This was one of my favorite days of 2014. Mom and I hit the road in the late morning for Banks Beach, the Payette River, Kirkham Hot Springs, the "secret" camping spot, Redfish Lake, Stanley, and the Salmon River. It was a long day featuring avalanches, road construction due to rock slides, and slowly driving through herds of elk and yearling deer at dusk. Here are the high points:
Banks Beach Campground, Payette River (when the water is low, a sand bar makes this an ideal swimming location and one of the very first areas where I went in the water outside of a bathtub or a bucket).
Two crazy (because the water was ROARING) guys in kayaks with cameras strapped to their helmets zoomed by as I stood here in awe, preferring to look at them rather than hide behind my phone documenting a blur.
The "secret" spot on the Payette River = one of my favorite campgrounds in all of Idaho. This rocky ledge is featured in the photograph below on the far left.
From here on out, there was snow along the road. We passed (read: marveled at) this winter's avalanche after the Grandjean Summit. The trees were stripped, the river was buried, the road was scarred. The mess involved after this melts is hard to visualize.
It dawned on me somewhere in the middle of Nebraska that I neglected to include Redfish Lake on my list of important bodies of water. Needless to say, its placement is official and the image I will most likely use is the painted jar of water from the previous post on Rebecca Solnit.
Spring recently arrived as all the grass was flattened from heavy snow and very few wildflowers were present.
Imagine canoeing on this lake in July because that's all I was doing while walking along the cold shore.
Redfish Lake River looking like its full of gold.
The mountain elitist states that the Sawtooths are the second best range in the lower 48 from a formal perspective (closely following the Grand Tetons). The view from Stanley before dinner at the the Sawtooth Hotel.
I will never forget the summer I learned how to dive in a flat rock in the Salmon River at this spot in the photograph above. It took forever to convince me that it was okay to throw my head in first though sometimes I still hesitate at the thought.
The black triangle marks the approximate location of the most fascinating fish hatchery below. I had a hard time devoting my attention to the three bald eagles above or the salmon in the ponds created from mine tailing.
Fish Hatchery, Yankee Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho, 2014