Where the Heck is Ririe?

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Welp folks, we picked the Juniper Campground to rest our weary heads for a couple of nights. The farm town of Ririe (674 souls) is about 21 miles northeast of Idaho Falls (61,000 souls) and Juniper Campground is on the shores of Ririe Reservoir about six miles from town. It sounded like a nice place. It’s right on a big body of water which our Lab loves, there’s mowed grass at the campsites, it offers full hookups and is reasonable in price. Aaand sites are available- site availability has been problem we’ve encountered the entire trip.

We head out of Three Island State Park, through Glenn Ferry and head east on I-84. We haven’t been through Craters of the Moon National Monument for a zillion years. At Hagerman (884 souls) we join US 26 and head northeast through, you guessed it, farmland. The first town we come to is Shoshone (1400 souls), seat of Lincoln County. During different times most kids would be back in school people would be working at their place of employment and we’d be headed up Highway 75 to Redfish Lake and the Sawtooth Mountains. During this strange COVID-19 time in our history that was not to be so we continued on.

The first town of any consequence we come to is Carey (604 souls). We are looking for a nice place to walk the dogs. Lookie there! A fairgrounds with a nice grassy infield right across the street! Out we go and discover not only a nice grassy area but a swine and cow barn. Boy, the mutzos were in heaven. Sniff, sniff, sniff, SNIFF.

Next is Arco (995 souls), a very unique town indeed! It’s the first town in the world to be lit by electricity generated solely by nuclear power. This occurred for about an hour on July 17, 1955, powered by Argonne National Laboratory’s BORAX-IIIreactor at the nearby National Reactor Testing Station (NRTS), now the Idaho National Laboratory. Beyond Arco is Craters of the Moon National Monument.

We drive through high desert passing the Idaho National Labratory. It’s a part of the US Department of Energy’s complex of national labratories and is the leading center of nuclear energy research and development. The smoke is so thick we can’t see the grounds, which sit way off of the road for security reasons, only its sign.

We pass through Idaho Falls, continuing on US 26 for about 20 miles. We turn down a farm road that splits wheat and hay farms and head to the campground. While here we will go into Ririe and check it out.

Ririe Community Center circa 1936- all log construction

The campground was laid out by someone not too familiar with RV’s at least the “C” loop was. “A” loop is the only one reservable and it is very nice and RV friendly. “B” loop is pretty good too. It’s first come first serve. C loop is an extension of “A” loop and like “B” loop it is also first come first serve. Who would know that one has to drive through “A” to get to “C”? Loop “C” isn’t a loop at all, it’s a one way road. All but one site in “C” are drive through loops so if one comes in the right way through “A” loop the RV door would have one exit onto a pile of ankle breaking rocks instead of the grassy area on the other side on half of the sites making them almost unusable.

Our campsite. The ones on the other side of the road would have you steop out onto those rocks on the right side of the photo rather than the grass area on the left

The reservoir is a bust as far as Megan is concerned. The only access to the water is down a boat ramp or down rocky embankments. She decides the irrigation sprinklers will do just fine and gets in her dunks.

All in all Juniper campground is well maintained and a nice stop for a day or two, especially for boaters and fishermen.

Tomorrow we are off to Dubois, Wyoming. See you there!

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