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City of Rocks enchants….

Summer 2021

We finally got to City of Rocks on our way back through Idaho. In August there was still smoke in the air from fires burning in the west which is not fun to breathe but can sometimes give unworldly effects as in some of these pictures. We knew that many of the camp sites in the city were smaller so we booked a spot in a fairly new City of Rocks RV Campground right outside the park. The family that runs it lives right next door and came over with tip sheets of great drives to take to see some of the best sights- even some of their own special places they liked to picnic. They are working to grow trees for shade and had nice touches such as antler handles on the outhouse doors and dried sagebrush to use in the fire rings.

That afternoon we took a quick drive up the road and happened to catch perfect light through some ruins. Back at the campsite we could see the log cabin across the road that our host’s grandfather had lived in.

We got up early the next morning in search of views and the rocks did not disappoint. We followed a rather steep switchbacky trail up to a high perch outside the park boundaries where I climbed up on the truck and used my Tombow paintbrush markers to sketch a quick scene to capture the atmosphere. Meanwhile Jim and the dogs worked their way across to the other ridge looking at the geological underpinnings (well, Jim was. The dogs were rolling and sniffing other things like cow pies).

We stopped again several times on the way back and I was able to capture some of the flora and fauna up close. I really look forward to coming back with more time to paint. I suspect it’s different at every hour and every day.

On the way out of the park we stopped at the Emigrant Rock- going around the back reveals many of the names still that those on the Oregon Trail scribbled on the rock in a natural shelter of sorts to memorialize their journey. A fence keeps people from loving it to death and erasing the last vestiges but you can still get quite close for photos.

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