We now have a
nice new clean windshield.
We got a call from Clearwater
Glass in Orofino (if you forgot we are in Idaho) on Friday that they could
do our windshield replacement. So off we went to get that done. They said
it would take several hours so we all three, piled into a tiny Tyota pickup.
I had to slam the door to make it latch. I could hardly breath, as we were
driven back to our campsite. Later it was done and they came to pick me
up at the campground in the same tiny PU. This time only I road back and
it was still cramped. But the truck was done... They even cleaned our dash
and instrument panel. And vacuumed the floor. How Cool. Our floor mats
were getting filled up with dirt. Now clean and they did it for us. We
were told not to wash the truck, as if that had been done in the near past.
It takes 24 hours for the glue to set. After we got back we did get out
the paper towels and window cleaner to complement other areas of the front
and rear of our pulling maching. Even did a number on a small section of
the 5er. Not to much you understand as we are after all two guys who are
not the best at cleaning. Should I use the term Slugs. That may be a bit
harsh but close. If you visit, bring ArmourAll or a bottle of Awesome
cleaner from the Dollar Store with you as a trailer warming gift. If you
show up with rubber gloves ready to clean you will be a treasured guest.
You wont have to do the bathroom you understand, unless you're into to
that sort of thing.
Now back to the next day
On Saturday we wanted to
take another day trip... We still had tape holding the windshield tight
but thought it was getting close to 24 hours so off we went on a new day
trip. I thought if we stayed on pavement instead of washboard gravel roads
we would be OK.
Of course a map is the first
thing to show what we are up to.
This Historic Byway route
begins at the junction of Highways 12 and 11, following Highway 11 for
42.5 miles through the towns of Greer, Weippe, and Pierce to its end at
Headquarters. It takes travelers past historic sites of the gold rush era
of the mid-to-late 1800s. Great views of the Clearwater River and the Weippe
Prairie can be seen. Full services are available in Pierce and Weippe with
partial services in Greer.
We drove into Orofino and
planned to go east out of town on the Gold
Rush Historic Byway. We got part way and ran into a sign saying
the Grangemont Road was closed to through traffic due to construction
from late July to mid Oct. Well what could we do but head back and go down
to Greer and head up HW 11.
As we passed back through
Orofino we took some some pictures of the County Fair events.
Now looking back down the
road as we head up an 8 mile climb to the top of the ridge to get back
on the Gold Rush Byway at Greer.
It seams like I am getting
into more and more high winding roads. Climbing up to the Palose
Prairie out of the valley or more like a canyon is like climbing up
and over a mountain pass each time. This time on the east side of the Clearvally
River. When we land in Quartzsite, AZ later this will all be a memory
to be cherished. A wonderful area of Idaho to explore that we have wanted
to do for some time, and now are doing. We are so gald we took this route
in our travels this fall.
We did find this First
courthouse in Idaho along the Byway.
This was about the only upscale
place we found. Much of the area is looking so very down and out.
There is still some lumber
but the area is very depressed. You wont find many McMansions in this area
up in the high country.
But if I remember the town
of Pierce had a Grocery, Hardware, a couple of bars and Hotel still trying
to make out like it was good to go.
These folks are just trying
to hang on me thinks. If you need to find someone in the area this sign
A link to the History
of the God Rush Area. A good read.
I would like to go back when
the road out of Orofino is redone as this is a way to get into the high
back country without the climb we had to take.
Would never pull a big 5er
up HW 11 from Greer.
Now back at our BLM home
we started a small campfire in the grill and relaxed.
We had to come inside early
as it started to rain. A weather pox on the local festivities and it may
get worse for this once a year big time event at their Lumberjack Days
as the forecast is for rain 100% for Sunday. We wish them well.
Moved up the Clearwater
River to Orofino, ID.
We drove up the Middle
Fork of the Clearwater River to get here. These rivers go on and on for
several hundred miles in Idaho. What a treasure they are. But you have
to be a good driver as the roads follow the river canyons. You do use both
hands on the wheel to be sure.
found (no, researched the route to be sure) a great campsite at Pink
House BLM Rec area right on the Clearwater River and many things to
a little up the road from the You Are Here RED
Clearwater County Fair and Lumberjack Festival is this weekend.
much to see in this land of many faces.
we got in the campground we headed to tour town and then take a drive up
to the Dworshak Reservoir - 53 Mile long lake created by Dworshak Dam.
Largest Straight Axis Dam in North America.
Dam Visitor Center, located at the top of the dam. Exhibits highlight the
history and wildlife of the area.
is one huge chunk of cement, me thinks.
The visitor center had this
bald eagle on display. Yes it was stuffed.
We got here on Wednesday
so after Terry did laundry we took a day trip up and I do mean up to the
Prairie to see the high wheat growing area.
views are like being on top of the world as you can see looking west below.
Now heading back toward Orofino.
We made a big loop drive and now the last 13 miles of the road turned to
gravel right after we crossed into Clearwater county. We had
to get to the bottom down there. Another winding not so friendly road.
We made it just in time for happy hour.
Like I said this is the big
weekend in this area.
The midway is huge as compared
to most small town town fairs, me thinks.
Now they do also have a
Lumberjack Days on Sunday. We might just have to go to that.
Do click on the link to
see all the events for the participants to compete in. This is a big deal
in this lumbering area. It was started in 1947.
That has to tell you about
the culture here.
Now for the bad news... We
have been unhappy with the seal coated highways in Idaho. First on the
road into West Yellowstone. Rocks flying up from passing vehicles were
hitting our windshield and now at last we have developed a growing crack.
We didn't notice this one in time to get it repaired. See the white chip
right next to the black trim. It started to crack me thinks right away
since it was so close to the edge. It was right next to our BLM sticker
as you can see the glue marks from where I removed it to take a better
I called my insurance company
and found out it will have to come out of my deductible. I have $1000 to
keep rates down. They said if I reduce my deductible to $500 the windshield
would be covered for free. Now lets look at that. It would cost about $200
more a year for that. But a new windshield I found out by the local Orofino
glass company installed will cost $200. Think I'm way ahead to pay out
of pocket, to be sure. I thought a windshield would cost much more but
am happy to find out only $200. I can do that.
Now the local glass dealer
will try to get us in tomorrow, will call us in the AM after they know
how their other installs are going. They offered, I didn't press
for them to fit us in. Can't ask for more than that. We have had a few
other chips repaired in the past and I will be glad to see a repaired chip
that still sparkles in the sunlight, that is right in the drivers main
view, be gone with a new windshield. But me thinks a new windshield
would be prime for a nice new rock chip down the road. Am I a pessimist
or what. My glass (as in drinking) is always normaly half empty, not half
full. So when it does overflow it makes it so much more pleasant, if you
know what I mean. Now if I can just have Terry keep my happy hour glass
more than half full.
What's not to
love about Idaho.
had a couple of days of rain but this last weekend turned out fantastic
and it is predicted to be nice all week.
can take 70 - 80 and clear to partly cloudy. Me thinks we will stay right
here while the weather holds. We have determined there are three nice spots
between here and Lewiston, ID all of which have power right on the Clearwater
River that we can be comfy in if the weather turns nasty. One is a city
park at Kamiah
on the river for $5 and the other two are BLM
Recreaation Sites $9 (you remember 1/2 price to us young old farts).
House) 3 miles west of Orofino and (McKay's
Bend) 12 miles east of Lewiston. Anyway back to the here and
So we took more day trips
up into the mountains on back FS roads. You can see how high up we are
and imagine how many switch backs it takes to get to this point. It is
slow going with your bright lights on as who know what is around the next
blind corner coming at us.
The group campground where
we are at was put to good use over the weekend when a bunch of college
age people showed up to go rafting and of course had a few kegs of beer
to boot. They didn't get too wild and I missed not having a band
show up. The Ranger said they did issue a few underage drinking citations
but not like in past years.
We took a drive over to Kooskia
and Kamiah to get diesel and propane. Along the way was a Farmers Market
where we got some fresh from the garden tomatoes.
It is over 25 miles one way
to get diesel or propane. We are in the outback.
The gas station, cafe/motel
in Lowell doesn't sell diesel and the Three Rivers RV park doesn't sell
propane. How strange.
The Clearwater River on our
way back to Lowell where we later turn south to go up the Selway River
where we are camped.
On Sunday we just had to
go a for a day trip up into the National Forest again. Always on the lookout
for firewood you see.
We went in much further than
we had planned and had to back track big time to get out of the maze again.
It was getting late, cutting into our campfire, happy hour, fly fishing
A stop to check our FS maps
and see if we were lost yet. In other words a potty break.
Hold the wheel tight as it's
a straight drop off.
Alas we did find more firewood
and at one stop below we hit the jackpot.
They must have had too much
to carry as someone left all this just for us.
