your roving reporter Terry
flies when you are having fun, and we have been having a great time,
so busy we have been unable to update the blog before today.
had planned our arrival at the Buffalo campground based on a busy Labor
day week end, and as of Friday at noon were questioning if anyone one was
actually going to show up for the party. By happy hour we knew there
would be a crowd and by dark most of the campsites were filled with holiday
people watching was very good, with all of the weekend campers going through
the set up camp routine. One of our neighbors had a 4 ft. carpenters
level he was using to get his trailer set up just right. This same
neighbor pulled out on Saturday morning, only to be replaced
in the afternoon but another hopeful group.
warm and sunny temperatures on the Weekend the kids (of all sizes) in the
campground went nuts float tubing in the river. There was a constant
stream of floats, rafts, inner tubes, canoes and row boats past our campsite
in the river. There were even a few people out trying to fish,
but with all the river traffics I think the fish were cowering on the bottom
and in any deep holes wondering what the heck had happened to their quiet
was a repeat of saturday on the river, with it seemed even bigger
went for a drive to tour Henry's lake and the surrounding area on Sunday
afternoon. We had a couple of wrong turns before we found the
correct road, but eventually got on the road we wanted. One
of the first things we came across was a local horse show.
They had several rings going at once, with cutting and roping horse
rings, and the traditional horse show ring going all at once.
the Henry's lake road we took a brief detour into Montana, taking the Red
Rock Pass road to the pass and a bit beyond. The road was a good
gravel road and we made good time on the way.
sign at the summit.
big skies, not much different the the view from the other side though.
view of Henry's Lake, ID. lots of cows and clouds. We
found a small county park/camground/boat ramp just down the road from here
and it was free. No services, but easy to get into and out of.
an ideal location to file away for future reference. Boat launch on site.
Rest rooms. No water that we saw. But FREE and Great views of the lake
can go to the southeast corner of the lake to the State Park and pay $16
to $21 for a site if you want.
here) I added this campsite
listing to the www.freecampgrounds.com
The campground is on the
point in the center west side just up from the bend in the road. It is
paved on the north side to the park. They are planting trees between the
sites. The above pic is from Google Earth and the park now has more sites
up toward the road.
It is about 15 miles from
here to Yellowstone west entrance. See the <
on the picture.
saw the crowds disperse, and the campground empty out. By noon it
was very quiet around here, and by mid afternoon there was only one other
camper in our loop. Ron thought we should look for fire wood so we
drove the campground loops searching for fire wood. Filled the back
of the truck with firewood left at the various camp sites, no need
to go any further.
firewood duty we drove up to Mack's Inn for a cup of ice cream and a look
about. There were still a goodly number of people out on the river
there, but the crowds looked smaller.
night saw my resumption of fishing. Had not seen much use in trying
over the week end but with the crowds gone gave the Buffalo river another
try. Waded upstream from the campground a fair distance, and finally
found some deeper water. The deep water had concentrated the larger
brook trout and I spent a couple house catching nice fish in the 8 to 10"
slept later then we wanted to on Tuesday morning, but we still made it
to West Yellowstone by 10:30. Ron picked up a newspaper and read
it in the truck while I wandered up and down the main drag of West Yellowstone.
We had been there a number of years back and I had the image of a much
bigger and more exciting place. Hit a number of the stores that advertised
themselves as being rock shops in search of a bit of WY Jade in black or
apple green, no luck at all one shop had a few slabs of the dark
green jade and another had some British Columbia jade but no luck.
I had found a bit earlier in Rawlins and now will have to be very frugal
with what I have on hand.
Yellowstone on the day after Labor Day had a feeling of being abandoned
to it. There was very little traffic, only a few people about
and the shops all had the fall sale signs out. Did not see any bargains,
Waders at $199. are still expensive.
up a few groceries while in town, milk, bread, oj and such and headed
home. It is now raining lightly which it did all the way home.
Hopefully it will quit later for some evening fishing.
(Ron here again)
Tomorrow we are off heading
toward Challis from just south of West yellowstone.. I have had our mail
forwarding sent to Challis. I called the post office to make sure they
accept Gen Del. mail. I hope there is a letter from BOA as my debit card
expiration date is this week. Need a new card. Our bills are paid auto
with this card. So I need to get the new exp. date off to those people.
BOA sez the old date is good for a month after the exp. date so we shall
Update: 7:30 PM Terry
came back and had caught 8 brook trout 6 to 10" I hate it when he
have landed at Mackay Reservoir/ Chilly Slough Wetland, Idaho
6000-foot elevation. Mackay Reservoir Recreation site, at the southern
end of the reservoir, is an overnight and day-use facility which includes
57 campsites, a picnic area, boat launching ramps and a trailer dumpstation.
