Selway River Corridor, ID: 9/9 – 9/14/20

We left Glacier NP and headed back south on Hwy 93 towards Missoula again.  After dry camping, we needed to refresh the tanks and get some laundry done.  Jim and Mary’s RV Park was full, so we spent the night at Jellystone Campground located just across the street.  Jellystone is a chain that caters to families with kids, and was not aesthetically beautiful like Jim and Mary’s.  If you have the time, click the link to Jim and Mary’s RV Park. The flower arrangements are beautiful. I’ve never seen a RV Park look so pretty. It is one of a kind.

We stayed here for one night on our way to Big Sky. This is not our rig. It was one of my favorite statues.

The next morning, we packed up and continued on Hwy 93 to Hwy 12 south and then west into Idaho. I almost didn’t notice the time zone sign. Cell phones will automatically reset, but battery operated and car clocks do not. It tends to get confusing, especially when traveling in and out of some of the western sates.

We were meeting Scott’s sister and her husband at O’Hara Campground in Nez Perce National Forest located in the Selway River Corridor.  

National Forest Land campgrounds typically charge from $5 – $20 per night.  While there are no hookups, this location had fresh water.  Of the 12 Federal Campgrounds located along the Selway River and Route 12, O’Hara is the only campground with fresh drinking water. There are 32 campsites.  Some sites can be reserved online and some are FF (first come, first serve).   Our site, #3, was reserved in advance, but is wasn’t along the river.  The riverfront sites had man-made swimming holes made of larger rocks.  There are also several “sand bars” of undeveloped beaches.  I was amazed at how white the sand was in some areas.  

Shelley and Jack arrived late Thursday night.  On Friday, we took a ride up route 12 along the Selway River to Selway Falls.  This point down to Lowell provides a 29-mile float trip.  Permits for floating, canoeing or kayaking are not required below Selway Falls, but are required for above it.  Although day temperatures were in the 70’s, we didn’t actually take the toys on the water.  We talked about it…but it never materialized.  The water was a tad chilly.  This seems to be a pattern with northwestern waters.

On Saturday morning, Scott and I were a part of a “virtual” ride to support finding a cure for Parkinson’s Disease.  Due to Covid, the annual New England ride in Maine took place in multiple locations.  We were happy to represent Idaho. This was our first ride with team, Do Good Marketing.  If virtual rides are a part of the future, we hope to be able to join in again.  

Getting ready to go.

After our ride, Jack drove us in his FJ to Lookout Butte Fire Tower. 

The tower can be rented for $40/night for campers who like high places in the wilderness.  That means you get to camp on the ground surrounding the tower, or you can walk up the five flights to the top. Would you consider sleeping in here overnight??

From atop this wooden, glass walls tower, you can enjoy a 360-degree view of four states – Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Montana at an elevation of 5,869 feet. Unfortunately, the view was impeded with haze from the surrounding forest fires.

We really enjoyed each others’ company and just hanging around the fire sharing stories from the early days.  Tess, their English Setter, entertained us with her playful disposition scouting out the squirrels and even a skunk one night!

Last year, Tess’ nine pups entertained us!

We left the next morning and headed west towards Boise to visit more family. We got stuck in traffic due to a rock slide. I got out of the truck to get a closer look at what was going on. What a mess.

We arrived in Boise and enjoyed fun times with Scott’s family.

Scott giving some love to Scout.
I think Scott wants a dog. He does love labs.
Russ, Liz, Jake, Scott and me

Jake was about to perform a piece on the piano for us. He is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! What a gift he gave us!

Enjoying a special gift from Liz…Thank you! I forgot how much I enjoy getting a pedicure!

Next stop, Nevada! We were going to continue northwest into the Northern Cascades; however, the raging fires in California were still polluting the surrounding states. Instead, we decided to head south to enjoy a bit more of summer weather.

Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho: 8/25 – 8/29/19

We left Lewiston, Idaho, and headed south/southeast.  We stopped at Cascade Lake State Park and was able to get a site at Sugarloaf Campground, located in the central eastern section of Idaho, for the night.  We wanted to break up the drive to the Sawtooth Mountains.

