Left Seattle early October 1, heading east across the state toward Lewiston Id.
Our first stop was the Palouse Falls near Washtukna. The falls are just a trickle from their normal flow as the river feeds west toward the Columbia. This seemed to be a great time to visit the falls since most vacationers are gone by now; crowds and road traffic are low.
Arrived in Lewiston for lunch then headed toward prairie country first stopping in Grangeville to see a life size copy of a wooly mammoth. Along the way Catherine found a brochure for a B&B in a Catholic monastery run by the Sisters of Gertrude in Cottonwood, Id. See photo with red roof church. Our room was great with a view across the plain that allowed me to get a good sunrise photo shown in this collection. The Sisters of Gertrude were great hosts, gave us a tour of their Chapel and all of the workshops used to keep money flowing in as they had for over 100 years.
We headed south toward Hells Canyon and the Snake River. The canyon got it's name from the Lewis & Clark explorers since they thought they had arrived in Hell; the canyon totally stopped their progress and the river 'snaked' along the steep walls but did not lead them anywhere. From the Idaho side of the river the only access road down to the water is along a 17 mile steep dirt road to a flat landing called Pittsburg, named after an early railroad. Today, sport fishing is the main use of the river and we were told to keep our eyes open for rattle snakes since this is their favorite kind of terrain.
Spent a quiet night in Riggins, Idaho then continued south toward McCall that sits beautifully on Payette Lake. Went through Stanley Idaho, over Galena Pass and into Ketchum/Sun Valley for a 2 day visit. Walked the town, hiked the local ridges and enjoyed the architecture. Headed east from Ketchum on a 60 plus mile dirt road to intersect with a highway that would lead us north and eventually into Montana.
Again we picked up the Salmon River and followed it until it went into a canyon where it got it's name as the River of No Return. This is where William Clark thought he could raft down the canyon to open water only to find the river disappears into the rocks.
Stunning scenery all along the Salmon as we ended our northward journey in Missoula Montana. There was however one last thrill for us; we got up super early and drove to Fathead Lake for sunrise as you can see in our photos.
Catherine flew home from Missoula. I headed over Lolo Pass to the Palouse for some landscape photos then into Seattle a few days later.