This campground is becoming increasingly popular with retirees for fishing,
boating, and hunting.
reservoir is situated in the sagebrush grasslands of central Idaho. Mackay
Reservoir and Chilly Slough abound with many species of wildlife throughout
the year. This birdwatcher`s paradise comes alive in spring and fall when
thousands of shorebirds and waterfowl, including cinnamon and green winged
teal, mallards, shovelers, pintail, scaup, and Canadian geese, flock to
the area`s mudflats. The reservoir also offers outstanding year-round recreation
opportunities such as picnicking, boating, trout fishing, hiking, and camping.
The Chilly Slough wetland, located 5 miles north, features a fantastic
view of the 12,662-foot Mt. Borah. The wetland is home to a variety of
wildlife, including willets, sandhill cranes, sora rail, marsh wrens, red
tailed hawks, golden eagles, northern harriers, and tundra swans as well
as wintering pronghorn antelope and mule deer. A 1/2-mile nature trail
enables visitors to see the diversity of life found in the marsh up close.
Location: Located 5 miles northwest of Mackay, ID.
rained much of the day on the drive down from Island pasrk through Idaho
over on HW 20 to Acro and up HW 93 to the Mackay Reservoir.
is north of here as shown on the above map.
Terry, talking to the camp
host who was more then friendly. They are here till Oct. 1 and the campground
stays open year round. They turn off the water but the res. is used for
ice fishing. It is not snow plowed he sez so if you can get in and out
you can stay. Bet the electric site get heavy usage with electric heaters.
The forest service has realy improved this campground. It's top of the
line. Very nice.
Our site overlooking the
reservoir. It is cool so we opted for an electric site for just $14. The
FS sites at Island Park were all $12. We can run the heat pump, fridge.
on electric and unlimited TV and internet tonight. Now this is living.
We hear the weather is to warm up and be wonderful in a day or two. So
we can cool our heals and just wait it out. It makes us appreciate the
nice weather just that much better.
About getting propane in
Arco, ID. Things have slowed down after Labor Day, as we found the large
propane dealer's door was locked with the lights on. We called the phone
number on the door and they paged the guy to come down and refill our bottle.
The propane guy (Steve) told Terry the fishing was good below the reservoir
outlet. Now that we are here, we are just going to hunker down and feast
on beef stew. (not from a can, Dintey Moore may be good, BUT). Happy
Hour is a little early tonight as we are watching the NBC nightly news
(comes on here at 4:30 PM MT time. It's great to land and be all set up...
and have a 10 High in your hand. HI Bob.
Thursday Sept. 6
(Ron posting) Terry is fishing,
is what we woke up to looking northest from the 5er at Mackay Reservoir.
We think that is snow in them there mountian tops.
We stopped at the Land
of the Yankee Fork State Park on the southern edge of Challis. Free
and the staff were helpfull as to where to camp and road conditions. Not
a nicer bunch of people would you want to meet.
Later in Challis we had
to check ou tthe town park and all the signs.
Think you would like to
get your hair cut here in Challis.
We drove down HW 75 a ways
toward Stanley just to see where we might like to camp and fish next. We
found a free undeveloped FS spot and a couple of other FS developed sites,
so we have several choices for the days ahead. We hope our GD mail shows
up at the post office tomorrow, Friday or we will have to stay for the
weekend very close.
As we were driving around
Challis taking in the sights we stopped to look at the road map on a side
street and a guy moving lawn yelled at us and came over to offer us directions.
We chatted and found out they go to Yuma, AZ in the winter. He said most
of Challis, ID heads out to Yuma or Quartzsite later for the winter. It
was fun talking to him, and getting the local take on this area.
We got back to the Cottonwood
campsite (about 13 miles north from town right on the Salmon river. Another
all upgraded FS campground.) It is just as plush as the Mackay res. site.
No AC but we don't need that. Think for the weekend we have found a nice
boondocking site south on HW 75 in a undeveloped FS area. It has new rest
room but not much else and it is free right on the rivers edge.
Now that we are back, Terry is out fishing and we shall see how is luck
is in this area.
From the map you can see
were are at Cottonwood northeast of Challis and plan to move down HW 75
and find campgrounds as we slowly head across central Idaho. Deadman
Hole: (Description: Semi-developed campground on the Salmon
River. Fishing in the river for resident cutthroat and rainbow trout, steelhead
and whitefish.) which is the undeveloped site or to East Fork:
$10 a day) (Description: 5500-foot elevation. 14 campsites at the confluence
of the East Fork and the main Salmon River. Fishing for cutthroat and rainbow
trout, steelhead and whitefish. Head down East Fork Road to enjoy the wildlife
viewing area in the East Fork of Salmon River Canyon.)
