It’s been almost a year since Dustin and I have had an entire night to ourselves! My parents lovingly offered to watch Acacia for the weekend so we could go on a little getaway together. No worrying about rushing home to the babysitter and no worrying about having to get up early with the baby. We didn’t plan our trip out at all (surprise, surprise). In fact, we didn’t even pack until about an hour before we left. We decided, last minute, to drive up to the mountains and rent the first motel or cabin that was available. We drove a little over an hour away to Crouch, because it’s right along the Wildlife Canyon Scenic Byway – one of my favorite roads in Idaho with great hiking, camping, and multiple hot springs to enjoy. The town is really small (population 170) and has the idealized mountain/western vibe with log buildings lining central area of town. I hear things get pretty crazy up there during the 4th of July. The town also has an outdoor theater, called Starlight Mountain Theatre, where they put productions on during the summer. My mom took us there too see “Seven Brides For Seven Brothers” when we were little and I remember loving it!
There was only one motel in town, the Wander Inn. The owner had left a sign on the door saying she was out walking the dogs. To kill time, we headed to the local grocery store to stock up on some snacks and drinks for the night. The owner still wasn’t back from her walk by the time we were done, so we decided to head to the bar around the corner for a round of drinks and pool. We met an older couple and played them in a game of pool (girls won, of course). Then we ordered a large pizza and headed back to the motel to check in. It was a humble little log cabin, complete with a kitchenette and a “home at the cabin” sign on the door. Did I mention that it was only $60 a night? Once we were settled in, we got our swimsuits on and jumped in the car to search for some hot springs. There was one about 10 miles away off the side of the highway. We were lucky enough to be the only ones that night, so we went skinny dipping and soaked in the springs beneath the stars. We ended the night back at the hotel, drinking and laughing together until 4am.
Despite staying up so late, my body was still in mom-mode so I instinctually woke up at 9:30 like Acacia and I usually do on the weekends. So much for sleeping in for once! We relaxed in bed together and watched a little bit of hockey game, then we grabbed some breakfast from one of the only restaurants in town other than the bar. We hardly had to look over the menu before we decided what to order. Loaded biscuits and gravy – our official breakfast cure-all for hangovers. Small town restaurants are my favorite! Our waitress was so friendly and we could hear the cook from the kitchen asking her to taste-test his soup of the day…love it! The soup of the day was chipotle cheddar in case you were wondering, and it was delicious.
We went for a drive on the highway after breakfast. We were in search of a hot springs that I had visited with some friends on a prior trip. But we ended up stumbling on an entirely different one that was more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. We walked through Pine Flats Campground to a snowy, frozen path alongside the Payette River. It lead us through the forest a ways to a steamy cliff-side, dotted with pools of glistening warm water. The snowy mountains, pine trees, and the rushing crystal-clear river were your view from the springs. It was a dream. The entire atmosphere of the place felt sacred, ancient, and secret. I’m sure it’s a lot different in the summer time, being next to a campground, it probably attracts a lot of people. I definitely recommend visiting in winter for a more private experience. There were some people soaking in the springs already so we didn’t have the opportunity to try them out like the previous night. We hiked around and took photos, then spread out a blanket and cracked open a couple beers while we took in the incredible scenery.
It was a much needed getaway and made me realize how important it is for us to be able to spend time alone and reconnect. Life gets so hectic between work, school, and raising a baby. So much of our daily conversations revolve around Acacia and our responsibilities as parents that it was nice to goof off and feel like normal 20-something year olds for a change. All parents should have the occasional weekend without the kids to be selfish and let loose a little bit – we deserve it.