Monday, July 4, 2016

An Idaho Hike

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.


19 comments:

  1. Wow that scenery looks amazing, it must have been wonderful growing up with these mountains on your door step. The terrain looks quite difficult in some places! It must have been lovely to meet up with your family too. Glad to hear that your Mum's health has improved, has your brother fully recovered from his operation too? Sarah x

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    1. My brother is almost fully recovered from his shoulder surgery, Sarah. He's doing physiotherapy now, trying to regain all his movement. You are very kind to have remembered and asked about him!

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  2. Huckleberries are one fruit I have yet to try! Those look good. Those mountain views look amazing! I may have to add Idaho, onto my travel bucket list. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. I've never been to Idaho. Is it all like this? Beautiful!

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  4. This looks like such a wonderful hike. I can tell you really enjoyed yourself. I'm glad you can return to a place you feel so at home and comfortable. Thank you for sharing. Hope you had a nice trip, Kristie.

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  5. Wow, lovely scenery. I love hiking in the mountains. Have you ever tried the black huckleberries that grow along the coast? Divine! - Christina

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  6. Such stunning scenery. I wouldn't have lasted long on that rock either! xx

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  7. That is one berry that I have never tried huckleberries, they certainly look good. As does the beautiful area you were hiking, what a beautiful place to be remembering adventures of your childhood.

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  8. I can see why you would love that scenery - it's amazing! Certainly worth hiking up high to see those beautiful lakes and how wonderful to have such a deep connection to the place. I've never seen or tried a huckleberry! Sam x (PS Glad your mum is better)

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  9. Mmm, huckleberries sound Really Good, and I have never tasted one. I do hope I get to enjoy them one day, as I love berries in general. What a beautiful hike, and those lakes are beyond beautiful. The bear grass looks very dramatic and very large, so interesting. As for the toad, he does indeed look like a snake, and a very unattractive one at that. I would have jumped too!

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  10. It really is a beautiful place isn't it! You must have enjoyed it a great deal. I have never eaten a huckleberry, but I am sure they are good! Glad you had a great time and that your Mom is doing well!

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  11. Beautiful! Never been to Montana and only through Idaho to get to Wyoming and Yellowstone. Great pictures. I don't do heights AT ALL.

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  12. Such beautiful scenery! Any little creature that makes sudden moves is startling. I once tried to catch a mouse that had gotten into a box in my shed. It started jumping, trying to get out. And for some reason I don't understand, I started jumping too.

    I climbed more trees than rocks growing up, but don't do either very well now. Your Fitbit would get bored on my wrist. :)

    I understand the connection to the area where you grew up. It's always special. Even when it's gone.

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  13. What a beautiful day! Oh my goodness the sights you got to see are just amazing. Your photos are gorgeous and I know they can't compare to the real thing. Glad you had fun with your family and that your Mom is doing better.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  14. I think it is just fine to love the mountains of your childhood more than the 'new' mountains, with all the memories they come with. Having said that, I do love coming on hikes with you where you live now, it is a bit like Scotland there. Fantastic photos! x

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  15. Those are beautiful pictures and to imagine this is a scenery from your childhood days kind of takes the breath out of me! Huckleberries are unknown to me, are they as sweet as blueberries?? But mountains almost like that we do have up north. My husband has done some fishing way up north, but not me.
    What a lovely trip and what a joy to have someone you love to share it with!! How blessed we are, Kristie, all in all!!!

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  16. What a beautiful hike, the scenery looks stunning!

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  17. so so so beautiful! I must say you do have some awesome adventures! glad your mom is doing well :)

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  18. I've spent a lot of time working in Idaho, but primarily in the Clearwater region (central) which is beautiful and rugged but drier than north Idaho. These pictures remind me that I need to make more time to get into the northern part of the state! And huckleberries this early? Wow... There will be those will disagree with me but Idaho huckleberries are THE huckleberries. It's the same species as what grows on the west side and all the way up through BC, but there is something about Idaho (and eastern OR) that produces a darn fine berry. My theory is that the drier it is, the more concentrated the flavor...but it's only a theory! ;)

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