It is hard but I need
to try to slow down, as we have all month or more to get just across central
(Remember all these maps
I post and the names are clickable on the PUBLIC
LANDS INFO CENTER site.)
Friday Sept. 7
say today was a good day is an understatement.
post office had our GD mail and in it my new debit card. Then down the
road at the little burg of Clayton the lady in the small store let me use
her office phone to call into BOA to make the card work. Wow what a friendly
person. It seems we have been running into lots of those people.
we didn't have to to go back to Challis for anything next week we decided
to plow on and go to campgrounds a little further down the road. Closer
to Stanley. That way we could set up a more central base for weekend exploring.
Now who thought of that, do you think?
So we landed at Mormon Bend
another updated FS campground. Of course we had to go in and drive around
and then pull out, to check out all the other campgrounds in the area,
on done the road, so I would not be disappointed, as to have not found
the best spot. Well this one was the best, and also not to mention most
of the others were closed. Yes I said closed. So we high tailed
it back and took site #7 (We did good didn't we?)
We stopped for the view
(above) on HW 75 and will be back as this is the turnoff to Land of the
Yankee Fork (see map above)
We will explore the old
mines this weekend.)
Next stop was this old hot
spring bath house.
Terry walking up to the
More later... You guesed
it Terry is out fishing while I blog. Time to stop and watch the sunset
and get into Happy Hour.
It's Friday night, HBO and
Time With Bill Maher will be on later. I think it's steak tonight for
Saturday Sept. 8
Went for a drive up Yankee
Fork road and found this old dredge.
Further up the road
we found a real old FS campground right on the stream. Notice the old out
house. This was just north of Bonaza and Custer. Old mining towns in the
Yankee Fork Historic Area. They had walking tours in the ghost town of
On the way back drove over
to Stanley to check with the FS service and tourist Info to see what the
status of the Chief Parrish Fire was, as it is right along our route
out of here, and they have been closing the road for several hours each
day. Also at times one lane and a pilot car to guide people through. We
are following the details at http://inciweb.org/
The sky is getting more smoky so we knew it was time to take notice. They
tell us no chance of danger here, just to watch things as they develop.
Sure glad we can get on the internet and get the lastest updates.
Just saw a YouTube video
of someone driving throught the fire on Route 55. Fire right up next to
the road. Didn't look like much fun. By the way this was a human caused
fire. Driving around this area it is so sad to see whole tracks of trees
ALL dead on the mountain sides. Driving up Yankee Fork vast stretches of
forest were all gone where ever you looked. Much of the West's forests
are dead and now it can't help but just burn. Campfires are not even allowed
in campgrounds with fire rings, it is so dry. But the river still runs
and we found out why no rafting on the Salmon in this area. There are salmon
spawning in the river right here, 800 - 900 miles from the ocean. WOW We
are a long way up in the river basin and for Salmon to swim way up here
to spawn and then die is a wonder of nature.
An article about it.
Salmon Spawning in
See wild Chinook do
the wild thing
BY AMANDA PEACHER
The return of wild salmon
to Idaho's lakes and rivers has marked an important natural and cultural
event for centuries in this state. Every summer, Chinook and Sockeye salmon
battle their way upstream through the Columbia River from the Pacific Ocean
to return to their birthplace to spawn. After the deed is done, the salmon
die. Don't feel too bad for the fish; their hasty end is just one element
of the salmon life cycle. Travel to Sawtooth Valley and you might be able
to witness wild salmon on the last leg of their life journey.
In recent years, many
have mourned declining salmon returns; the low numbers have been attributed
to the eight dams that complicate the path of the fish between Idaho and
the Pacific Ocean. Redfish Lake near Stanley was once so jam-packed with
the ruby tinted Sockeye salmon that the alpine lake seemed to be colored
a dark red. Seeing a Sockeye in Redfish is a rare event these days (only
two have returned to the lake thus far this season), but don't be discouraged.
Unabashed naturalists can check out the tributaries of the Salmon River
and find other types of salmon spawning. Many Chinook manage to make a
successful return to their origins, despite the eight concrete obstacles
that hinder their path.
Once the Chinook return
to the creek where they hatched, they might mill about for days while their
bodies prepare to spawn. When the mood is right, the females will build
gravel nests and lay their eggs. The males then fertilize the eggs. If
you spot a large fish turned on its side flipping its tail, know that you're
a lucky witness to that magic moment. The tail flip is the adult female
nest-building maneuver; there are sure to be one or two lurking males eager
and ready for her to lay thousands of eggs.