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908FCA47-63A4-4DE4-A086-5FB28BB91B73After we were settled, we took a short walk with our chairs and relaxed by the water’s edge.

CD77EB2B-D62F-4509-B12F-0A9DCF0D132E.jpegI put my toes in, as Scott braved the cooler temperatures of the lake.  If the air and the water temperatures were a little bit warmer, I would have gone for a swim.  It was already late in the day and the temperature was falling.

BB6C494B-92E8-4911-86C2-BEB11823ACFFThe camp host and his wife were very nice and chatty.  They told us that they volunteer for six weeks each year at various campgrounds.  They have free board, and they work Monday – Friday, with weekends off to enjoy the local attractions.  I have to say that I don’t really want to clean fire pits, campsites, and restrooms in exchange for free room and board.  I would, however, be willing work in one of the Visitor’s Centers at any of the National Parks.  I’d rather enjoy spending my time meeting and talking with people.

The following morning we headed east toward the Sawtooth Mountains.  The Sawtooth Range, a major attraction for hiking and camping, is nearly a 700-square mile section of central Idaho and contains hundreds of alpine lakes left by receding glaciers.  Some say that they are the most beautiful lakes in the country.  I will say that they are quite pristine, clear and clean.  From the highway, we could see the jagged edged mountain range in the distance.

EFBAC377-1233-4BE2-BDC8-1B1451EBCB94.jpeg“The Sawtooth Range is a mountain range of the Rocky Mountains in central Idaho reaching a maximum elevation of 10,751 feet at the summit of Thompson Peak. It encompasses an area of 678 square miles. There are 57 peaks with an elevation over 10,000 feet in the Sawtooth Range, all between 10,000 to 10,751 feet in elevation.  The Sawtooth Range and Wilderness are home to nearly 400 lakes created by receding alpine glaciers.”

We didn’t have a reservation.  We made our way to Redfish Lake, which featured several campgrounds located on the perimeter of the lake.  The sign for Sockeye Campground indicated that it was “Full”, but we have learned that sometimes there may be one or two campsites still available.  Luck was on our side, and we got a beautiful site for two nights.  Sockeye Campground is composed of 23 secluded campsites including 6 double-sites on the shore of Redfish Lake. (See map above)  All sites here are first-come, first-serve. The campground is situated in a Lodgepole pine forest, common near the ocean shore and in dry montane forests to the subalpine, but is rare in lowland rain forests.

D92CAC9D-A16C-4EFB-9C89-817DA015CBFDThe next morning, it was 35 degrees outside and 45 degrees inside at 8:00 a.m.  We bundled up and began an 11.5 mile, round-trip hike on Redfish Trail.

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A14B0A26-886D-4901-AF73-514E22F07C0CAbout a mile into the hike, the sun quickly warmed things up and we began to lose some layers.

D07BB6F8-D896-477B-9585-C55F3267AB33As we gained elevation, we could see the Sawtooth Mountain peaks (“saw teeth”) through the trees.

850a00e9-9e32-4eb2-9f7c-7012951e2615We had reached the end of the marked trail.  If you wanted to go further, you had to create your own path.  I am not particularly fond of “bushwhacking”, so we turned around to go back down.  Next thing I know, Scott was suddenly stung on his nose by either a bee or a wasp.  His nose began to swell and he could feel the stingers.  I didn’t see anything sticking out of his nose, however I didn’t have my reading glasses with me.

693EF83F-9FCF-4483-A76B-5B24BF6F3C6BHe told me that he had NEVER been stung before, a fact that made me a bit uneasy.  He had a first aide kit in his pack but it didn’t have any Benadryl, only an antiseptic wipe.  Luckily, Scott did not have any adverse reactions to the sting.  On the way out, we looked back at what we had hoped we would have climbed.  There is always a next time.

