What’s in a Name?

The other day I was asked by a non RV’er how we decide on our travel destinations and how we choose where to camp?  It actually took me a few minutes to think about this and I couldn’t come up with just one simple answer.  Sometimes our decision-making is easy and other times it can be down right challenging.

Stylish Chicks!

Which way should we go?

I tried to simplify my answer ….. Our interest in an area is usually from a good old-fashioned road atlas/map, or someone’s blog post, or brochures we pick up at a Visitor Center.  Once we have a basic idea of where we think we’d like to go and what sights there are to see, we peruse several websites to find camping options in that areas’ general vicinity.  Our two favorite websites are RV Park Reviews and Campendium.

When we first arrived in Idaho last May, I managed to visit a very nice Visitor Center in the town of Idaho Falls.  It was there that I picked up a ton of information covering some highlights and must see attractions in this beautiful and diverse State.

After glancing through a few brochures, I was reminded that I had read a blog Beaver Dickpost about Yellowstone Bear World, and quickly added it to my list of Idaho places I wanted to see.  Since we prefer camping as close to an attraction as possible, I started doing my research……

and that’s when I stumbled across the Beaver Dick County Park.  Come on, with a name like that, we had to overnight there.

Say it with me…. “Beaver Dick”.  Doesn’t that just want to make you giggle like a silly school child?  I know every time I say Beaver Dick, I chuckle.   This was an easy camping decision and a decision based purely on the name….  😄

Camping at Beaver Dick Park

Camping at Beaver Dick Park

The Beaver Dick Park is a small nine acre county park popular with the locals.  It’s located about 5 miles west of the town of Rexburg, Idaho off Highway 33, and situated on the west bank of the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River.

Plenty of hiking trails

Plenty of hiking trails

It also backs up to 400 acres of BLM Land available for hiking and hunting (during hunting season that is).

The park was named after Richard Leigh, a widely known and liked outfitter, guide, and trapper of beaver – thus, the nickname, Beaver Dick.

He married a Shoshone Indian named Jenny.  Did you know, Leigh Lake and Jenny Lake in the Grand Tetons were named after these two?  I love stumbling upon this kind of whimsical history.

Our relaxing campsite at Beaver Dick Park

Our relaxing campsite at Beaver Dick Park

The park offers picnic tables, fire rings, vault toilets, fifteen dry campsites, and a boat ramp.  We stayed for five nights for a total cost of $15.  Whoohoo!  With that kind of price, the wine fun budget for the month was increased 😉

July 2016 – Beaver Dick Park turned into a great place not only for us to relax but also to explore eastern Idaho. First order of business …. a visit to Yellowstone Bear World, a drive-thru wildlife park.

Yellowstone Bear World

Yellowstone Bear World

After paying admission, I was given firm directions (verbal and written) to leave my windows on the truck UP, drive slowly, and not to let a bear climb into the bed of the truck 🤔 Huh?  The road first meanders past free roaming bison, elk, and deer.  Eventually, I approached another gate where I was stopped by an attendant who once again reminded me to keep my windows up, then I entered the Bear area….

Bear roam freely at Yellowstone Bear World

Bear roam freely at Yellowstone Bear World

Yellowstone Bear WorldI encountered Bear walking in front of me, to the side of me, and behind me.  Although, I did keep the windows in the truck rolled up, the bears quite frankly could’ve cared less about the vehicles driving past and not one wanted to hitch a ride. I’m sure they’re thinking, “Just another day of crazy tourists taking photos”.

cute bear cubs at play

cute bear cubs at play

Yellowstone Bear WorldAfter the drive, I parked at the visitor center and browsed the gift shop before venturing into the petting zoo.  Upon exiting the building, I was greeted by the cub habitat …. a great little fenced island that was home to three very active bear cubs. Watching these little cubs wrestling with one another was worth the price of admission.  For an additional fee, you can sign up to actually bottle feed a bear cub.

For an additional fee, you can bottle feed a bear cub

For an additional fee, you can bottle feed a bear cub



The little cubs were so darn cute, but the cuteness didn’t end with them …..

This little fawn was adorable

This little fawn was adorable

The petting zoo was fun - watch out for t-shirt nibbling deer!

Watch out for T-shirt nibbling deer!

Goats are such characters!

Goats are such characters!

