April 22 – May 5, 2019
The past two weeks have been a blur as we’ve been spending time with family and friends, working on spring projects around the house, and I’ve been working extra hours to meet a self-imposed deadline at work. Time is flying by and we’re already asking ourselves how we managed to do anything while averaging 50-60 hours per week working and commuting. When people ask us if we’re bored yet, all we can do is laugh.
May is a beautiful month here in Southeastern Washington. The hillsides are a brilliant green (soon to disappear with the temperatures we’re having), flowers are in bloom and our yard has once again become home to deer, quail, and a variety of colorful finches. We’re enjoying being close to home, but we still found time for a couple of adventures.
Post Falls & Coeur d’Alene Explorations
We made a trip up to Coeur d’Alene to visit hiking friends Larry and Shermane and their poodle Sosi. It was a beautiful spring day—perfect for exploring new sites. They took us to see the Spokane River raging over the Post Falls Dam, hiking at Q’emiln Park, and lunch at the resort on Lake Coeur d’Alene.
In 1871, Frederick Post purchased more than 200 acres along the Spokane River to start a water powered lumber mill. Washington Water Power Company later purchased Post’s site and developed a hydroelectric facility to supply power to the Silver Valley mines almost 100 miles away via the longest high-voltage transmission line in the world. The dam is now operated by Avista Utilities and and is open for public viewing at Falls Park.
Just across the Spokane River, Q’emiln Park and Post Falls Community Forest offer a great network of trails. We hiked a few miles along the river enjoying the wildflowers and water fowl.
Selway River Backpack
With sunny days and temperatures in the 70s, it was time for another spring backpack. Our local mountains are still buried under feet of snow, but we were itching to get into the forest. At under 2,000 feet in elevation, the Selway River in Northcentral Idaho is always a great early season option. We used to hit the Selway several times a year, but haven’t visited since a backpack there in April of 2016.
The trail along the Selway River and into the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness begins at Race Creek at the end of the road 20 miles from highway 12. The trail follows the river upstream 50+ miles to Paradise which is accessed from Darby, Montana. Backpacking the entire trail is on our bucket list, but for this trip we hiked in just six miles to a beautiful beach.
We enjoyed a beautiful afternoon at our riverside campsite. Temperatures were warm enough that we were tempted to go from a swim, but stepping into the 46 degree water quickly nipped that idea.
The highlight of our trip came just after dawn as we were drinking our coffee. Three whitetail deer came out of the forest and onto a beach across the river. After their morning drink, they began frolicking in the water. They repeatedly hopped up and down and played a game of chase as their white tails happily danced behind them. For birds we enjoyed seeing bald eagle, merganser, belted-kingfisher, hummingbird, a couple lively dippers, and numerous duck species. The trail was colored with various wildflowers, with shooting star being in greater abundance than we’ve ever seen. We expected to see ticks and rattlesnakes, but were pleased to encounter neither.