Hunting Moose

With all the time we spent in Montana and Wyoming the last two summers  we have never seen a moose.  I had great hopes of having the opportunity to photograph this majestic animal in Idaho.

Mountain Bluebird (50state.com)

Syringa Idaho State Flower

We left Montana and entered Idaho via the Northwest Passage Scenic Byway This route winds through north central Idaho along highways 12 and 13 tracing the Lewis & Clark Expedition along the Lochsa and Clearwater Rivers and the homeland of the Nez Perce people. There are ample pull outs along the route to look for moose, take in the lush forests, crystal-clear waters of the rapid running rivers, and the many peaks of the Clearwater Mountains and the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness.  Along the way we visited the information center on Lola Pass and the Lochsa Historic Ranger Station.  The ranger station had two moose sightings that morning.  At Grangeville we headed south on highway 95.  On White Bird Hill Summit we were caught in a thunderstorm with heavy rains.  An 8% downhill grade pulling a 30 foot 5th wheel in blinding rain can be a little nerve-racking and still no moose seen.  At White Bird you meet the impressive Salmon River and follow it through the valleys and canyons to Riggins.  Wonderful views but no moose.  We set up camp along the Little Salmon River south of Riggins.  There is nothing better than to snuggle up on a cool night and listen to the sound of rushing water.  Riggins, population 420, is at the confluence of the Salmon River and the Little Salmon River.  Salmon fisherman lined the river banks in Riggins.  After investigating we discovered it would be much cheaper for us to buy salmon from one of the fisherman than to go fishing.  We bought a 17 pound Chinook Salmon for $20, took it home and ate the best fish we have ever had.  It was wonderful!

On the third day we headed south on highway 95 to Boise to visit my sister.  We found an RV park about a mile from my sisters and along the Boise River Greenbelt.

Boise River Greenbelt

The Greenbelt has a 25 mile bike and pedestrian path.  6 of 7 mornings in Boise I was able to ride the Greenbelt. The rest of the time we spent with my sister.and her daughter.  We visited and visited, played cribbage, mahjong, toured Boise, ate ice cream, and got to know one another again.  We saw deer, quail, a large assortment of birds, and a variety of stunning scenery but no moose.  Oh well, there is always next year.

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