BE9D08F3-E4A5-46A7-B695-BC7ED08E1AA2The next day we decided to pack a lunch and go on a lake picnic.  We took one kayak and the paddle board and began our lake adventure. We took turns switching off between the water toys.  The water was a little chilly, but we did get wet.  Then, we found a private beach to dock our boats and set up our hammocks.  Just look at the clean, blue-green water and the majestic mountains in the distance.  It was exquisite.

390D342D-9C70-411F-83A1-0477CAC71F8F92B6098A-6B83-4C6B-B220-AA377FFD739475B66B4C-6910-46E3-8443-48072B82BA6E

8C59C38E-4028-4B40-96BD-7F5691715925The lake water was cold but refreshing.  I wasn’t able to stay in as long as Scott did.    It was time to cross the lake and make our way back to our campsite.  We made a fire on our last night at this campground.  Tomorrow we will continue our travels east.

Lewiston, Idaho: 8/17 – 8/25/19

“Lewiston was founded 157 years ago in 1862 in the wake of a gold rush which began the previous year near Pierce, northeast of Lewiston. In 1863, Lewiston became the first capital of the newly created Idaho Territory.  The only thing separating Lewiston, Idaho and Clarkston, Washington, is a river (The Snake River) with a state line running through it.   These twin cities are bonded by the history surrounding their namesake explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. They are further linked by being the gateway to Hell’s Canyon National Recreation Area, home of North America’s deepest gorge.”

Scott’s sister, Shelley, and her husband Jack, live just outside of the town of Lewiston, about a 30-minute drive through a beautiful, bountiful countryside.

CDC9E308-3B51-4A79-B47A-B8FE3FA483AC

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D2150DD5-412B-4AD6-BB96-6948A9942CC5They have quite a bit of land, with ample room for our home on wheels.  This would be our parking spot for the next week.

BA2E5E49-F978-4645-A961-8798264DA148Shelley and Jack moved up into this area from the town of Lewiston about a year ago.  They wanted more privacy and space as their family continues to grow.  Neighbors are spread apart and their view of the countryside goes on and on.

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88D7E90E-5961-4E6B-A674-914467F52919The community mailboxes are about .7 mile walk down the road.  It had gotten late when we took a walk to check the mail.

7EB61C8D-5AB2-4356-BDA8-F3F791E0BB90On a clear night, the sunset is absolutely gorgeous!

3F208886-C97C-48B1-8B6B-702207903488Jack breeds and trains English Setters to be hunting dogs.  Their dogs (Gus, the father, is a ginger, and Tess, the mom, is tricolor) had a litter of nine pups approximately five weeks before we arrived for our scheduled visit.  Here is a glimpse of the nine puppies, and two of their grandchildren, on the day we arrived.

974C78B9-4E71-48D8-8818-B09D4C6EBF0FOne minute she was playing outside of the pen.

C9548414-8308-4E97-B0C7-503633DE0F09I turned my back for a moment and look what happened.  If we all could think like a two year old, how much more fun we would have!

6B221FC7-C5D9-4960-8373-CB0527B6453F.jpegHer big brother had other ideas of how to play with the puppies.

5C779C69-C9FA-4D90-8C81-C4DCE7B45A1AI was in puppy heaven!  I picked up one puppy at a time to take a selfie, but somehow I missed three of them and took duplicates of others.  Of the nine puppies, there were five males and four females, six tricolor and three gingers.  And, they each had a name.  It was so overwhelming.

11F02AFE-8DAF-4B24-BA1B-5A3C4BE94300Scott was busy taking photos of the scattering puppies.  While he photographed one, another (Minnie) made a swing out of his camera’s strap.

cc3ad667-ec5a-4bf4-93a7-3b9bfc7b37d3.jpegSoon, it was feeding time.  In addition to their mother’s milk, the puppies are now receiving puppy food.  Look how nicely they cooperate.

