Sunday, July 9, 2017

Visiting Season Is Here

We spend the first few months back in Idaho taking care of the forest, orchard and garden. After months of planting, weed control, brush clearing, tree thinning, road work, and playing in the dirt, it was nice to take a break and show our first visitors of the year around the area.

One of the things we like best about our big view is the ability to see big weather patterns move through. Being in the rain shadow of the tallest peak in Selkirks generally keeps us fairly dry while the rest of the Valley is getting wet. We had a really rare sunset/lightning storm/rain/rainbow event the day before our friends arrived where we were surrounded by four different types of weather and views.

In the West, the sun was setting through a rain storm

In the South, it was trying it's best to clear up.

In the East the storm was still working and we caught a little lightning in the colored reflection of the sunset.

 In the North it was just pretty.

It was 10 days of fine dining (mostly prepared by the four of us since you can't beat the local meats/fish and our garden), rare wines, visits with neighbors, hikes to remote areas, playing in and on the water, international travel to Canada, ferry rides and hot springs, lounging in hammocks, dog antics, and general all around good fun.

A hike to Hidden Lake. A jewel of the Selkirks.

One of the oldest cedar groves in the country is deep in a remote spot in the Selkirks. Only a few locals know about it.

Near the cedars are six old Western White Pines, the Idaho state tree. They're only a few hundred years old, but are extremely rare. Almost all the white pine died in the early 1900's after the introduction of European blister rust in the U.S. (an accident of international trade). There are a lot of young blister rust resistant white pine in Idaho, but no legacy trees the size of the six in this grove.

A roughed grouse with her chicks. They're cute, but as dumb as the rock the little one is standing by.

Thanks to a wet Winter/Fall, Smith Creek Falls was pumping like few have ever seen it in the past. The spawning red Kokanee will fill it in the Fall.

There's always a lot of bear grass in this part of Idaho. It's certainly not rare, but this year's bloom is unusually prolific. It's literally everywhere within the elevation band. The scent of this many blossoms is incredible.

Looking South down the Kootenay Valley over our family forest homestead.

 Another day, another hike. This time looking North through the Kootenay Valley into British Columbia.

Lake Pend Oreille and Lady Liberty on July 4th weekend.

An old fashioned pot luck lunch on July 4th at our volunteer fire department.

At four months old, Wesson was ready to learn how to swim. She may figure it out yet.

Enjoying one of the local lakes on a kayak built for two.

Wesson seems as if she likes being on top of the water better than being in it.

After all of our travels, we unexpectedly found the best place in the country for us four years ago. But we haven't given up the hope that there may always be an even better place out there somewhere. Everyone who visits here has standing orders to go out, find someplace better, and let us know. So far, no one has found anything that checks off all the boxes like Far North Idaho. Neither have we.


  1. Oh, Lovely blog as usual!!! I love your pics and your interesting life! Keep them coming.....

  2. You know what it's like. Forestry work is fun, but taking some time off from forestry work can be even more fun!

  3. Hi John and Susan! So nice to see your beautiful pics from No Idaho when it is approaching 100 degrees here in Vienna. All is well here. We are dog sitting at the moment so we are a 3-lab family. Sorry to hear about Karly 2 - as you said, she had a great life. Will let you know if we head up that way. I retired from full-time work at the end of April, so we are looking for our 'spot' as well. Best always, Linda and Tim