Redfish Lake

It was such a lovely day yesterday. The Alpine Lake fire is still burning off in the distance, but the wind was favorable to us yesterday. The smoke didn't cause any air quality problems where we're located. Absolutely no one is talking about it, and so we figure it must not be anything to worry about...for now, at least. This is our last day here, and then we'll be moving on. Looks like we'll be okay.

With the air quality looking good, we decided it was the day to rent a little motor boat and motor out onto the lake. Standing on the dock and looking back, we could see Redfish Lake Lodge.

If you're wondering, Redfish Lake is named for the Sockeye Salmon that used to return here in large numbers in summer. According to this article

Stories describe waters filled with massive, red fish that you could walk across their backs. Early images and history illustrate the lake as a fantastic recreation destination for boating and fishing. With the construction of dams, over-fishing, and other changes to the environment, Redfish Lake saw a devastating impact on its native salmon population, culminating in 1992 with the return of Lonesome Larry, the solitary salmon to return in that year. Since that time, the species remains endangered, and the battle continues to protect its legacy at Redfish Lake. In 2010, the count grew to 1,355 returning salmon. 

While I waited for Mike to pay for the boat rental, I strolled around the dock. Tread carefully, my friends. 

Standing there, I could look out and see the lake and the mountains. Beautiful. I felt like a watchspring unwinding

Okay, life jackets on? Here we go.

Captain Mike at the helm.

We motored out a distance...

where I took this pano of the area.

Of course, we took the requisite selfie. And I'm just going to say here and now, in case I haven't said it before, I hate selfies.

We motored out around the promontory there, where we could get a full view of the mountains. The scenery is breath-taking here.

Our time on the boat was an hour and a half, which was plenty. Renting a boat is a tradition for us. I mentioned to some folks yesterday that this place has an energy for me that feels as if we're returning to the place where we honeymooned. Only, we didn't honeymoon here. I think it feels that way because it was the first place we visited when we bought our first little RV.

Walking back toward the lodge, I paused to take this picture of the beach. The water in the lake is snow melt, and cold. Here on the beach, it's shallow and warm, and folks were soaking up the sun.  

I should also mention that Redfish Lake is the headwaters for: 

The Middle Fork of the Boise River, beginning deep in the Sawtooths at Spangle Lake 
The South Fork of the Payette River, beginning deep in the Sawtooths at Vernon Lake 
The Main Fork of the Salmon River, The River of No Return, beginning at 9,200ft just south of the Smiley Creek, near Chemeketan Campground. (One of the largest rivers in the United States, with a watershed of over 14,000 miles) 

From there, we asked around about hiking (on today's agenda), and we stopped in at the local "mercantile," where I picked up my first shot glass and refrigerator magnet of the trip. It's hard to see, but "Stanley, Idaho" is printed at the bottom of the shot glass. Documentation is very important. 

And since we're staying traditional, it seemed appropriate to purchase an Idaho Spud candy bar. As I've mentioned before, I've never lived in Idaho, but I feel as if I did. A lot of my family lived here, including uncles, aunts, cousins, and my maternal grandparents. My parents met and married here. My mother went to nursing school here. Whenever we visited, I always needed to have at least one Idaho Spud. As candy bars go, it isn't a particularly delicious one...marshmallow, coated in chocolate, coated in coconut. However, it was the only place one could buy such a treasured treat. 

When we returned to the RV yesterday, we had lunch and our afternoon espresso. I enjoyed my Idaho Spud with my espresso. It wasn't nearly as tasty as I remember it from about age 10. After lunch, we all took naps. Smitty took his nap on the catio, and Sadie took her nap with Mike on the bed. 

Later in the day, we got out for a walk. I noticed this little blooming thing.

On one of the campground out buildings, the mural you see below is painted. I'm inspired to make a quilt from this. As you might have noticed, I see quilts in most anything and everything. I'll never live long enough to make all the quilts I want to make. 

After pausing there for that picture, we crossed the highway where we could see the river on the other side. I believe this is the Salmon River, but it might be the Payette. 

The rabbit brush is in bloom everywhere. 

Walking back, I noticed this interesting seed head. It looks like it might be a character in a Dr. Seuss book.


We want to get an early start this morning. We're planning to hike the Fishhook Creek Trail. We're promised an easy 4.5 mile in-and-out hike with just a 200 foot elevation gain. We should be able to accomplish that. Sadie is doing her part watching for Mans and woofies. A cat can never be too careful.

As I'm writing this, Smitty has taken up this same position, while Sadie is sleeping in Mike's lap. (Mike is sleeping too.) Breakfast is next, and then we'll be on our way. Today is our last day in Stanley. We'll be moving on to Dillon, Montana, tomorrow. 


Barbara said...

The river is constantly turning and bending and you never know where it's going to go and where you'll wind up. Following the bend in the river and staying on your own path means that you are on the right track. Don't let anyone deter you from that. ~ Eartha Kitt

Quilting Babcia said...

I know exactly what you mean about feeling like you're home there. I have that same feeling about the area we live now, my paternal ancestors are from this area, my dad grew up nearby, and we regularly cross over the road that he lived on when his dad passed away in 1924 (dad was 12 at the time). Even had a second cousin who lived just down the road from us, though I didn't know it at the time, until after she had moved to be with her daughter as she wasn't able to take care of herself any longer. Anyway, I can envision a row quilt with those sawtooth mountains surrounded by rows of sawtooth stars. Go for it! That mural is worthy of becoming quilt inspiration.

Jenny said...

When I started reading about Idahoe Spud (spud as in potatoes?) I thought no way. Then I read, marshmallow, chocolate, and coconut, that's more my style. Childhood memories are wonderful, if the reality isnt quite so. Beautiful photos of those mountains.

Marie said...

Barbara, just a thank you for sharing your trip. I will never get to Idaho so I will enjoy through you. You have some beautiful country out there. I could just see the salmon as you talked. Beautiful thoughts. Have a fantastic trip and take plenty of pictures for us.

MissPat said...

Those mountain views take your breath away. Since I'm only seeing them in photos, it must be even more wondrous in person.

Deb said...

Really looks beautiful.

SJSM said...

A great start to your trip! Boating, views, warm days and fond memories for you to enjoy.

piecefulwendy said...

I can see why you unwind at that lake, what beautiful views while out in the boat! I'm with you on the selfies - that's why you rarely see me in my posts!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I'm so glad we drove out west a few years ago but in hindsight I wish we had taken a lot more time to stop and enjoy it. Unfortunately we had to stay in hotels/motels and it was expensive enough that we pushed on so we could reach our destination without spending more than we absolutely had to. Now, with Resident Chef's sciatic issues, car trips are out of the question...even short ones.
The views from the water in your photos are certainly spectacular!