a cinnamon air freshener in it); about 30 campsites in all with no reservations required; very quiet campground, probably due to the fact that you had to drive in quite a ways off the main road; lots of private, wooded campsites; not sure how many pull-through sites there were but I would guess about 5-10.

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Our Great California Adventure – On the Road

My brother decided to get married to his sweetheart in Santa Barbara.  We all were so excited to be able to turn it into a fun family vacation/road trip.  What a ton of fun we had!  One of the best things we decided to do was rent a car.  Our Volvo is, what I would call, sub-compact and our Suburban…well, that was completely out of the question due to the gas mileage.  Both of our cars are a little older too and we were unsure of how they would do on a 2500 mile road trip.   That, plus the wear and tear on the car was enough to entice us to look into a rental.

We ended up with a Subaru Legacy sedan.  It was fuel economical, had tons of room inside for all four of us, and plenty of trunk space (well, sort of).  We were at least able to fit everything in, albeit a snug fit.


This was our home away from home for 2500 miles in 11 days.  Cute car, huh?


Here we go!





Our first leg of the drive looked mostly like this

Stopped in Winnemucca to grab a bite.  We are big fans of The Griddle here in Boise and we heard there was one here too so that’s what we decided on.  Good food!


Our first stop was to visit Roy, Julie, Bryan, and James Warner (Roy is Reid’s cousin).  They were so gracious to put us up for the night.  We enjoyed dinner, lots of great conversation and some fun games that evening.




We were very road-weary but so grateful for a fun (lots of singing and audio books!) beginning to our trip.

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Family Bike Ride

We enjoyed a family bike ride along the greenbelt. It was a beautiful Saturday and I am not sure why we didn’t see hoards of people. This was a new section that we hadn’t explored that day.



The weather was beautiful but it was a little chilly.  Still, Camille had to take a dip in the river when we stopped to rest.

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For Camille’s birthday this year, we took her for an introductory SCUBA lesson at Boise Water Sports with her Daddy.  This is something she has dreamed about for a long time.  Of course, her dreams probably include really cool underwater sea life, not chlorinated water in a swimming pool.  But it was still really fun to watch her enjoying herself with all the equipment on and getting to breathe underwater.  Not every 11 year old can say that is something they have done.


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Fourth of July

This past Fourth of July, we decided to do something a little different.  Normally, we spend the day with friends or family, going to parades, barbecues, and other over-the-top-crowded venues.  We thought, “Why not do something that bucks the trend?” (since that is pretty much how we roll anyway).  So we started out the day doing some geocaching away from town.  We were in the Indian Creek area of Kuna and found a couple of caches.


Indian Creek

It was already getting pretty hot so we decided to head to the Kuna Cave.  We had no idea what to expect but the cave is fairly well-known in the area so we thought it might be fun to check out.  The Cavemen are the Kuna High School’s mascot, after all.  

The cave was, literally, in the middle of nowhere.  We took a right down a dirt road and followed that for about a mile and then took another right at the big boulder.  We could see, off in the distance, in the middle of the desert, something that looked like a ladder sticking up out of the ground.  We came near and it was a ladder!  The cave is actually not the kind of cave that comes to mind when you say “cave”, but instead is a lava tube.  A steel ladder takes you 50 feet underground into the cave.


Once inside, we were pretty amazed at how large this thing was!  It continued underground in a couple directions.  One direction took us about 1/4 mile in.  Very fun but a little creepy.


The fun was not yet over because we all decided to go see the movie, Epic.  We came home afterward, made dinner, and then headed out to see fireworks.  Can’t have the 4th without fireworks!


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Our Visit with Grandma Deb and Grandpa Ben

Since the family was still away at Elise’s graduation when we arrived at their home, this is who greeted us:


Lucky Dog

Our first day with the Repponds, we decided to go to the American Girl Store, something Camille had on her “yes, let’s do that!” list.  Grandma Deb and Celeste came along and we even managed to drag Reid along too (although, I think he spent more time in the food court than in the store).  Camille found some neat treasures.  Most of the time, the American Girl Store and catalog are wonderful jump-start inspirations for making her own doll clothing and furniture.

Later that afternoon, we took a lovely walk down to Carkeek Park and Beach.  The weather was beautiful and we were dying to go to a beach (another item on Camille’s to-do list).  I just love how Camille lights up with excitement when she is near any body of water whatsoever.  We had lots of fun digging in the sand for creatures and rocks.

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Road Trip Beginnings

Our road trip fun began on June 14th at about noon.  The weather in Boise was already well into the 90’s and extremely hot so we were ready to head to nice, mild Seattle.  Our first stop is always the same on our way to Seattle…the Starbucks in Baker City, Oregon.


Happy girls

Drinks in hand, we are now ready for the remaining six hours of the drive.  Got our handy dandy technical devices on board.

Many cords = happy travelers

Many cords = happy travelers

Love this man!  He so willingly drives the many hundreds of miles every time.  I might jump in to relieve him for an hour or two but he definitely does the lion’s share of the driving.


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“Our” Cow

We heard about a family who lives just a mile or so down the road from us that has milk cows and sells her fresh, raw milk.  I actually can’t remember where I got her information but I called her back in December to get more information.  She was very gracious and spent quite a bit of time telling me all about her small farm, Feathers and Horns, and her cows.  We have been purchasing raw milk from a produce store and have loved its creamy, rich flavor not to mention the health benefits.  I was so excited to hear about her purchasing program but disappointed to find out that she had a waiting list a mile long and had no idea when an opening would become available.

I just got a call from her last week, asking if I was still interested.  Yeah!  Here is “our” cow, Sunflower.  The milk comes in a big jug and we put it into a pitcher.  Look, you can actually see the cream line on the top.  YUM!  We scooped off the cream and are going to use it for whipped cream.

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Willow’s Edge Farm


I met Corrine recently at a Keepers of the Home meeting.  Turns out she is from Bothell, just around the corner (so to speak) from where we lived in Washington.  She had a farm there and raised her beautiful Fjords there.  She recently moved here to Idaho and kept the name Willow’s Edge Farm.  She breeds and raises Fjord horses as well as Irish Dexter heritage cattle.

This was the first time I had heard about this breed of cattle.  Apparently they are smaller, easier to keep and so they don’t require as much food.  They sure were cute!


She just had three Fjord foals (1 was at her home).  These two were named Sven and Sjasha.  We approached them and they didn’t even get up.  We couldn’t rouse them for anything!  I love the picture of the one who has his tongue hanging out with his head propped up on his leg.  We came back to them and they were finally up and around.  So adorable!

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