Fire on the Mountain

August 14, 2015

Hanging Out in Idaho

This past week we have used Idyl Acres RV Park north of Bonners Ferry as our home base to explore the area. Our first impressions are holding true – this is a nice quiet part of Idaho to kick back and relax. The elderly couple that built the RV park (back in ’72) are full of stories – telling us about building the RV Park, their son’s adventures driving a semi cross-country and people making offers to buy them out.

BonnersFerry1

A scenic overlook on the way to Bonners Ferry

One thing that is noticeable is the Mennonite community. Our first Saturday here we headed to downtown Bonners Ferry for the farmers market. We always look forward to buying eggs and fresh produce at the market. Mennonite women managed most of the booths. It’s like going back in time to a simpler way of life.

BonnersFerryFarmMarket

Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge & Myrtle Falls Hike

After the farmers market, we headed just out of town to a wildlife refuge for a self-guided tour. The northwest has been very dry and it shows in the waterfowl habitat here. The marsh was dry with just small areas of water; the ducks and Canadian geese were all concentrated in these little pockets.

In a case of “you just missed it”, as we headed out on a trail another hiker came out saying we had just missed seeing a moose. We knew it was close, but even using the binoculars we couldn’t find it.

While in this same area we took a hike up a trail that led to Myrtle Falls. It was a short easy hike with a children’s book on display in two page sections at the rest stops. It would make for a nice hike with little ones.

KootenaiWildRefuge

MyrtleFallsSignMyrtleFallsTrailMyrtleFalls ID_Marsh

Copper Creek Falls & Snow Creek Falls Hike

This was a day that was perfect for hiking. Norma commented that she wanted to see waterfalls, so we picked a few sites to go explore.

The first trail was at Copper Creek, which is one mile south of the Canadian border. We wondered if we should bring our passports in case we strayed from the trail. As usual, there were large signs to help identify which types of bears that may be in the area. We really didn’t care if it was a black bear or a grizzly bear, we just didn’t want a close encounter.

CopperCtreekFalls

On the way to the Copper Creek Falls trail, we passed by the Copper Creek campground. This looks like a place we would come back to if we were ever in this area again. It’s a small campground tucked back in the trees, no electricity but water is available to fill your freshwater tank. $6 a night for a gorgeous site.

CopperCrkCampgrnd

The second trail was at Snow Creek Falls. I was starting to wonder if I had missed the trailhead, we kept driving up a washboard gravel mountain road with steep switchbacks. Finally we came across a small sign on the side of the road after we had drove to the peak.

The trail started out with a drop down into a valley, meaning that to come back out we would have a climb up. The trail forks off to view the lower and upper falls.

The upper falls was one of the most scenic we have found yet. This made the day!

SnowCrkLwrFalls

Snow Creek Lower Falls

SnowCrkUpprFalls

Snow Creek Upper Falls

 

 

Things you see while driving down the back roads

LooseRabidAttackDogs 

Turn Back Now, Loose Rabid Attack Dogs

 

We stayed in the jeep to take this picture.

Lake Robinson Hike

Today we stayed close to the RV park and headed out for a short drive south to Robinson Lake. It’s a small lake with a trail that goes around most of the shoreline. There was a sign warning to not feed the otters, but we didn’t find any on our hike. A few people were fishing in a bateau, it looked very peaceful.

LakeRob2

After the hike around the lake we took a break for lunch we had brought along. Pack it in, pack it out.

We headed north to the Copper Creek area again, we had noticed a sign for Spruce Lake.

This lake is located 8 miles further down the mountain road that leads to the Copper Creek falls. The road gradually become rougher, then we noticed a sign about logging activities and the road was even worse. After 5 miles of this we decided to turn around and snapped a few shots from the edge of the mountain road before heading back down. The lake is small and the trail was only .4 miles long, so it wasn’t a big loss.

ID_MountRoad

After spending a week at Idyl Acres in Bonners Ferry, we were kinda sad to leave. It was one of the few stops where we had the whole park to ourselves for a few days. Quiet and peaceful.

Our next stop is going to be south of here at Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. We’ll be there for a week.

One thing that we are aware of now with route planning is to check the wildfire conditions. The whole Northwest area has been unusually dry for months. The majority of fires are started by lightning strikes.

Future Plans:

  • Colfax, WA
  • Leavenworth, WA (may detour due to wildfires)
  • Hood River, Oregon.
  • Head south towards Arizona/New Mexico
  • Texas
  • Baton Rouge for Christmas … everything else we will plan as we go.

Till we meet again!

 

Norma & Don

Two Happy Campers

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