Saturday, June 11, 2011

Newport, WA to Clark Fork, Idaho

Last night we slept in Washington then this morning we drove to Idaho for breakfast (approx 2 blocks)!  As we ate breakfast we were overlooking the lovely Pend Oreille River. 

As we progressed eastward, we were riding/driving along the banks of this river. We passed one dam after which we were along the shores of the lake.  There were many pull-outs where I stopped to look for and watch wildlife – saw Bald Eagle and Osprey, and other smaller birds (some I could identify and others I could not).   

Lake Pend Oreille

Lake Pend Oreille

We passed a large lumber mill.  What caught our attention is the irrigation system they were using on the logs – they were spraying water on these huge piles of raw logs. We are not quite sure why they want to keep the logs wet (so they grow more!!) It could have something to do with the wood cracking – they may want to control the drying process. (Dick & Jane, we will need to ask MacGyver if he does that at his mills in Mississippi)  From the road at the mill we saw trucks pulling into the scales with a load of logs, logs being unloaded from the trucks, logs on piles (being watered), piles of cut lumber, piles of wrapped lumber, and railroad cars waiting to be loaded with wrapped lumber.
Stacks of Wet Logs waiting for the Saw Mill

Unloading Log Truck

Stacks of Sawed Lumber

Wrapped Stackes of Lumber ready for Shipping

Loading Rail Cars

My question of the day – as you drive along, there are these signs “Deer Crossing” or “Elk Crossing” etc.  How do the animals know where they are to cross the road??  I did not see any deer today, but each of the last 3 days I have.  In fact yesterday I saw the head of a deer in a marsh – he was swimming.  I watched till he made it to the other side of the marsh on higher ground.  I can’t say I knew deer could actually swim, but then why not, if elephant can swim. We saw those huge beasts swimming in Africa.
Lake Pend Oreille with Train Tracks

The shoreline (all around) of Lake Pend Oreille has many lovely vacation homes, small resorts and marinas. Due to the road being at lake level, the route today was quite level. We are in the small town of Clark Fork tonight.  High school graduation for 30 kids is presently taking place – we were lucky to find a restaurant serving dinner.
Lupins in Full Bloom

The weather today was slightly cloudy, but no rain - actually great biking weather. The temperature did not get over 68, so a turtle neck sweater felt great all day – driving with the windows open was chilly.    The temperature is to be in the lower 40’s again tonight – thank goodness for a lovely motel at the foot of the mountains. We are afraid we will have one more night of camping while in the mountains – and it could be cold!  If one of these next few nights I do not blog, you will know we do not have internet connection while in the mountains. 

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