Monday, June 19, 2017

Father's Day Road Trip to Ross Creek Cedars

Our plan was to drive to the Ross Creek Cedar Grove.  The plan changed just outside of Clark Fork when Retired Mountain Man asked me if I'd ever been to Antelope Lake.  The answer was no, so we turned the car around and started to drive up to the lake.  It didn't take long to realize that this last winter was hard on the road.  It was steep. It was rocky.  It had a LOT of washouts, but we had X-mode in our Subaru, which means it can cling to the road like a mountain goat....  It's a good thing.

RMM explained that Antelope Lake was carved out by the flood waters from Glacial Lake Missoula.   It's difficult to visualize the size of Glacial Lake Missoula and the magnitude of the floods carving out rock to form a lake, it is.

There were some nice flowers blooming there, honeysuckle and a lot of wild roses.

These trees have mistletoe and are clinging to life on the edge of the lake.

Stromatolites on the rocky outcropping next to the road.  They are the earliest fossil evidence of life on earth.  Retired Mountain Man loves fossils and rocks.

Then we were back on Highway 200 headed to Montana.   Our next stop turned out to be Heron, Montana.  We had never been there either so we decided to check it out.  On our way we spent quite a bit of time driving towards a place named the Amber Bear Inn, but turned around and went back towards Heron.  There was a post office and an all-in-one cafe/bar/mercantile, with a few houses near.  That's it.  A very small secluded spot in Montana and in some places a very nice view of Scotchman's Peak.

Near Heron, they are in the process of replacing the one-lane bridge over the Clark Fork River.    The old bridge must be about 100' above the river.

Okay, so now we are finally just going to drive to Ross Creek Cedars.  No more stops.   Prepare yourself for a zillion photos....

I love the tree trunks with their "fingers" clinging to the earth.  Beautiful.

There's something in the water.....

It doesn't show in the photo, but the log is crushing the corner of the bench.

These two trees look like a front view and a back view.  Plus, I've always loved that other backside....

What is it?  It looks scary to me.

The End.

I forgot to post this photo.
My first picking.  These have already ripened and I've eaten most of them.   Bring on summer!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mother's Day Weekend Mini Road Trips

Rain and more rain.  Wind, cold, snow, sleet, brrr.  We decided to take off on a trip to the east side of Priest lake.  We've been to Priest many times but never up the east side.

When you are nearly to Priest River there's a unique round house, built out of stone, on the other side of the river.   In a rock cut on the road just before you get to that house, there are formations of Strawberry Gneiss and Sillimanite Gneiss.   The red in the rock is the "Strawberry" Gneiss which contains manganese.

It was not a great day for photos, but I did get a few at a couple of locations on Priest Lake.

On Sunday we decided to drive to Metaline Falls.  We would drive up the east side of the Pend Oreille River, cross over at Metaline Falls and head back to Newport on Highway 20.   This area was the Pacific Ocean before the land mass that is now Oregon and Washington came to join the North American continent.

Our first stop was at the Manreesa Grotto on the Kalispell Reservation, which is across the river from Usk.

The geology at this location is a sandstone formation created in a glacial lake.  The grotto was carved out of the sandstone by wave action much later.

This shows cobblestones in the sandstone.

The holes are where the stones have fallen out of the sandstone.

This would have been a good place to stay warm and dry a couple of hundred years ago....  It would have worked on Sunday too, but there wasn't a campfire.

It has a nice view of the river too.

Jon was pointing out that these large holes were carved out by the wave action.

We drove north towards Sullivan Lake which was really unique.  The lake had no shoreline except at the west end.  The mountains surrounded it and came down to the edge of the lake.  There was just enough room for a narrow road around it, which means it's totally undeveloped.  At the west end their was a nice campground and park.   Just past this location we had to decide whether to drive ten more miles north into Canada or turn south.  It was 5:15 p.m. so we decided Canada would have to wait for another day.

As we drove on towards Metaline Falls our next stop was the Mill Pond site.

In 1910 Lewis Larsen, a Danish immigrant, discovered the limestone rock here.  The limestone could be used to make cement.  The Mill Pond Flume carried water down to Metaline Falls to generate electricity for the town and the cement plant.

The Mill Pond.

I think this Historic Site was near Cusick.   It's difficult to imagine what it was like when David Thompson traveled the river in his canoe.  What sights he must have seen and how difficult the journeys must have been.

  The Pend Oreille River looking north towards Canada.

We stopped in Newport for dinner and headed back to Hope.  It was a great weekend despite the weather.