We were able to follow O'hara
Creek for a couple of miles before the road cuts off to climb high into
the Nez Perce NF.
Today just lounging around
the campsite. Looks like we've moved in pretty good.
Time to move on
down the road to our next campsite.
did do a day trip on Tuesday after Labor Day for a long needed trip to
Walmart where we used two carts to hold it all. Never did that before.
My Oh My we did our bit to keep the economy going. I cruised the
camping equipment section and of course the electronics department while
Terry worked the grocery section. Several hundred dollars later we got
out of there. Both carts were full with mine with tarps and tent polls,
(might want to cover a picnic table with rain protection) new FRS radios,
headphones so I can talk over the internet with WiFi when there is no cell
signal, but we still have satellite service. Oh did I mention I got socks
and underware, and some new blue jeans. It's like I came out form the back
country and discovered shopping al over again.
later we stopped at a Safeway for meat etc. for another $45. While in Missoula
we visited special friends from the Q rock club who have a wonderful home
here. They sent us off with fresh veggies from their garden that we used
to have great BLT's later for a late supper. We at last got out of
town for the trip back over the divide again to our campsite on the Lochsa
had planned to move on in the AM and when when about to leave after we
were all hooked up, we found this on our windshield.
is the flap section of a FS campsite pay envelope. They must have thought
we were the campground hosts. In this campground there was never more than
two or three other campers and we looked like we had moved in big time
for a week.
that time the FS Ranger truck was coming up the camp road. I stopped the
ranger and showed her the note. She got a big kick out of it. We did make
sure we swept the wood chips off the blacktop apron so our site would be
as clean as we found it.
we did take with us the wood we had collected from other sites that were
left over after the big holiday weekend from our tour from other campgrounds
up the road on Monday. It's what fulltimers do on like Sunday afternoons
when the locals leave.
the grounds and collect the left over firewood. Why not, it is left for
others to use, and me thinks, we are others.
Now on Wednesday we moved
on and were able to dump at the Wilderness Gateway campground (see map)
and later on crossed the bridge and went up the Selway River road and landed
at Johnson Bar campground. We are right on the Selway River and would you
believe with my expertise we found a campsite (we had scouted ahead last
week on a day trip for possible sites). We got in here and found site #2
where our dish was able to find all four of the satellites. One for internet
(89W) and three for DirecTV HD service. So we are now online with TV and
Internet. That is no small feat in so many FS campgrounds. Especially in
this section of northern Idaho which is full of deep canyons with
rivers that run for miles and miles. We plan on being here for at least
through the weekend. The fishing looks good as Terry went for a walk to
scope it out in the rain. This is a special site that we have found, me
thinks. More pictures of the area to come... You can be sure.
the river right behind us. I posted some pictures few days ago of this
section of the Selway River on our checking ahead post. Duh, just realized...
all you have to do is scroll down to see them...
are a couple of mountain roads to explore so as we are inside right now
as it has been raining. We know we have lots of things to do for
several days in this area. What to do next will provide the makings for
the dreams to flow tonight.
and trying the new FRS radios... I got out the old ones that had failed,
and they started working again. So now we have 4 FRS radio units.
Having backups is good but this is nuts... Guess we can use one in each
Day trip to Lochsa
Lodge for their Sunday BBQ Rib special.
said they start serving the special at noon, and it lasts till it's gone.
got there about 3 PM and they were not busy. We thought it might be crowded
as it was cold and raining.
my plate arrived. All was very good but it should be at a special price
of $18 They claimed 1 1/2 lb. of ribs.
at their main menu a Petite Steak (8 oz) for $24.95. You have to remember
we are in the outback many miles from anywhere so the reason for higher
prices, me thinks.
You can also get gas and
a few supplies at the lodge which is open year round. Diesal is $3.29.
We took a drive through the
main Lowell FS campground to see how the wet campers were doing.
The sun came out for a brief
time but as we got back to our site several miles down the road, clouds
rolled in again and a heavy thunderstorm erupted.
along the road we saw this "towed" behind a motor home.
were down in the river fly fishing.
how the "Ma, will you head into town for some milk" conversation
for our next campground.
what you do when you are trying to boondock in Forest Service areas. So
many of the campgrounds are deep in the trees with very short aprons and
narrow tight approaches. It all has to be researched as to where we can
go and fit in so to speak.
off we went to explore the Upper Selway Area. We first do
our research on Forestcamoing.com
Heading west from our present
site on HW 12 and then up the side road along the Selway River. Just look
at all the places to explore on this map. By the way the map is from the
lands Information Center web site.
