Priest River

Well we finally made it to my brothers place, albeit about 30 days later than we originally planned.

Brad and his wife Jan along with Kay, Mic and their dog, Jacks
Being around Jacks (a Lhasa Apso) is a really good experience as I have never had a small dog but some day we will and it will probably be a Lhasa Apso. Not only cute but really smart plus they don’t shed a bit!
“Really Kirk, you expect me to play with this little thing?”
“ok, I guess he’s worthy”
Brad, Kay and Jacks taking a walk
Less than a block from Brad and Jan’s is beautiful open country. Priest River is an awesome place with lots of trails and waterways to get around on.
Our hike took us to where we had to climb a fence and we all “went down”
Brad’s friend’s bike, all decked out for the 4th of July.
Brad’s son Chandler’s dog, Onyx is a never-ending ball playing crazy fetcher and Mic, just wants to hold it and not play.
Brad n Kay
A day on the beach of Priest Lake. this place is more beautiful than one can imagine.
Kyle, Brads son, getting lessons on kayaking
Brad, fumbling his way forward
Chandler, Brads youngest, playing fetch with the dogs
As it turned out, Jan had severe pain in the gut for days and at 7 AM on July 4th had to go to the emergency room. After diagnosing her with a bad Gallbladder infection they transported her to Spokane by ambulance for an emergency surgery to remove the Gallbladder. Needless to say the BBQ and all got suspended.
Kyle came home and took Kay n I out to the local fire works show. We got on a bridge over the Pend Oreille River. From there you can see about 5 miles to Newport and watch their fireworks show than once that one is complete, Priest River conducts theirs.
After the Newport show, all the boats turned around and headed towards Priest River to watch that show.

and what a show it was.
Two shows for the price of none!
A new game Kyle and Chandler taught us, called “Splender”
Kyle took the day off and took Kay and I on a tour of the area including picking the cherished Huckleberry’s when you can find them. Kyle had the spot down!
Can you spot the Huckleberry’s?
On the hunt for the berry.
Ready for the freezer and just add to all kinds of deserts.
On e of our stops on the tour was a really nice resort on the shores of Priest lake.
Kay enjoying Huckleberry Ice Tea (Looking pretty!)
Nice sandy beaches
The next stop was the falls at Roosevelt Grove of Ancient Cedars
Beautiful Cedars letting some sunshine in
A short hike up to the falls
Kyle at the falls
Kay at the falls
Look carefully, a lookout overhang above the falls
Love the sound of the water and falls
Awesome “Bachelor” pad, 3 tv’s, and an exercise machine, thanks Kyle!
Travelling down thru Idaho you see miles of rolling hills with large rolls of hay, waiting to be picked up
An engine light came on the truck so we stooped at the first town with a Ford dealer, thus having to stay in a Walmart parking lot.
We have never seen a Walmart parking lot with so many RV’s. Actually folks had chairs out, generators out and on, trucks disconnected from the rigs and even RV’s left alone all night. Here the kids are running little RC cars on the parking lot.
Heading south down Idaho you come across a overlook looking down at Lewiston. The sign reads that when automobiles came to be, the obsolete roads used by wagons were no longer needed. If you look down you can see the winding road to get to the bottom. It is about 5 times longer than the new road.
Note the road in many areas once used by wagons.
Overlooking Lewiston where two rivers meet, the Snake and the Clearwater.
All the rivers in Idaho are flowing very high and the rafters are everywhere.
So many miles of rolling hills and farm land.
Don’t know what the yellow plan it but it is sure pretty. Anyone know?
We could not get any camp spaces in McCall so about 30 miles south is Cascade lake.
We loved it so much we stayed 3 nights.
About 100 yards from the water so we were able to leave the kayaks out all night.
From the water, looking back at camp.
Can you see Kay?
Here she is.
Great kayaking along the shores full of brush and trees.
If you look carefully you will see hundreds of small fish. We were told they are small Perch.

Well it has been lots of fun for the last 7 weeks but tomorrow we will start heading home.

Stay tuned.

