Idaho Nature Trails

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Winter Skies


Hemlocks on a winter day

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Monday, February 27, 2006

Huckleberries


Huckleberry Picking

One of the highlights of camping trips for us in July-September is huckleberry picking. Sometimes I think the search is more fun than the actual picking. We have a "silent" contest, who can pick the largest berry. It has been going on for 30 years between my husband and myself, the subject has never been voiced, but we both KNOW we are in competition. The second part of our silent contest is.......who can pick the most berries. One time my husband put moss in the bottom of his bucket, YES, that is cheating and he doesn't need to cheat because he always outpicks me, anyway. I have a webpage with a good recipe for huckleberry coffee cake and some picking tips HERE.

Toni


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Friday, February 24, 2006

Lots Of Beargrass


Beargrass, just starting to bloom... 6/27


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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Beargrass (Closeup)


Beargrass


Beargrass is found growing at 4,000 feet and above (a good marker for elevation.) It has a heavenly aroma and the elk love to eat the flowers. The grassy part below grows in huge, shiny, dark green clumps, which is very slippery. Open mountainsides are covered with it in late June/July.

Toni



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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A Storm


Forest Service Trail off Fishhook Cr. Rd, St. Joe Nat'l Forest.. 6/27


Fishhook Creek Road winds south out of Avery, Idaho, into the Panhandle National Forest. This photo reminds me of the John Denver song that goes something like, "there's a storm across the valley, clouds are moving in."

Toni



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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Nightime Sky


Another evening photo taken here at home, January, 2006

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Boulder Creek


Youngest Grandson fishing, 7/04

This was taken on our annual family campout, several years ago. Boulder Creek is near Bonners Ferry, Idaho, in the (Kaniksu portion) Idaho Panhandle National Forest.

Toni


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Friday, February 17, 2006

Firewood


Front yard......2/12/06

We took the opportunity, on a few sunny days last week, to cut five aspen trees that were diseased or needed thinning and turned them into firewood for next year. This shows a small portion of the piles we have to put in the woodshed.
Toni

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Frosty Morning


Evergreen bush, my yard.......2/10/06

The other morning, frost was clinging to everything. I took the opportunity to get a photo, just as the sun came up.
Toni



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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Moonlight Over Schweitzer


Taken in our driveway...early morning 2/14/06

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Exit, Taft Tunnel


End of Tunnel, Idaho side.....6/12

All along the trail there are markers like the one above, with very interesting information. The trail takes you through 9 tunnels and over 7 trestles. (None of the other tunnels are this length.) The trip will take you 3-4 hours on a 2% downhill grade (17 miles), one way to Pearson and then ride the shuttle bus back to the Idaho side of the St. Paul Pass tunnel (pictured above.) More information can be found on their website
HERE.
Toni

P. S. I found the following information:

"The Hiawatha Bike Trail was opened in 1999, and enhanced in 2001 with the inclusion of the 1.7 mile long Taft Tunnel."

"The Hiawatha Trail was called one of the most scenic stretches of railroad in the country. When the Milwaukee Railroad was operating, the trains traversed through 11 tunnels and over 9 high trestles, covering a 46 mile route that crossed the rugged Bitterroot Mountains between Idaho and Montana. The “Route of the Hiawatha” is most famous for the long St. Paul Pass, or “Taft” Tunnel which burrows for 8771 ft. (1.66 miles) under the Bitterroot Mountains at the state line."

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Monday, February 13, 2006

Entrance, Taft Tunnel


Entrance, St. Paul Pass (Taft Tunnel) 6/12

This is the Montana side of the entrance to the 1.66 mile long St. Paul Pass tunnel. Bikes only allowed, you must wear helmets and a light. It is always cold, in fact, the air coming out of the tunnel feels like a refrigerator, and NO I would never go through it! ( You can drive up and over Roland Summit and park on the Idaho side.) Tomorrow I will post a picture on the Idaho side. When this tunnel was dug, it was started from both the Montana and Idaho side. When they met, they were only one inch off!
Toni

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Friday, February 10, 2006

Another View


Taft Area........6/12

This photo was taken of camp from above. We walked up to what used to be East Portal, (the beginning of the St. Paul Pass tunnel) now a parking lot for the Hiawatha Bike Trail. We used to spend a lot of time in what was left of this old town, looking through houses, and ruins of the old railroad buildings. There is an amazing amount of history told in a book called Up The Swiftwater!! Note the apple tree in full bloom.
Toni

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Campfire


The perfect campsite, Taft Area....6/12

Camping essentials for the firepit:

Cast iron frying pans, well seasoned
Heavy duty grill, newspaper, lighter
Coffee pot
Large kettle to heat water
Long metal poker
Lots of heavy duty gloves for removing boiling coffee from grill

How to make Camp Coffee (also knows as Hobo Coffee:)

Water from the creek (it will be boiled when you make the coffee, so you don't get sick)
3 scoops coffee
Fill..... but not too full, it will boil over and put the fire out (yes, it happens a lot)
Bring to boil, let slow boil 5 minutes
Remove from heat, let grounds settle, unless you want to chew your coffee
Enjoy, while sitting in your camp chair, watching the sun come up over the mountain.....

Note:
Keep adding one scoop coffee and water as needed, each time you make a new pot. When there is about 3 inches of grounds, or whenever you think it needs it, dump the grounds, rinse pot, and start over.

Toni

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Great Place To Camp


Just below the Taft Tunnel, Montana....6/12

This gorgeous meadow has been a favorite of ours for years. Sadly, it has been closed by the Forest Service because of abuse to the land (the area has a seasonal creek that runs through it and it was being torn up by 4 x 4's trying to get stuck.) The area is popular now since the
Hiawatha Trail was put in.

Toni

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Hauser, Idaho


You can see the City of Post Falls in the valley. 2/5/06


From the deck you can see a small corner of Hauser Lake

We went to our daughter's home Sunday for Super Bowl. She lives in Hauser, Idaho, high on a hill, overlooking the valley and a corner of Hauser Lake. Both pictures were taken from her front deck. At night, the view to Post Falls, with all the lights, is gorgeous.

Toni

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Monday, February 06, 2006

February Sunset


February sunset.....our front yard

Suddenly, after a cloudy, gray day, the sun broke through just at sunset and gave a spectacular show. Well, at least I know the sun is still out there.....somewhere!!

Toni

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Friday, February 03, 2006

Peace


Clear Lake, State Line Road, St. Joe National Forest....9/23

To be high up in the mountains
Watching the clouds roll by
Sitting on a rocky ledge
The sun moving across the sky.

There is a beautiful mountain lake
At the bottom of this ravine
Looking like a precious jewel
Encircled by timber of green.

The wind is but a whisper
Bringing the scent of pine
Watching an eagle gracefully soar
Above the timberline.

Suddenly a doe appears
Her fawn not far behind
I think a more perfect place
Would be hard to find.

Toni Britton
July 27, 2001

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Lake Pend Oreille (2)


South End of Long Bridge Bike Path looking left, Sandpoint...Taken 10/9

That is Sandpoint over on the shore. I took these two pictures (the one below also) standing in the same spot. The bike path is actually the old highway.

Toni

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Lake Pend Oreille (1)


South End of Long Bridge Bike Path looking right, Sandpoint...Taken 10/9

A gorgeous fall day last year. We drove into town and walked the path, crossed the lake and headed toward Sagle, before turning around. This is a very popular spot for bikers, boarders, skaters, walkers, and runners.

Toni

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