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The next day, we took a drive along the Snake River.  “The Snake River originates in Wyoming and arcs across southern Idaho before turning north along the Idaho-Oregon border. The river then enters Washington and flows west to the Columbia River.”  We were on the east side of the river in Idaho, just west of Lewiston.  We stopped to take a walk down by the water.  It was a beautiful day with a nice breeze that took a bite out of the hot sun.  Across the river is the state of Washington and eventually Oregon.

72187127-C382-4D23-A9A6-AD1206B3956EEven though there were warning signs posted, there were still people who came to wade in the water.

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654195DB-458E-4044-83F0-449AA8C5B055Our next stop off was at Buffalo Eddy, an historical park featuring petroglyphs.

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“Long before Europeans or Americans first set foot in this country, the Nez Perce left behind vivid evidence of their association with this land.  On either side of an eddy formed by a series of sharp bends in the Snake River, are densely grouped clusters of petroglyphs and pictographs.  Known as Buffalo Eddy, the unique petroglyphs  contain hundreds of distinct images that possibly date from as early as 4,500 years ago.”

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The next morning, Scott was already outside in the yard reading.  He told me I could let the puppies out.  I immediately obeyed.

Next thing we knew, Tess, the mom, was let outside and the puppies went into a frenzy chasing her.  Scott made a comment that I shouldn’t have let the puppies out yet.  He filmed my reaction.

Later that morning, Shelley told us that there was a trail down the road from her house that she had been wanting to check out.  It was five mile hike down the canyon to the Snake River.  The trail was semi overgrown and it had two tracks for a quad (OHV).

2E4D8DF4-2B13-4F93-83A2-AE07AC0E4988Along the way, we passed plum trees that had ripened.  We ate them right from the tree.  These plums were the sweetest I have every tasted!

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It was extremely hot, but we continued on for a little while longer.  Then it was a mutual decision to turn around.  Three miles round trip in the heat was enough.  We hoped to get back out on this trail one early evening, but it didn’t happen.

August 21 was Shelley’s birthday.  Scott had not been with his sister on her birthday for many years.  It’s not easy when you live on opposite sides of the country.  Not only were we there to celebrate her special day, but her mom and Larry showed up as a surprise.  She was VERY surprised when she saw them in the parking lot by the restaurant the day before her birthday.

92701FFA-AF35-42F8-9D27-F440E3286A7EWe planned to meet them inside of the restaurant, but she snooped them out immediately.  Below is a picture of four generations of beautiful women.

FE6B22FC-29F2-48BF-B06B-DAA75CDFB270284355FC-49E5-49D6-AF6C-CDC0CA18B54262A3C12A-70ED-4631-AD4E-D455FF04F308The next day we celebrated again with chocolate birthday cake.

59AA4D05-2952-4035-981D-AB5D60CC99D1453DFC99-068E-42F3-A905-8A35A226396BThe next day we drove to the confluence of two rivers, just outside of the border of Lewiston.  First, we walked part of the path, crossing bridges from the state of Idaho to Washington.

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2398FEE1-9FC3-49D2-9A0C-468D4371F5CDThe following day we went into the town of Lewiston to a car show.  One of my favorites was a 1966 Ford Mustang that reminded me of one of the first cars I drove…my brothers blue 1967 mustang.

The town has many businesses that are still thriving, while some have closed down.  This old movie theatre is an historical landmark.

FBFEB3E6-6120-405B-B9EF-7B09A87ED306That evening, we took a walk around their property to see if their apple and plum trees were bearing ripe fruit.  It wasn’t long before the sun began to set and we were left with a beautiful sunset.

CD96FF30-A85D-406B-AFDA-0287BFF491CA16E8F92A-95BF-4D18-9C58-F2654075158041488B0B-0605-427D-892A-578390C3FB77Gus, the puppies’ father, is just over a year old.  He is still in training, and Jack invited me to help him with his daily lesson.  I don’t have much experience with a shotgun, but Jack took the time to explain how to safely use it and how to keep the lock on until I was ready to shoot.  It was only a blank in the gun that is shot to create sound.  This simulates someone shooting a bird.  The dog must wait until he is told to go fetch the bird.