NROA Rally

The night before the rally we spent the night at Thief Valley Reservoir, only 12 miles from the rally
Only one other person stayed there so it was nice being on the water.
Everywhere we went, Mic loved running in the tall grass
We made it to “Grand Hot springs Resort” I believe there were over 70 Northwoods rigs in attendance
Exercising “Mic”
Same nest and probably the same Osprey’s as last year, along with chicks
We arrived a few days before the rally began so we took one day and went to Morgan Lake just about 15 miles from camp.
and saw this eagle……
Your’s truly
Perfect size lake to kayak the entire shoreline
Our dear friend, Fran and her grandson, Daniel
We spent another day over at the “Hot Lakes Springs” museum. Interesting place owned by a bronze sculpture artist.
A view of our camp from the deck of the Hot Springs museum.
Many different version of hot tubs here at the resort/museum
One of the larger pieces of bronze art
Some art on the wall……..
I really did not see the “Do not enter” sign but what I found was the owner, the artist, doing his latest clay/bronze sculpture
Making the clay mold to eventually make the bronze art, here is the owner of the resort and the bronze sculptor
This was taken on the last day of the official rally. The whole week was full of events and lots of fun.
Social gathering, so much food, snacks, wine, beer and so much more!
Dinner out for the last night with those that have not left yet
Northwoods BBQ and free raffle
Our dear friends, Pete, Fran and their grandson, Daniel
Every unit gets a nice gift, we scored on a zero gravity lounge chair!
In line for the BBQ
Side view of the group picture
There they are again!
And of course, another dear friend Roger (and LaDonna, not in picture)
Yours truly!
So much fun and so many great folks to share with!
After the rally, we headed to Lewiston. This road, Highway 129 was not only one of the most beautiful stretches of road we have been on but very steep both going down 20 miles and then back up the other side another 20.  Averaged about 20 miles an hour and turned off the air condition to help the engine stay cool.
Already half way down and looking down some more
Looking up, note, 2 stretches of the road……winding back and forth
another view
Our next camp in a state park in Lewiston, very nice park
Cool “Art” in Lewiston
View from the park over the Snake River
View from our camp
and yes, almost lost my second antenna. funny thing we only drove on highways and the state parks roads. The rig is just too high!

Tomorrow we head out and go to Priest River to visit my brother Brad and family.

Touring Central Idaho

We left the Boise area and headed North East on Highway 21.  Our first stop was about 5 miles outside of Lowman, camping in the wild along a very fast and loud Payette River.

Today we covered about 60 miles so I was beat when we got to camp. Over looking the river which is normally so shallow you can walk across it. The roaring sound was almost deafening. We stayed here two nights in relative solitude.
Our camp above the river.

We saw many white water rafters

and then this very brave duck.
My two loves of my life……..
relaxing and taking it all in.
Our awesome view over looking the river.
We left our camp and traveled highway 21 from Boise to Lowman.  We stopped for a quick view of the Sawtooth Mountain range. Met some folks (Bob n Susan) heading to Yellowstone to celebrate their 1 year engagement anniversary.
On the way we crested the Banner summit at 7250 which still had plenty of snow.
With so much rain we all had, there are so many wild flowers everywhere. Once again the Sawtooth mountain range in the back ground. One day after we got thru the pass, the road was closed due to avalanche and the road being washed out. We saw the spot and could not believe the road was still open, apparently it got worse.
We made it to our planned destination, yes about another 60 mile trip….it’s a hard life. Here we are at Red Fish Lake which is so cool and pretty. The lake is very full and many campsites are flooded out.
Many campgrounds are flooded
What a view. Can’t get enough of it!
Yours truly……
This area is so nice and well planned layout for all to enjoy. Here she is, enjoying the sun, breeze and beauty of the area.
Nature and my beautiful wife!
and again……
Never understood the fun of a unicycle…….
As we head on to the next destination, we continue to see so much water everywhere. Here is the Salmon river, about 40 miles from the Headwaters.
Here near the Galena summit, a beautiful view as well as overlooking the headwaters of the Salmon river.
This valley where Stanley resides gets snowed in for months every year
and with so much more runoff still to come
Before settling down in another isolated location, we stop at the local outpost for some supplies. Everything is so big here from the mountains to the chairs.
After driving no more than 60 miles we pulled up into a National Forest canyon (free camping) just outside of Sun Valley. Note the ski runs in the background.
This is a lovely valley with mountains of snow in both directions.
and pretty hills to the side

another view

so much solitude, it’s like not even being there.

Sound of music, the hills are alive, staring Kay Jefferson!

