Campground in Northern Idaho
We stayed about a week in a nicely wooded campground in Northern Idaho. Most of the sites were fairly spacious and separated from each other… except two. Ours and our neighbors. The site next door was empty when we arrived, but a few days later a nice couple in a “new to them” motorhome moved in. Their site was so close, I tried putting our awning out to see if it would touch. It actually extended over their rig a few inches in the front! It was only able to do that because their site was a couple feet lower than ours. Anyway, they were nice people and we had fun talking with them. They only stayed two nights.
With a name like that, we HAD to explore it! We unfortunately picked a windy afternoon, and found that the whole lake was full of seagrass, threatening to clog our clever kayak propulsion systems. We managed to run the length of the lake, but the sky was the prettiest part. If you go there, feel free to skip McArthur Lake.
Meeting Charlie and Din
One evening, (almost our bedtime), we heard some fun music wafting up to our motorhome. I went out to investigate, and ended up spending some time with a fun couple of musicians. They were on a little stage, playing to the starry evening and nobody else. They were not camp employees, but just traveling through and like to sing! In chatting with them, I learned they have two Hobie Mirage Drive kayaks – the same system as our tandem kayak. They talked about a float trip that they wanted to do, but weren’t sure how to do it without another vehicle. We tentatively planned to try it together in a couple of days.
Jam Session with Charlie and Din
One evening, we offered them pie in hopes they could bring their instruments and play for us! We ended up with a great jam session! Charlie on guitar, Din on Mandolin, and Cherryl and I tried to keep up on our Ukuleles. What a great time!
The Amazing Float Trip!
Charlie had researched this float trip… it was supposed to start just downstream from a dam, and wind through about 7 miles of peaceful river, and end in a nature preserve on the south end of Lake Pend Oreille. (Pronounced Ponderay by English speakers)
We dropped a car at the take out spot in the lake, and drove to the dam. We found a place to put in, not too far from the dam. A fairly strong wind had risen, creating waves on the river that made it look like it was flowing upstream. But it really couldn’t be flowing that way, could it? Charlie kept wondering and checking if he’d gotten it backwards – the wind was far stronger than any current. So we paddled (pedaled, actually) “uphill” for a long time. It was really beautiful! We saw Eagles and Osprey and even a few float planes, one of which landed just downstream from us.
So we had a gorgeous trip, but it seemed we fought the wind forever! When we drove back to get the truck where we’d put in, we measured we had done about 12 miles! So our 7 mile “float” turned into a 12 mile “Uphill” kayak hike! Part of the fun was teasing Charlie about his kickback “float” trip that kicked us back! I put together a little video of the trip at the bottom of this blog – Thanks Charlie and Din!!