Since the map is still in
view we did find several great sites right on the river, open enough for
our dish and solar at Johnson Bar campground. Glad we did, as we found
we would not fit in most of the other campgrounds. Funny thing is right
now we are at Jerry Johnson campground. I need to do a Google search on
what's up with these names used for campgrounds in this area.
Selway River Scenic Drive,
Idaho Description: Only 20 miles of the Selway River, from its
junction with the Lochsa River upstream to the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
boundary, is accessible by road. A 42-mile sightseeing drive from Lowell
to Selway Falls and back offers the traveler an opportunity to appreciate
the pristine beauty of the river as well as picturesque Selway Falls.
There are several sand bars
with undeveloped beaches for picnicking and swimming. For the camper, the
Selway corridor offers 13 campgrounds with restrooms. Drinking water is
available at most developed campgrounds.
For the angler, the Selway
River is home to trout species including rainbow cutthroat, bull and eastern
brook. Fishing is catch-and-release only. However, Fenn Pond, located across
from Fenn Ranger Station, has an accessible trail and boardwalk and is
stocked with catchable fish. (From the Public Lands
Now on with the pictures...
The black top ends at O'hara
Bar bridge and campground and from there for the next 11 miles it looks
more like this.
It's not that bad, as all
the pictures were taken from the road.
Selway Falls at the end of
We don't seem to have the
holiday crush of campers in this area. We are a little far off the beaten
path. From the east you have to cross the divide and there are so many
choices closer to the population centers that people can go to. Me thinks
the locals have their hidden out of the way, known only to them campsites
that they sneak off to. Later we will go for a drive to the two other campgrounds
close, and see if they filled.
Oh I didn't tell you Terry
has been doing well fly fishing. He is having the best luck, ever. Yesterday
he caught 17 trout. He even saw a huge chinook salmon going slowly up river
to spawn. To think it came all the way up the Columbia river, then the
Snake, then the Clearwater and now on up the Lochsa. Northern Idaho, what
unique area we are exploring.
Now we're gettin
to where we want to be.
Updated with text and new
pictures 8 PM Wednesday night.
the back country where you have to go for many a mile to find civilization.
get there we moved north from the Salmon, ID area on over the huge pass
to Montana up to the Lolo cutoff and headed west on Route 12 back over
the Divide again and into the wilderness or as close as you can get to
it in a 38 ft 5th wheel.
Got to provide a link to
the area after all. Lolo
Trail National Historic Landmark via U.S. Highway 12
Going back down the Lolo
Pass back into Idaho you get a hint of the road ahead.
It follows the Lochsa River
and later combines with the Selway to form the Clearwater River.
All of which we will be
exploring in the weeks ahead. Looking good for fishing for Terry.
The report at the Lochsa
Lodge is when the rain stops the October caddis will hatch and fishing
is expected to be top notch. Terry had a glow on his face when he came
back with that news. We may go back for their Sunday BBQ ribs at $18 or
Chicken for $12. Combo at $16 or so. A little pricy but we are in the outback
and they say it starts at noon till they run out at about 7 PM. A weekely
event for them and this is the last weekend for the BBQ this season. The
Lodge is open year round.
stopping at a few campsites like this one which had great sites right on
the river we still moved on as we knew we could not get satellite service
from any of them. Also no solar with the high canopy of trees in
these sites. But if you don't need solar or dish internet go for any of
finding a soutable site where we could get a view for our satellite through
the trees we chanced upon the Jerry Johonson campground and low and behold
it was open and sunny. Just what we were looking for. Doesn't this
look like a great site. We had a nice campfire and partial sun later yesterday.
Now if the weather would just clear up a bit as we had light rain most
of the night. I could hear it on the roof as no cell service back in here,
as expected, so no G3 service to listion to Pandora for music at night
in bed. I knew I shouldn't have canceled my XM radio.
this is the first place we have been that I had no G3 data service.
I can deal with it, and it's not like I don't have the internet on my DataStorm
dish. And I can set my Droid smart phone to WiFi from my onboard router
when I really need the NPR morning news.
I type at noon today it is starting to rain again. Coulds are hanging in
the trees which makes for a eerie sight.
campsite backs right up to the dense forest and anything could come wondering
out of it, me thinks. We shall keep our eyes open. We did hear a thump
this morning while in bed. Later found a dead bird that had flown into
our bedroom window which looks like a mirror from the outside.
where we are at right now. DataStormUsers
map ID 98
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