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636A0434-113E-462F-B35F-A9227F23BBCFThe week flew by and it was almost time to hit the road again.  By the end of the week, the puppies took on unique personalities as they braved their new world.  We really wanted to take a few with us…especially Ginger.

468E07FD-3EEE-4DD8-9969-2EFB44A37EB9Scott’s nephew, Nate, and his fiancé Kaitlin, came to visit on our last weekend there.  They also fell in love with the puppies.  We weren’t the only ones who wanted to take some home.

D0561787-614C-4599-9B59-9AFBF10AB0AFIt was time to say goodbye, and I needed to get a picture of the four of us together.  Well, the five of us. I thought that Jack was going to insist that we take Ginger with us, but his intent was only to have her in our group picture!  Just kidding.

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3130E6F9-0EBE-4085-93AE-B460FAA80628Shortly after we left, Scott’s nephew, Nate, (Kaitlin’s fiancé) was able to see his nephew, John.  I am not sure who missed who more.

2606976B-C6F2-4601-8379-A7BD401122EFFrom the first day that we arrived, I tried to get a picture of all of the puppies together.  It was an extremely challenging task.  This was the best I could do.

 

 

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Our next stop is the Sawtooth Mountains.

 

Priest Lake, Idaho: 8/14 – 8/17/19

We made it!  Hello Idaho!

0043BFF7-B8A9-423C-AE0A-D5B727F72CDBOur first stop in Idaho was Priest Lake, known as “Idaho’s Crown Jewel”, located in the northern tip of the state.

D61B2826-2E88-4418-B19D-51A6ED96421AThey boast a “Four Season Paradise” with “Hawaii like sand beaches”, 25 miles of pristine lake for boating, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, paddle-boarding and swimming with the Selkirk Ridge mountains along its Eastern flank for hiking.  Their golf course is open May to October, and in the wintertime, groomed and cross-country ski and snow-shoe trails are very popular.  Don’t get me wrong, it was beautiful.  Hawaii like sand beaches?  Not so sure.

We have a habit of reading almost all signage when we enter a new park or begin a new hike.  I always feel better when we are reminded of exactly where we are.

6B1E7D9A-69B4-4047-ABF7-116C5140D3CD.jpegWe were able to get a campsite at Luby Bay, located on the lower western side of the lake.    Check out the map below.

9142D4DE-425E-4206-A962-19ACF30F51DFThere is a narrow, winding dirt road that runs along the perimeter of the lake, with short access roads into the various campgrounds.

389E0D7C-27FF-4B15-A993-9C9DC4F73CD4.jpegThe next day, we took the paddle board to the beach and enjoyed hanging out on a beautiful afternoon.  The water temperature was surprisingly perfect!  Someone forgot to take a picture of our campsite, but we did take pictures taken from lakeside.

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24801366-E5D9-4AD0-8EB0-F580FF73C72F.jpegThe following day was a bit cooler so we decided to take a hike instead of braving the water.  We took a four-mile round-trip hike on Lakeview Mountain.

3D856F2C-028F-4359-AF8A-4DEA8D786704Maybe they want us to register because we are in grizzly country?  The trail was well maintained through a wooded forest.

754D3872-425C-4A65-9CF6-E9F12429C688.jpegEven though it was only a four mile round-trip hike, the first two miles to the peak were continuously uphill.  The view of Priest Lake was worth it.

4C85C207-9A8C-41AE-81F9-8379BB472446The next day we packed up camp and continued south/southeast to Bayview, ID.  We enjoyed lunch with Scott’s step sister, Liz, her mom and step-dad at the marina.  It was a pleasure to meet Liz’s parents, and to spend a few hours together.  They eagerly shared historical information about Lake Pend Oreille and what happens when cougars get too close to the towns.  Yikes!!!!

81151FF9-73D9-43F5-B340-738351451B4BOur next stop is Lewiston, Idaho, where we will visit Scott’s sister and celebrate her birthday!