Friday, September 03, 2010


We arrived in Lewiston, Idaho on Thursday, September 2nd. Since this coming weekend is Labor Day, we thought it best to get a campsite today. Along Hwy 12 in Lewiston was a nice linear park. We stopped for a lunch break. i picked a nice cup full of blackberries.
We continued to the McKays Bend BLM recreation area. There were four sites left, we got the best one in the campground. It's a nice pull-through site with a view of the Clearwater River. Water, electric & a sewer connection all for $9/night. We're staying through Saturday then heading north through Idaho. On our walks through the campground area and a small residential area nearby, we saw some abandoned apple trees and a plumb tree that was hanging well into the street. The fruit was very small, but tasty. Met a guy about my age from Texas. He was riding a bike. Been through Oregon and was headed to Mount Rushmore before heading back to Texas. I showed him where to pick apples & plumbs.
On Sunday, we continued north stopping at the Shadowdy River Joe FS campground near St. Maries. It was full. No surprise since it's the Labor Day weekend and a very small campground. Not far away, there was an Idaho Fishing Access Site on the St. Joe River. We stayed there for the night. Just us and one other camper. This weekend was Paul Bunyan Days in St. Maries. At night, we were treated to a great fireworks show by just looking out the back window. On Monday, we continued north on ID #3 stopping at the Killarney Lake Rec. Area campground. As expected, we had the place to ourself. The weekend campers were just about gone. By dark, it was us and one other camper. That's how it will be from now on. We have a nice site right on the lake. It's cool today. It was 43* when we got up and never got above about 65*. We talked to a lady who lived around here. Winter comes early. By October 1st it will get below freezing on most nights. This area has been a major mining area for ID; mostly silver, lead & some gold.. From the late 1880's until the late 1960's, the mining companies discharged their waste products into the rivers. As a result, the rivers, lakes and adjacent soil is contaminated with chemicals with lead being the most dangerous. There are warning signs about the contamination advising people to limit consumption of fish, don't be playing in the dirt, etc. Not a place I'd be willing to spend much time.

With that exception,this is a beautiful part of the Country. Hills, lakes & rivers, pine trees and green meadows.

On Tuesday we drove north to Sandpoint. The weather was cold & rainy so we didn't do much. Stayed at the Springy Point Recreation area, a COE campground near Sandpoint.
We went to downtown Sandpoint on Wednesday but the dampness and rain chased us away. Settled for a trip to the bakery instead. :-)
On Thursday we went to the Cocolalla Lake Sportsman's access area. There is a free campground right on the lake. It was just us. Cool & rainy once again. The high has been in the mid 60's with the low about 40*. This is a beautiful campground. I scrounged up enough firewood to have a nice, warm fire.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

On to Washington

We left the campground at Cascade Locks on Monday the 30th. Took the very scenic old Columbia River Road, Hwy 30, as much as possible. On one stretch of the road, traffic was stopped for about 15 minutes while a motorcycle commercial was being filmed.
As we drive east, the landscape changes dramatically as can be seen in the pictures. We're on the dry side of the Cascades in the high desert. Everything is so brown. We agree that we much prefer the green landscape to the brown.
We spent the night at a free C.O.E. area along the river just below the John Day Dam. Just pick a spot you like, turn off the ignition and that's your campsite. Great view of the river. We watched, and listened to, countless trains come & go, saw barges locking through the dam, saw lots & lots of windmills. A very nice site.
In the morning we continued east to Washington. Stopping in Kennewick to do laundry and grocery shopping. We stayed at a very nice C.O.E. campground near Pascoe. $5/night!! for a riverfront site with electricity. The down side was the view of the tank farm across the river. Oh well. The park itself was very nice. Green grass, huge cottonwood trees and a nice, cool breeze.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Columbia River

On Saturday, we headed north to the Columbia River. The drive took us close to Mount Hood but the clouds covered a good bit of the mountain. The Drive through the Hood River Valley was just wonderful. Fruit orchards everywhere. Primarily pears, but also peaches & apples. We stopped at a roadside stand and bought some wonderful peaches. On Saturday & Sunday we stayed at the Cascade Locks Campground. It's right on the Columbia River. Enjoyed walking around and watching the fisherman. The local Indian tribes, have special fishing rights on the river. They can use nets to catch the fish. I walked to a nearby Indian "compound" to look around and perhaps buy some fresh fish. They sold fish, but you had to buy the entire, very large, steelhead trout. I had no way to store that much fish. The compound was interesting. A collection of really junky trailers, broken down trucks, lots of trash, etc. Not unlike other Indian communities we've run across in our travels. I always wonder, why?