Thursday, July 23, 2015

July 7, 2015 Grand Coulee, Washington to Idaho, 191 miles

Columbia River Inn, Grand Coulee, Washington

We said good-bye to the Columbia River Inn a little after 8. Driving through miles and miles and miles of wheat fields on Highway 174.   We passed through the dying town of Wilbur, where we turned onto Highway 2.

Washington wheat field
 Stopping outside of Clayton, Washington,  Mark found a shot of a wheat field and grain elevator. The farm lady drove her truck out to see what we were up to on her private farm road. We were on a county road, but all the property is private. When she was done chatting with Mark, I was in the truck out of the wind and away from his usual escapades to get shots, she backed her truck all the way  back to the ranch. The wind was  rustling through the wheat.

We continued to Interstate 60 through Spokane. Just as we were entering Couer D'Alene we turned North onto Highway 95. We planned to stop for lunch at Farrgut State Park, but the smoke was thick from a forest fire that was burning right next to it. We continued on to Sandpoint where we picnicked at the city beach, a lovely park right on Lake Pend Oreille.  Sandpoint was a fun resort town. We finally found the Visitor Center on the north edge of town after doing a couple of revolutions of the town. A couple of options for the night were on our minds as we entered the Visitor Info Center to find out their opinion, one being continuing on to Canada and staying in a Provential Park right across the boarder or continue up through Bonner's Ferry and south east into Montana. The woman in the visitors center suggested what she said was the best idea; Continue along the Pend Oreille Scenic Byway and camp at Sam Owens Deer Preserve, a National Forest Campground the Lake Pend Oreille, pronounced Pond O'ray. 

Lake Pend Orieille, Sam Owens Federal Reserve, Idaho

What great advice! The temperature was very pleasant and the lake beautiful.

Great camp site at Sam Owens Deer Preserve

We found a campsite about a hundred yards from the lake and plopped our chairs under some fir trees near the waters edge. The lake was so clear I almost decided to go for a swim.  When we first arrive a mama and baby white bottom deer were in our campsite.

Lake Pend Oreille sunset

The sunset down by the lake was beautiful with all the smoke in the air.

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