Last week I was in Spokane to visit my mom. She seems to be doing well, and has mostly recovered from the multiple health issues she had faced earlier this year. My visit coincided with a family reunion. It was great visiting with cousins I hadn't seen in years, and in many cases decades. I'm sorry I don't have any pictures. We were having such a good time I didn't get around to taking many pictures, and the few I did take aren't all that great.
I do have pictures from the next day though. My brother and I drove to the Idaho/Montana border and hiked up to the Stevens Lakes. It is quite a steep climb up to the alpine lakes, but worth the effort required. (This was my first time to get 200 flights on my Fitbit before I was at 10,000 steps!)
This area of Northern Idaho is full of many abandoned silver mines, along with many that are still active. Here you can see the old tracks for the mining train.
Never mind silver. The real treasures in the mountains of Northern Idaho are these. Huckleberries! These are my favourite berry, my favourite fruit, and quite possibly my overall favourite food.
This is the first of the lakes. The picture doesn't do it justice.
This white flower is known by several names, the most common being Bear Grass. It was in bloom all along the trail once we reached the higher elevation.
The second lake was a bit smaller than the first, but every bit as beautiful.
This frog (or toad??) was sitting on the path, unnoticed by me since I was busy taking in the view. I don't know who jumped higher, me or the frog. Fortunately it was the only one to land in the water. (No, I'm not afraid of frogs. But I am afraid of snakes, and for just a second that's what I thought it was. And yes, I know snakes don't jump.)
We encountered lots of rocks on the hike. We went through them.
We went over them.
And I even climbed on top of one. Although honesty forces me to admit I was only on top of this rock for a microsecond. Heights and I don't do well together.
I love where I live now, and you often read about my hikes in the beautiful mountains that are near our cottage. But these mountains, well, these are the mountains of my childhood. The wildflowers, the berries, the trees, the smell of the forest, it all brought back a flood of memories from when I was young. And I left guiltily thinking maybe I love them just a little bit more than the ones out my front door.