Many Glacier Campground to Springy Point Campground, Lake Pend Oreille, Sandpoint, ID
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 … 332 Camper Miles – Total 7,698
50 degrees am, sunny, clouds rolled in as we left
We left Many Glacier Campground about 8:00 and headed west. We made the usual stops for coffee and water and picked up groceries and lunch in Kalispell.
We then followed US-2 through Kootenai National Forest, stopping at Kootenai Falls. The Kootenai is a large, fast river. This falls is wide with several side-by-side falls, really neat. There is also a rickety, suspension bridge across the river about a quarter mile downstream. We crossed it but Bill, who is no fan of bridges, didn’t really like it.
We decided to stop in the vicinity of Sandpoint. There is a Corps of Engineers lake there, Lake Pend Oreille, and we camped right on the waterfront at the Springy Point Campground. Sandpoint is a prosperous town with lots of shopping and nice restaurants. There are many homes and a couple of resort hotels on the lake. Sandy took a walk while Bill read by the lake shore.
We made beef quesadillas for dinner. Having crossed into a new time zone we had to reset our watches to Pacific time. Now it really gets dark early, like 7:30, but at least there should be more sunshine to wake us up in the morning.
Springy Point Campground to Kettle Falls Campground, Roosevelt Lake, Kettle Falls, WA
Thursday, September 14, 2006 … 131 Camper Miles – Total 7,829
Overcast, mid 50s in am, rain showers off and on
We paid for showers ($.75 each) at the campground and headed to town for breakfast. We chose the Pan Handler Restaurant & Bakery and weren’t disappointed. After stops at a card shop and the post office, we returned to the campground for the camper about noon and headed west again.
We had a bit of rain along the way but nothing serious. We happened to notice there was a National Recreation Area campsite near Kettle Falls, took a look and decided to stay for the night. The campground was right on another lake, Lake Roosevelt, which is the impoundment of the Columbia River behind Grand Coulee Dam. We were a long way from the dam, but this is a very long lake. Driving in, we could see the remnants of forest fires on the other side of the lake. Other campers who’d been there for a few days said that the fire had some spectacular moments the night before and that it had been interesting to see planes and helicopters dumping water on the fire.
The evening was chilly and breezy. Again, Sandy walked while Bill read. (His muscles are probably completely atrophied by all that reading.) Dinner was Moroccan Chicken with steamed green beans and mushrooms.
Kettle Falls Campground to Silverline Campground, Winthrop, WA
Friday, September 15, 2006 … 162 Camper Miles – Total 7,991
Mostly sunny, high 40s am, mid 70s, windy, few showers pm
We were following US-20, a National Scenic Byway, which was completed in 1972. It passes through our destination, North Cascades National Park. We started the day by driving through Sherman Pass and found a dusting of snow had coated the grass and trees at the pass’ 5,500 ft peak. Going down the other side of the pass, we came to the town of Tanasket. This is our first evidence of Washington’s massive orchard operations. They can apparently grow fruit here because there is water and the elevation is low enough for the necessary growing season. In fact, this is the first time we’ve been under 1,000 ft elevation in months!
Again, we had blustery winds with some overcast and off-and-on showers for the drive. Winthrop is the last sizeable town as you approach North Cascades from the east. Since we want to explore this end of the park near the high passes, we decided to stay in Winthrop and get to the park in the morning. We chose Silverline Campground on Pearrygin Lake, a very pretty place.
Sandy went to the local National Forest Service office for information and toured downtown Winthrop while Bill did some writing. The sky became clearer later so we were able to enjoy the sunset as we prepared shrimp scampi and salad for dinner.