10-8-19: Idaho Gems

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Last night I got the idea of driving back to the farm that I got the shot of on the Winter trip this past February. (current photo above)
I looked up the GPS coordinates and entered them into GAIA gps, and that location is 35 miles south of where I am now, and right on the way to Stanley! So, my urge to spend the night in Orofino rather than Lewiston is paying off: it looked like a bit out of the way and further, but it’s right where I want to be this morning.

The plan right now is to go to the Stanley area today and camp, then to the west side of the Tetons, and maybe back to Glacier NP before going to Cashmere (Washington) for some work on the truck. I expect it to snow, then start clearing, so I’m hoping for some good cloud action.
On the road @ 7:17; 51° and raining lightly.

Went by the Idaho Farm and shot some from the same spot (checked the photo on the iPad because I knew I had shot from two different locations). It looked a bit different in February:

N 46 8.2970 W 116 9.4212


Was overcast and raining lightly. Went to the house and knocked on the door. The front yard was guarded by 2 blue healers that acted aggressive, but did not get too close. I was going to show the owner the photo and offer to send them a canvas print, but nobody answered. I got the address from the mailbox. Don’t know if the town is Winona or Greencreek: the school at the end of the street is the Big Butte School. I think I’ll just send a card.

Got to Warm Springs: an area on Hwy 21 between Lowman and Stanley (Idaho) that I like so much. I saw some interesting spots on the river along the way, but was in a hurry to get to the area that I thought would be the best, and I was expecting the clouds and rain to roll in at any minute. Warm Springs turned out to be OK, but not great. I did hike down to the river’s edge and shot at places that I recognized from the first time here (despite not being under several feet of snow as at first).

N44 08 39.6 W115 18 11.9

January, 2013 (above)
The same bend in the river today, but from a somewhat different vantage point. (and slightly different conditions)

There was bright light with harsh shadows at first, then heavy overcast later – neither was good light to work with. Back-tracked 30 miles (I had noticed I was 25 miles from destination several minutes after I started seeing the things I wanted to return to, so I estimated 30 miles.) Turns out Banks – Lowman Rd was the road I drove from the Hwy 21 junction westbound in Feb, but turned around because it was boring and not getting better. The mountains had suffered a big burn, so that was not so good. But this time I realized that the Payette River than ran alongside the road the entire way was great! I stopped at each pullout and explored, hiking up and down the road to check out the river below.
It was good that I did not stop at the pullouts on the way to Warm Springs: I may not have back-tracked if I had. I felt free to take more time now. I found a very nice, but very thin waterfall on the roadside that terminated in a beautiful set of rapids:

The way the slow shutter rendered the rapids was very nice! I have never shot rapids from above like that. Clearly the very best shot of the day (not sure I got any other keepers).

Pulled into the Bonneville Campground at dusk (6:50). All of the Forest Svc campgrounds are “closed,” with the signs covered, but the gate was open.
I am camped very close to a small creek. Stanley is at a much higher elevation (6,253′), but the Stanley forecast was the only one I had to work with: we’re at about 4850′ here at the campground, and 40 miles from Stanley. Rather than the forecast high of 50° with snow, it was 67° with some overcast moving in. 54° as I ate dinner, with some light rain starting (then stopped after a few minutes). So I don’t know what to expect tonight – I would like a layer of snow for some good photos, but I rather doubt it now.
This is the second time to camp in such an isolated area in the truck: it is a campground, but totally deserted. Kind of erie.

Lights out at 9:20. Within a few minutes I realized I was hearing the rumbling of thunder – almost constant. I set both storm braces: pieces of pvc pipe to keep the pop-up from closing on me in a strong gust of wind (I don’t think it would, but I don’t want to take the chance). I was camped in a shallow canyon with tall trees all around, so I was not concerned about lightning. I did, however, pray for protection from falling trees and branches. It rained very hard for 15 min or so, then the lightning stopped and it rained lightly off and on thru the night. The rain was loud on the camper roof, and I could hear the creek all night. Both sounds were great to sleep by.

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