There are several locations
near the Salmon River that are renowned for being popular Chinook spawning
sites, notes Sawtooth Hatchery manager Brent Snider. But curious spectators
should be respectful, he advises. Keep voices low and observe the fish
discreetly from the shore or bridges.
Snider recommends checking
Alturas Lake Creek near the road to Petitt Lake to see spawning Chinook.
You can search for salmon from the bridge that crosses the creek. If you
don't have any luck, try Huckleberry Creek, near the stream's junction
with the Salmon River. In late August, Chinook have also been spotted at
Indian riffles, one mile below the Yankee Fork of the Salmon River.
Kokanee salmon, a smaller
species of Sockeye, can often be seen spawning in Fishhook Creek near Redfish
Lake. Unlike the anadromous, ocean-seeking Sockeye that most are familiar
with, these fish live out their entire lives within the lake, but move
to the creek to spawn in mid August. A good place to look for them is from
the Fishhook Creek bridge near the Forest Service visitor's center.
Those who don't want to
risk the disappointment of not finding any creek spawners can head to the
fish hatchery. Located about 8 miles south of Stanley on Highway 75, this
state fish and game facility harbors hatchery fish that return from their
Pacific voyage, as well as other native and non-native species. They "spawn"
returned hatchery Chinook every Monday and Thursday, and visitors with
a strong stomach are welcome to watch from an observation deck. Although
the hatchery spawning process is quite different from what goes on in the
wild, some might find it interesting. "First we determine the ripe females,"
Snider describes, "Then we stun the fish, remove the eggs, strip the milt
from the males and fertilize the eggs." Curious as to what "milt" is? Find
out and learn more fun fish facts at the hatchery's informative interpretive
Whether your own salmon
journey involves a trek to a tributary of the Salmon River or a visit to
the hatchery, make it soon. The Chinook and Kokanee generally finish their
business before the end of September.
I checked the milage (6 miles
to Stanely) so I know I can send Terry off for a Sunday paper in the AM.
YES life is good. Terry just poked his head in the 5er to announced he
is to catching fish here, with a smile on his face, he took off for points
down the the river. I'll see him when I see him, I guess. Anyway time for
HH. (happy hour) 5:20 PM MT
Sunday Sept. 9
of just getting up and going in to get a Sunday paper and come back, we
both went into Stanley, ID and ate out (a rare treat for us) at the local
motel restaurant. They were crowded and we had to sign up on a wait list.
But the 30 min wait was worth it as the offerings were huge. We both had
a Stanley Skillet which consisted of a scrambled eggs with country
ham (you could taste the difference) and veggies with cheddar cheese. A
truckload of hash browns and toast. Enough for any two people in one severing.
next deal was to drive south on HW 75 down to Ketchum to see the sights.
We drove back off the road into a couple of nice lakes, but again the trees
are in bad shape and not pleasant places to camp in our estimation.
what a mountain pass to get there. (8700 ft) Colorado has nothing up on
that road. I knew when planning our route a few weeks ago there was a reason
not to come up through Ketchum and I found out why in a big hurry. We also
knew they were having fires and that was part of it at the time. After
driving around the tourist trap such that Ketchum is, we found a gas station.
(the only one we could find) and headed back to our campground. Ketchum
and Sun Valley is the Aspen of Idaho I assume, and rich was the flavor
of the day. New condos and commercial buildings going up everywhere. We
got to see some of the burned out areas and a firefighter field camp was
still set up on the edge of town. Round trip of 140 miles. So I'm tired
and ready to get this posted and sip a little 10 High Manhattan and relax
while Terry heads off fishing again.
We found the headwaters of
the Salmon river between here and Ketchum. Just a tiny creek at that point.
We took some mountain views
but just to smoky to turn out very good.
5 PM Pics of
the Chief Parrish Fire on www.inciweb.org web site alonge Route 55 which
we will have to drive through to get out of here.
Incident: Chief Parrish
Released: 7 hrs. ago
Boise, ID - The Chief Parrish
Fire along Highway 55 (south of Banks) is now at 3,960 acres and is 75%
contained. Full containment of the Chief Parrish Fire is anticipated this
evening. Today, Highway 55 between Horseshoe Bend and Banks is open to
one-lane traffic with a pilot car system. Plans are to open the road to
two-way travel later this afternoon. Those traveling Highway 55 are encouraged
to use caution. Expect dense smoke and rolling debris from the burned hillside
above the road.