Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Through Idaho and Ready for Glacier

Wednesday, July 11th

Before I left Coeur d'Alene this morning, I checked out the cute little town and the beautiful large resort right on the lovely lake.  It is a nice, seemingly quiet little resort town.

I headed north, at 81 degrees, on Rt. 95 to catch up with Rt. 2 which will take me east into Glacier National Park.  95 is not a very scenic nor interesting route but easy driving.  With not much to look at, I noticed:
  • Idaho is the Lewis & Clark state
  • a huge amusement park (Silverwood) is in the middle of nowhere - well 10 miles north of town - with a huge roller coaster, huge parking lot, many other attractions and a nice "in-the-pines" RV campground
  • purple was the color of the day for roadside flowers
  • the skinny upper part of Idaho is called the panhandle just like the skinning top part of FL
  • I haven't found the eastern version of this yet:
Rhoda loves being in the mountains!

Met up with Rt. 2 in Bonner's Ferry and shortly thereafter saw a sign for the time zone change.  So I've lost an hour but what is funny is that Rt. 2 is this little 2 lane, no shoulder, in bad condition road and there's a sign for the time zone but on the large interstates with many, many more cars, no sign.  About 2 hrs. later I also realized that I think this sign must have also announced that I was entering Montana because I remembered seeing on the map that the 2 coincided.  But I'm so use to seeing a big sign "Welcome to Montana" that I didn't notice if there was even an announcement of the event on this little road.   Along this road too - which had a speed limit of 70!!  there were MANY little white crosses on stands, sometimes 2-3 on one stand, 1 time there were 8 little crosses.  I'm sure these signified people who had died on this 2 lane little country road with a speed limit of 70.  Sad.

I had been following the swollen, fast moving, sea-glass green Kootenai River for quite awhile.  About 25 miles out of Bonner's Ferry there was a large pull off on the opposite side of the road for historical information so I joined the many other cars who'd also pulled off.  Much to my surprise it was my unexpected pleasure of the day - not the snack bar tucked into the woods, not the peaceful , surrounded-by-pines picnic grove down the path a ways but the sound of powerful waterfalls and signs telling of the path to them so off I went.  Interesting path - started out paved, became pine-needled, then sloping, then a narrow walking bridge over train tracks, then 65 metal open steps down a fire-tower like structure so that you could see all the way to the bottom (Buzz, you would have been so proud of me), 
Hard to see but believe me - a long way down
then a decision 
Hummmm - which way?
then rocks sticking out of the dirt path on more decent and THEN the falls - after you clambered up on to a rocky ledge.  Oh my gosh!!  They weren't high but very broad and so much water rushing down.
I couldn't get the full width of them
 and you can only see a little bit of the falls on the right

This is downstream just a bit

Just listen to the sound - it's only 2 seconds.

The mountain peaks still have snow on them so I'm sure it's still melt-down time plus I guess they had a lot of rain the last couple of weeks.  There were no guard rails (so if you come, Holly - put Tanis on a leash!) and you just knew that there would be no hope for life if you slipped and went over.  But they were magnificent to behold - just mesmerizing!

But I had to continue so clamored back down the rocky ledge, hiked over the rock-protruding inclined trail, up the 65 metal, see thru steps, over the train tracks, up the steeper inclined path onto the pine-needled path, past the in-the-pines picnic area, onto the paved path and right past the snack bar.  What a wonderful treat the falls were - I didn't need ice cream on a stick.

Down the road I passed an Upper, Middle, and Lower Thompson lake which reminded me of the Chateaugay Lakes and my neighbors already enjoying themselves there and of Mike & Evelyn leaving today to keep my camp warm for me until I get there.

Today I reflected on all the Native Americans who originally inhabited this area:  the Flatheads, Blackfeet, Kootenai, etc.  How they set up their tepees, hunted, fished, farmed, fought and lived in these many beautiful valleys between the large peaks.

I was trying to hunt with my eyes but there's been so much logging over the years and with the left-behind remaining stumps in between the scattered pine trees, my eyes kept deceiving me thinking I was seeing a bear but it was only an old stump but it kept me busy anyway.

I'm staying in a motel/RV/cabin complex in a one Hungry Horse town where it's main attraction is a cafe advertising huckleberry pie and milkshakes - maybe for breakfast?  I'm only about 15 miles outside the western entrance to Glacier National Park!

I may not be posting for a couple of days while in the park so hang in there!


mileage:  247                    campground  $30           gas:  $44  @ $3.54
                                                                                         $ 69 @ $3.56 (and extra 10 cents/gal for full-
                                                                                               serve to help a young kid out)

Names I liked today:  Branch Ranch, Shilo, Stampede Lake, Mountain Meadow Lane, Pot Hole Rd,
                                  Wolverine Rd., Bear Creek, Bob Cat Acres (guess they like their wild life) and
                                  Watch for Ice - didn't know if they meant on the road or an ice berg or a glacier - 
                                           both of which I understand I might see in the park)

1 comment:

  1. I don't think you're really scared of heights. Buzz never would have done that!