For several weeks I have been wandering about Idaho, often with no internet service. I began on the southwest part, driving Rt 55 from Emmett to McCall, then driving 95 from McCall to Grangeville. Route 55 followed the Payette River. Rt 95 near New Meadows followed the Little Salmon, a wild river with tons of rocks and a fast drop. It joined the Salmon River, way over on the west side of the state near Hells Canyon.
When 95 left the Salmon River, it climbed to a plateau above a massive, green valley and wilderness to the southeast.
I joined Rt 12 and followed it across the state, first along the Clearwater River, then more northerly along the Lochsa River. The Lochsa is known as a renowned white water stream. It deserves that title. The calmer portions are simply iconically beautiful mountain river scenery.
The wilder stuff, well, a photo just won't do it justice. I tried. What I DID do, though, is take a short hike to Snowshoe Falls. The trail begins in dense forest.
It turns, emerging from the forest, bordered now with wildflowers.
Finally, it drops to a stream crossing just below the falls.
Reaching Montana, I took 93 south into Idaho again, where I re-entered the Salmon River watershed.
The Salmon River begins in the Sawtooth Wilderness, south of Stanley. Red Fish Lake, near the Salmon headwaters, is a salmon spawning area. I can't imagine the energy expenditure involved in climbing the Columbia River to the Snake River, the Snake to the Salmon River, then the Salmon River east all the way across Idaho, through the River Of No Return Wilderness, climbing rapids most of the way, then turning south to continue climbing past Stanley to these spawning beds. For me, I was tired driving a small part of that distance, with frequent rests. The views, though, are magnificent, as in this shot of Red Fish Lake.
That brings me to a subject near and dear - photographers. I have has people praise my work and compare me to professionals. I know professionals. Jan and James, Charles and MaryBeth, get up before dawn, travel to a spot they have scouted, and hunker down in damp and cold, waiting for perfect light. They are professionals. Me, I am lucky enough to be able to perch in a nice spot and, if fortune smiles on me, I grab my camera, walk outside, and snap a photo. Such was the case at the Sawtooths. I needed a place to sleep, and pulled into the Mountain View Campground near Red Fish Lake. In the late afternoon, I was given this view.
When I awoke this morning, it was even better.