This guy liked nibbling on peoples clothing.

This guy liked nibbling on peoples clothing.

Petting zoo

Although the petting zoo itself is extremely entertaining, I found a special treat just beyond ….. in an enclosed area.  This little lady (moose are anything but little) was lounging on the other side of the fence at the far end of the petting zoo. I was but a mere twenty feet away from her.MooseWhat a treat to see this magnificent animal up close.  A very tall chain link fence separated me and Ms. Moose, but I was able to shoot this photo between the links.

Yellowstone Bear World is a relatively small attraction and can easily be explored in 2-3 hours.  I thoroughly enjoyed my morning visit in early July, and would definitely return should I find myself near Rexburg, Idaho again.

Let’s see, communing with animals while camped at a relaxing county park – so far, so good.  Next up, we wrap up our Idaho visit with a few more interesting places worth mentioning.


67 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

  1. Jaw agape, at the name of the park! Love the lake connection but what the heck is a “vault” toilet?

    Must admit…my kind of petting zoo! 😀 😀

  2. Like minds! We stayed at Beraver Dick for the very same reason! How could you NOT? We had friends ask us to buy T-shirts with the name for them. They do not have any though. It was a great park. No one in it but us and one other.

  3. Pingback: Final thoughts on Idaho | Live Laugh RV

  4. Great post, I really enjoyed the photos and info on the Yellowstone Bear Park–Definetly want to bookmark that. Really enjoy reading your blogs and all the great tips you give. Your photos are so awesome. Thanks for sharing. Hope to meet you on the road one day.

    • Awe, thank you. In my sidebar, I always keep my location up to date so feel free to email me if we’re ever in the same location… love meeting fellow travelers!

  5. Pingback: What’s in a Name? — Live Laugh RV – campingboatingleisure

    • I think if I had visited with my daughter, we would’ve definitely fed the cubs, but I was there by myself and couldn’t stop watching the bear cubs playing. So, so cute!

  6. Enertaining park name for sure. Can’t believe you didn’t omit the word”park” each time you wrote it – bet you considered that 🙂 I’d say the kids just love the animal park

    • Haha Larry and I DID initially omit the word ‘park’ but felt it sounded somehow wrong. I wish my daughter had visited the animal park with me. She would’ve loved it, but even my solo visit was fun.

  7. Am I so glad you had that gig in Idaho! Otherwise these gem of a place would have not caught your naughty imagination. It looks like our Idaho visits is now laid out thanks to your impromptu planning.
    Those are interesting tidbits, Jenny Lake and Beaver Dick! Hmm.
    I like the snuggling Rooster and Goat the best.

    • That’s one of my favorite photos as well. I’ve got one more post on Idaho that’ll hopefully highlight a few more sights for you guys to see. This state is truly and outdoor mecca.

  8. How can help but giggle at a name like Beaver Dick Park? It would peak anyone’s curiosity. I think you answered the non RVers question perfectly for all of us that do rv. Also enjoyed your photos especially the bear cubs, they are adorable.

    • Yeah, we all find our own way of navigating this lifestyle. After four years, we’ve settled in and have a confidence we lacked in the beginning. Baby animals of any kind make me smile 🙂

    • Yes, I’ve explored some of my favorite places from bloggers. Looks like you are having an amazing excursion in Europe and I’m so glad you’re sharing the trip 🙂

  9. That sure is an interesting name for a park! The bear park was very cool, we have never been through there and will have to check it out on our next trip through that area.

  10. Wow! Now I know where Jenny Lake got its name! We named our last Golden Retreiver Jenny, after the lake! We took her there a couple of years before she passed, and she loved it. Good memories, Ingrid!

    • I know, interesting tidbit of history. I can totally understand why you would name a beloved pet after such a picturesque setting. We loved the Tetons and I can see ourselves returning.

  11. There, I’ve just said “Beaver Dick” five times in a row and just finished laughing. You have the right approach to the full-timing lifestyle. When I discovered that we were just living in the motorhome but not taking the time to stop and see and explore with it, that’s when I decided I wanted out and to put down some roots. I look forward to exploring IKEA with you on Sunday!

    • Five times, huh? Glad you managed a good chuckle. I can totally relate to why you’re settling down. Whenever we sit in one spot much more than 30 days, I go into homestead mode and start spending oodles of time on Zillow.
      I’ve got my list of things to look at for our shopping day at Ikea. See ya soon!

