Text Salmon Idaho

Riding through the scenic town of Big Fork at the northeast corner of the Flathead Lake.

After two days in Kalispell, we headed east across the top of the Flathead Lake and rode through the touristy town of Big Fork. We then rode down the east side of the lake to Polson, and then rejoined Highway 93 through Missoula, Montana.

 

Bridge out of Big Fork.

Taking the one lane bridge out of Big Fork.

 

Flathead Lake

Looking westward across Flathead Lake at the Bitterroot Mountains.

 

Entering Idaho

Entering Idaho on Highway 93. The smoke is getting thicker.

 
Highway 93 in Idaho.

Highway 93 along the Bitterroots is newly paved and in excellent condition.

 
 

Ginny and Tina by Cottonwood

In Salmon, Ginny stands with her sister, Tina in front of the huge cottonwood tree on Bob and Tina's property. For clarity, Tina's husband will heretofor be called Bob2.

 

Ginny feeding the chickens

Ginny enjoys helping Tina feed the chickens.

 

Guinnea Fowl

They keep guinnea fowl as noisy and aggresive protection for the chickens and ducks.

Ducks

 

These ducks are too young to produce, but it is expected that their eggs will contribute to the omelets eventually.
 

Horses in pasture.

The two Bobs check out the back pasture where the neighbor's horses were enjoying a frolic.

 

Stage Coach in Salmon, ID

An old Stage Coach is featured at a bank in Salmon.

 

McPhersons mercantile.

Bob, Ginny and Tina pause to check out McPherson's Mercantile on the main street of Salmon, Idaho.

 

Sunset over the smokey Bitterroot Mountains.

Sitting on the back deck, we watch the sun set over the smokey Bitterroot Mountains.

 

Pork Chops on the dinner table.

Bob and Bob2 can't quite wait to load their plates with pork chops and sauerkraut.

Ginny and Tina's family, as well as Bob2's family are of German stock. Pork chops and sauerkraut are a comfort food which has become entrenched in their family tradition. As they cooked this meal in the waning hours of the day, to say that the odors were enticing is a vast understatement. Finally we were called to the table and sat down. But before we could begin, I noticed a mouse run across the kitchen floor and disappear near the corner of the kitchen. Tina's daughter also noticed it and alerted the group. Bob2, looked at his wife and asked, "may I take care of this?" She nodded approval, and Bob2 walked smartly to the Den and returned with a high quality pellet rifle. He pumped it up to a suitable charge, went into the kitchen and took careful aim into the corner. He fired, aimed carefully and fired again, and a third time fired. He held the rife at the ready and waited, looking for some movement. At the table we watched in silence, harboring a bit of angst as we knew the trophy would soon be displayed. Then, to the right of Bob2, a mouse emerged from under the table, walked indignantly across the kitchen floor, and disappeared into the heater vent from which it came.

Bob2 sat down quietly, and I very much wanted to say something like, "Jolly good show old sport, you'll get the buggar next time." Yet, I felt a reluctance to encourage the hunting of varmits indoors. For example, I know on good authority that shooting a rat in a toilet carries unexpected concequences. There was nothing to do but to start our dinner, which proved to have a very favorable effect. The porkchops and sauerkraut quickly restored our spirits, and then, as if someone threw a switch, the absurdity of what had just happened came upon us. We all started talking and laughing at once. It was a very good evening.

Bob2 likes to cook, and the next morning he treated us to breakfast, Idaho style. The eggs, sausages and thickly cut local bacon were fantastic, but what stole the show were the hashbrowns which he grated himself from Idaho potatoes straight from their garden. Fantastic!

 

Bob cooks breakfast

Bob2 cooks a killer breakfast, enhanced by fresh hash browns made of Idaho potatoes from their own garden.

 
Text Rafting the Salmon River

Loading the raft

 

Don, Tina and Bob load the raft for a five mile float down the Salmon River.

 

In 1805, after crossing the Continental Divide, Lewis and Clark navigated down the Salmon River, through what is now Salmon Idaho. They eventually gave it up, as the river was too rough. Not discouraged by their failure, we decided to raft a portion of their journey, five miles of their journey to be exact. We rented a raft and proceeded to load it with our equipage, which was paddles and life vests and little else. We moved out into the river, which flowed smoothly here, but we knew that the rapids would start soon. Having rafted the Colorado, I appointed myself captain and set about training my novice crew. With limited time, we worked on a set of paddling skills, which included, "left paddle, right paddle, all paddle and stop." Later on, necessity required that we learn, "backwards paddle," commanded in a high pitched voice.

We had not gone far before we approached our first set of rapids, a formidable set of 12 inchers. I pointed out the tongue of the rapids, and explained that baring other hazards, one aimed to travel down the middle of the tongue. We manuvered the boat accordingly, and started down. With the hit of the first waves, Tina bounced into the air and landed on her butt in the bilge in front of her. We laughed, as she slid back up, soaked below the waist. However, Ginny was really laughing, and only then did Bob inform me that when she has a happy spell it could last quite awhile. That got everybody going, and in vain I tried to alert the crew to the fact that these rapids were not over we still were in a precarious situation. Alas, I could rouse no discipline within the crew, and the rapids were well behind and the story retold three times before the crew took any notice of our position.

Because of the forest fire, I had hoped that predators of all kinds had moved from the forest to the safety of the river and that we would spot some animals. Of course, by now, what animals there were had fled back to take their chances with the fire and the fire fighters. We did see a good many birds of prey, perched on limbs above the river, and twice we saw mule deer, but that was it.

Just like Lewis and Clark, we didn't have a map, and we relied on Tina's vaugue memory of the park which would mark the end of our journey, and the start of a much more vicious river. Fortunately, after passing the doll house, we came upon a rancher's wife who was kind enough to point out the park, just a quarter mile ahead. We came through our advernture in very fine shape, for which we can only credit the docile nature of that stretch of river on that particular day.

 

 

Ginny, Tina, Bob and Don in raft

 

Ginny, Bob, Don and Tina.

 

Bob and Don in raft.

 

We were soon drifting beside a sandstone canyon. The smoke is visible in this picture.

 

 

Doll house on river.

 

A house along the river featured this bizare display on the river bank, giving the house the nickname, "Doll House."

 

Horses beside the river.

 

Horses graze on a riverfront ranch.

 

 

End of the raft trip.

 

The end of the float, waiting for Bob2 to pick us up.