We drove about 60 miles today. Here is our camp about 3 miles up the road from Sun Valley.
From the opposite side, once I walked down here I realized we can not get out this way as the road is very “lopsided” so to speak with a cliff on the downward side. We use google maps and other information to be sure we do not get into this mess but it does not always work. I think, (hope) I can turn the beast around where she sits to get out the way we came in.
On the other hand, the view from our door is awesome!
Our first stop was the Sun Valley Lodge which we were told we must see. Well, you cant see much as this place is set up for the rick and it is all locked down and where y ou can go, you are watched like a hawk. Anyway, in the hallway are many photos of those that have been here before us. Any guesses on who this is? (on the left, answer below)
At the back of the lodge is a huge outdoor ice skating rink. It is 85 degrees and this thing is frozen along with the indoor huge ice skating rink just behind this one. (The picture above is Rosa Parks)
Some cool structures here
Looking at the back of the lodge from the ice skating rink.
The pool
The next day we toured the cute little town of Ketchum which is the main city around Sun Valley. Something about big chairs here in Idaho??
Bottom of one of the many ski lifts.
Statues of Gretchen Fraser 42 winter Olympics in Switzerland
Really loved this fence
Couldn’t get enough of it!
Does this person own a ski shop?
Or just buys the newest and greatest several times each year?
After leaving Ketchum, we headed over to the “Craters of the Moon” National Preserve.   Here is nice sunset from our camp at the Craters of the Moon.
The 7 plus mile one way road trip thru the preserve shows very interesting landscape. Apparently NASA used this area for some training in preparation of the moon landing many years ago.  Note the little flowers growing on the small pieces of lava.
And of course, my favorite, pictures of old dead trees. Think of the stories they could tell.
The lava comes in so many forms
and eventually over many years you start seeing more green plants starting to come to life
Smooth next to rough……
rough next to little pieces with new growth
and little “spatter cones” of lava spill…..
from “spatter cones” to rough and then smooth and eventually gravel lava then plant life
some of the “spatter cones”are large, enough to hike up onto
some  “spatter cones” are huge….
acres of little flowers trying to take hold in the lava gravel
its amazing!
I think on our next trip I will bring more than two weeks of underclothes…..must be time to go to an RV park to fill our water, dump our tanks and do laundry.
While at Craters of the Moon, we took a little drive and saw this old ski resort, (for lack of words)
We put an offer in to purchase it and open as the new “Sun Valley” but with much more affordable prices
yea, it needs a little work
Our camp at Craters of the Moon
On another trip we headed to a little community called “Arco” in Idaho. Not sure what the deal is with all the “Big” chairs we seem to find.
One of the most “colorful” motels I’ve ever seen
Possibly one of the most interesting things we have seen on this trip was this little “Museum” in Arco. This tiny little shack is a museum full of history of our cold wars Nuclear era. Outside of this little town is a huge facility where “Clay” worked on nuclear submarines and the training of some 40,000 nuclear submarines navey persnnell.
“Clay” has put this little museum together almost on his own. We spent over an hour just talking with him and hearing the history not only of this areas involvement of the Navy nuclear subs, but of the nuclear advancements which was learned here.
by my estimate, “Clay” is at least 84 year sold and loves to share the history.
“666”, not in satanic terms but was a big player in the cold war. Clay was able to get the top of the sub to add to his museum. Little fact: The first nuc subs had to be fueled at least every 3 years and took about a year to do so. With the refinement of the uranium (at this facility) now subs never have to be refueled, they are fueled before being activated and with nuclear fuel, the one fueling last for 30 years, the life span of the sub!
and all this is in our namesake county……
We left “Craters of the Moon” area and headed over to Oregon to attend the NORA rally.  We spent two nights along the “Snake River”.
Pretty place but the BUGS!!!!!!
The area is full of “Thistle”
Kind of a pretty plant but wow, can it be dangerous, full of sharp spines.
The bees love the pollen

 

So do the spiders, look closely
and the spider wins!
Such a beautiful flower
More to come

Well, its time we head over to the NROA Rally!

First Destination – Boise

Our first night out we stayed next to Cabela’s in Reno which is always nice.

Our 2nd night we parked along 95 in Southeastern Oregon, finally the feel of being back on the road, doing what we want, when we want, why we want and for as long as we like. LIFE IS GOOD!
Just like my father, I would have be interested in purchasing this “GEM”
Yea, a little work. But a really nice area, Jordan Valley, Or.
The beautiful Snake River
We finally got to Boise and all set up. Had to stay in a park as no close BLM land to park.
My sis and Emma. It just so happened that my sister’s youngest, Emma was graduating from High School and was having a party at the park.  We were lucky to be here this week as most of Julie’s kids were in town for Emma’s Graduation.
It has been years, like 17 since I have seen Emma’s father, Ken, nice to see you buddy!
Party Time!
Brian, my sister’s 2nd oldest, brought his pedicab.

Julie, Kay and I, getting a pedicab ride!
A little get together at my sister’s with the kids and their significant others.
Back at camp. our neighbor had 2 Peregrine Falcons . Had a very interesting conversation with him, guess how fast they can dive for a kill?
230 MPH! Wow. Note the two little holes on his yellow beak, they allow the falcon to breathe at the high speeds during a dive, works something like a venturi tube as it was explained to us.
While looking for some BLM land to park on, we had a gorgeous view overlooking Boise.
Boise is a really gorgeous city with many really nice parks.
Some quality time with my sis and the kids!
So much water from a very wet year in Idaho (and most other Western states) that the lakes are full and the rivers are in flood stage. This is the emergency spillway from “Lucky Peak” going into the Boise River.
Lucky Peak dam and a really nice beach and park below it.
The dam above Lucky Peak (ArrowRock Lake) was also in flood control mode, both power plant and overflow.
Pictures do not do it justice!
We moved out of Boise but wanted to stay close enough to visit my sister so this is our next camp at Lucky Peak. (Free camping)
Our view from camp
Enjoying mountain BBQ breakfast, the best!
Evidence of some nightly visitors, raccoons.
Geese and their babies on the Boise river
Before heading out to tour around beautiful Idaho, Julie’s daughter Kailee and her boyfriend Chandler wanted to do some rock climbing. Here is Kailee on the rock, Chandler on the left giving moral support and Caleb holding the rope.
We had a short hike to the cliffs so the dog (Mick) had to find a cool place to sit and relax.
I soon joined him.
and what a view
Mick even thought so
and yes, I had to try it, I made about 8 feet!
and my sis got about 25 feet, congratulations kiddo!
Julie and all the kids came out for a BBQ the night before we left and we all had a wonderful time.  The next day Kay and I started touring around Idaho before heading to Oregon.

On to the next Post, Touring Central Idaho