Monday, July 26, 2010

Trout Creek & Thompson Falls, Mt.

Fri - Fri, July 16th -23rd

Friday we left Idaho and headed back to Montana. We went to Trout Creek (30 miles north of Thompson Falls on the Clark Fork River) to spend a few days on a lot owned by my uncle Tony.

Here's a couple of pictures of our "traveling home" on Tony's land. Just a few hundred yards down the road is a Kootenai National Forest campground and a public access boat launch.

It was very peaceful here and we went for hikes everyday, sometimes twice a day.

If you are looking for a new idea for your mail box or something to dress up your driveway entrance,
here's a couple ideas for you.

I call it Montana Backwoods Retro.

John playing on the computer at the park by the river in Thompson Falls. We had no phone or computer reception where we were camped, so we had to drive into town to get a connection.

I saw these guys when I was out hiking by myself one day. There were deer everywhere. There were signs around warning that we were in grizzly country, so when we heard deer rustling around in the woods, we got a little nervous.

We saw them within 20 yards of our camper most mornings and evenings. We saw a doe with twins a couple of times and a couple of bucks together one time.

I saw a buck in the woods and then noticed this little fawn sitting in the grass not far from the road near our campsite. When I approached the camper the next night at dusk, I saw a skunk just ambling away from the camper and into the woods.

Have you ever seen toilets with two sizes of rings. This is how they were at the forest campground. I'm sure it's a good idea for small children, esp. for those vault toilets at campgrounds. Those toilets can be kind of scary, anyway. But it does give an interesting new twist to the age-old argument of putting the ring down. Which one?

They had a very nice boat ramp and dock at the campground. The river was quite calm most of the time that we were here. It was hot, 90+, most of the week. I went swimming here to cool off.

Here's a view of the train bridge from the swimming beach.

Views from the dock at sunset.

The campground was pretty full most of the time we were here. The only facilities were vault toilets and water spigots, but it was a nice campground for $10.00 a night. No reservations.

We also went hiking at nearby Ross Creek Cedars County Park. It was a beautiful place to hike, but I didn't take any pictures.

Last view at the boat access area.

It was usually very busy here, but I managed to get a few pictures between the boats loading and unloading.

I took this the last day we were here after a big wind storm the night before. We were pretty nervous during the storm watching the trees bending way over in the wind, after our recent experience with the falling tree. Winds whispering thru the pines has taken on a new meaning for us, but there was no place to go. We were totally surrounded by forest.
Friday we head back to Helena to pick up our grandson and his friend. We will be taking them to Eugene, Oregon to play in the Babe Ruth Regional Tournament with their team. We will be stopping in Portland to see John's Aunt Dorothy and her son and daughter-in-law on the way.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ceour D' Alene & Hayden Lake, Idaho

Tue - Fri, July 14th - 17th
Celtic concert at the downtown park in Ceour d' Alene. John could hardly keep from doing a jig. He should have worn his kilt. We were visiting friends at Hayden Lake just a few miles north. We met them in Egypt and also went to Peru with them.
This is a fancy resort and marina near downtown. Lake Ceour d 'Alene is 38 miles long and very beautiful.

Our friends took us hiking on the Tubb's Hill Trail near the resort.

Fantastic views!

This golf course on the lake has a floating movable green. They take you out by boat to play this hole. It costs about $200.00 to play 18 holes.

After our hike we had lunch and drinks on the sun deck at the resort and watched a parasailer.

This is a home on Hayden Lake owned by the president of Hadley Mining.

This is Bing Crosby's home on Hayden Lake.

This is our friend's home on Hayden Lake with one flight of stairs up to the deck and two more flights up to where the trail starts with five switchbacks and one more flight of steps up to the main floor deck on their home. It's quite a hike, but totally beautiful and rustic. I went for a swim after we hiked the English Point Trail near their home on a very warm day. It was great!

Here's a view down to their dock from above. We went for a boat ride around the lake.

Another view showing the trail down to the stairs.

One more view.

Here's a little lighted waterfall next to the deck on their house. What a beautiful home they have. Thank you so much J & C for all your hospitality. We enjoyed our visit very much.

To quote Arnold, "I'll be back."

Friday, July 16, 2010

Kalispell, Mt. to Canyon Campground

Sun - July 11th
Views along the road between Kalispell and Libby Montana.

Kootenai (koo'tenee) County Park near Montana/Idaho border. Named after the Kootenai Indian tribe in the Montana/Idaho/Canada area. Nice picnic grounds in the pines and lots of hiking trails. The engineer blew his horn and waved as we were standing on the walking bridge overhead
Hikes went to the swinging bridge you can see in the distance here and to the falls.

Aaah, now this is the life. Beats the heck out of trucking.

Here is John crossing the swinging bridge.

Another view of the swinging bridge in the distance.

Here is the split falls with a guy and his kayak on the rocks in the center. We thought he was trying to decide which path to take or just praying.

The crowd was gathering to watch him go down the river.

We stayed about an hour, but got tired of waiting. Don't know if he ever got up his nerve to go or not.

Moyie (moyee)River Canyon.

Picture of theMoyie River Bridge from below.

Moyie Falls.

Flowers along the river.

Bald eagle at the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge near Bonners Ferry, Idaho.

Myrtle Falls in the wildlife refuge. We hiked a steep, narrow trail up here to see it.

This shows the switchback gravel road we took down to Twin Rivers Campground at the confluence of the Moyie and Kootenai Rivers.

This is the far end of the campground away from where we were camped. They also had a small pond with swimming beach for kids and families.

As we were coming back down our second day here, we stopped to take pictures of the campground from above. As you can see, it was very, very windy. Just as I snapped this picture, I heard a crack and one of the trees snapped off and practically fell in my lap. It brushed up against the car and I got pine needles and debris in my lap. John said why didn't I holler, so he could get the car out of the way. It happened so fast, I could barely react. I just ducked as the tree came my way.

You can see the tree laying on the side of the road after John pulled forward. There were scratches all over the side of the car from the pine needles in the dust, but they wiped right off, no permanent damage. The tree doesn't look very big in the pictures, but it looked plenty big to us, about a foot in diameter and very tall.

Thank goodness it wasn't any taller or it would have smashed the roof right in on my head.

Here's a little better picture of the canyon where our campground was. It was really beautiful.

This is another scene in the campground about 20 yards from our camper.
Heading for Coeur de Alene to visit friends.