  12. You have a knack of finding the coolest places, Ingrid. I love the petting zoo. Looks like the adults had as good a time as a little one would have.

    • Fortunately, I visited Yellowstone Bear World during a quiet weekday morning and didn’t have to share the animals at the petting zoo with too many other children 😆

    • I know, how fun was that tidbit of history? We had just been to the Tetons four weeks earlier and were getting ready to head back over to the Tetons. On our second visit, I felt compelled to spend a longer visit at Jenny Lake and Leigh Lake. Ah, to see this stunning scenery 100 years ago!

    • Yeah, we love to be in wander mode. July and August had us changing directions with every conversation. I was like the dog in the cartoon movie “Up”….. ‘squirrel’…

  13. The internet has made it so easy to pick and choose where we go and to collect valuable information, especially of more remote areas. 11 years ago when we took our camper through Central America that was a bit harder to come by. That being said, I still like my paper maps and guide books! Those baby animals are so darn cute. While I prefer to see wildlife in the wild, I would enjoy interacting with them at Yellowstone Bear World. The country park looks like the perfect place to camp out for a while. I’ll have to get back to your blog, Ingrid, whenever we find ourselves in Idaho! 🙂

    • I think you would enjoy the remoteness of Idaho and the ever changing landscape. There’s no shortage of picturesque places to pitch a tent or things to photograph (don’t let Mark know LOL). I too prefer seeing animals in the wild, but the animals seem well cared for and happy at Yellowstone Bear World. Nothing felt confining to me.
      Yep, love my paper maps and never travel without one. I’ve found myself without connection one too many times!

  14. I love that we are living this lifestyle in the time of technology. The blogging world has probably been our favorite way to find new places to visit. I love reading a blog and then immediately changing our route to see this new place. Beaver Dick…haha!! What a name! Love your bear tour…how adorable:) A great day!

    • Yeah, blog posts have found us changing direction on a whim and they are my favorite method of discovering new places to see. The Beaver Dick Park was perfect for us to explore this part of Idaho and although we considered staying longer in eastern Idaho, Colorado was calling.

  15. Yep, there are lots of neat names for places …Mammoth Cave is a particular fav of mine. Love those photos, getting up close and personal with the bears! When we were in Prudhoe overnight, they told us not to leave any coolers with food in the back of the truck..The bears will tear that tonneau cover right off for food. Idaho is wonderful, diverse and full of history..Thanks for letting us ride with you!

    • And thank you for enlightening me on some beautiful sights to see in Idaho. Redfish Lake is perhaps one of the most picturesque lakes I’ve ever seen. I really wanted to go back and camp there so I could meander around Stanley but obligations had us moving east. Retracing portions of the Oregon Trail was also very interesting.

  16. I have never been to Idaho, but it is on the bucket list! Thank you for sharing this wonderful adventure!

  17. I am still giggling at the name…
    Oh and I just have to be the first to say…
    The Bears! (said exactly Chicago style for their football team) Just for you! Great pictures girlfriend!

    • To be Chicago exact = Da Bears, LOL! After living in Colorado twenty plus years, I think it’s safe to say I’m a Broncos fan convert and now that I’m sporting Arizona plates, I’m warming to the Cardinals….. maybe!!! Doesn’t really matter since I’m not too much of a sports fan anyway but still fun to talk about 🙂

  18. Love the second to the last photo of the antelope and the chicken. Looks like the antelope is keeping a wary eye open.

    Funny about travel plans – sometime they come together nearly perfectly, and sometimes it just doesn’t work. There’s always another day to get it right, though….

    • The goat and the chicken hanging together in the little red barn was really cute. And yeah, sometimes we’re presented with challenges while traveling, but guess that’s all part of the adventure.

  19. We have seen that RV park, too funny. We stopped at Bear world 9 years ago when returning from Glacier on our honeymoon. The little baby bears were the best part, too dang cute.

    • I sure wish I could’ve remembered who’s blog post I read about Yellowstone Bear World. I thought maybe you but then again I could’ve also gotten this drive-thru park confused with one near Rapid City. Oh well, regardless it was worth visiting those darn cute bear cubs and we enjoyed our visit to eastern Idaho.

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