Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ribbon of blue - 13 August 2012

Although there were no "must see" sights on the itinerary for today, it was nevertheless quite a scenic trip.  As we are in the mountains rather than the plains there are no direct roads west from Whitefish, MT to our next stop in Newport, WA so the day was spent zig-zagging up towards and away from the Canadian border following a ribbon of blue rivers and hydro lakes through forests of firs, pines and spruce.
The first hydro lake was on the Kootenai River creating Koocanusa Lake which went for miles and miles. We only followed a portion of the USA part as the lake reaches way back into Canada, hence the name - no doubt.  Not far downstream from the dam was an unexpected highlight, the Kootenai Falls, which though neither especially high or wide are quite spectacular with the various rock ledges that the water cascades over and around.

Just after crossing into Idaho, we left the Kootenai River and dropped south through the forest (without any water) to pick up the Pend Orielle River which we followed until it became Lake Pend Orielle, another hydro lake.

We followed the shoreline up and over the top, crossing Pack River and Priest River to the delightful town of Sandpoint where they claim to have the world's longest retail bridge.  It is constructed out of huge tree trunks and is quite a delightful space.
The difference between this and the "real" retail bridges such as Rialto and Ponte Vecchio is that the street has entirely disappeared and it was originally built as an ordinary bridge and the shops were an entrepreneurial experiment when the bridge fell into disuse.

All too soon, but only after the best value ice-cream in the USA at Clark Fork, Idaho had been and gone and we were in Washington State and the Pacific Northwest.

308 miles today, total trip 5238. States: Montana, Idaho, Washington.

No comments: