Friday, July 27, 2012

Bonner's Ferry, almost to Canada

Today we decided to head up north to see what we could see up that way.  For the most part the weather was great, it did get up to around 90, but with little to no humidity compared to the humidity we were use to in Arkansas and in Florida each summer.

One of the most notable sites on the way to Bonner's Ferry was the northern part of Lake Pend Oreille, near Sandpoint.  This lake is 65 miles long, and the fifth deepest lake in the United States.  On the southern end is where the Farragut Naval Training Station once stood, and that area is now Farragut State Park.  The Naval Station was, during WW2, the second largest naval traing ground in the world.  The lake is still used by the Navy to test large-scale submarine prototypes because the depth of the lake give acoustic properties similar to the open ocean.
Above is the view to the west as we crossed over the bridge into Sandpoint, below is the view to the east.  The lake goes around that point to the right, and then extends for about 55 miles to the south-east.  We only saw a very small portion of the lake.
We continued on to Bonner's Ferry, a delightful little town of just over 2,500 people.
The downtown area of Bonner's Ferry is right along the Kootenai River.  In the early 1900's a steamer transported people from here to Canada.
We decided to eat at Mugsy's Tavern & Grill.  We could not have picked a better place.  Danielle owns Mugsy's, and she served us.  She sat down, chatted, got to know us, we found out she was from New Hampshire and had moved to Idaho about 6 years ago, she has daughter who works there with her...we all became quick friends.  And she does this with everyone as long as she has time.  And the food....hmm, real good.  Wish we were closer because we would eat there again and try something else.
And get this...although we did not take her up on it, had we eaten in the Patio, we could have had our dogs on the patio with us!  But we were already inside, and I did not want to have to fight with the dogs while we ate.  Which reminds me, the "Mugsy's" is from her own dog, which died a few years ago.  There is a wall with pictures of all sorts of dogs, and one cat, of the local regulars who eat there.  Just our type of place!
And another is the restaurant of choice of the local Rotary Club, and how tempting it was to steal this banner proudly hanging outside of the Restaurant, and my fellow Pine Bluff Rotarians can see why by the name on the banner.  (inside joke which I will share:  Charles Bonner is a longtime Rotarian in Pine Bluff with like a hundred years or so of perfect attendance...well, it is more like 52 years, but it seems like a hundred.) 

So off we went further to the north.  Of course, we could only go so far because the Canadian Border is not that far away....and we don't have those stupid little cards they call "passports" which is now required to visit our friends to the north and to be able to return back.  
About 15 road miles from the boarder one can pull over and see this view.  Canada is due north, about 8 miles away.  We will be getting our little cards next year and hope to visit it then, and of course, when we drive up to Alaska in a few years is we are blessed to be able to do so.  I wasn't going to mention the Boarder Patrol agent in his little green and white truck who was also at this turn out, and who gave us a good looking over as we turned back and went where we had come from.

Next, we visited the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge.

The Refuge is suppose to provide diverse habitats to more than 300 species, it just was not the right time of year because all we saw was this group of geese along the stream bed below, a duck with three ducklings (no picture) and large hawk (again, no picture).
 But my eye did catch this shot below....I love reflections in water
I am sure that as night falls, many larger animals come out of the woods...but the place closes down at dusk.  I am sure during the fall and spring it is busy with the migrating birds.

With that, we headed back to the motor home.  Northern Idaho is nice, but we are looking forward to being at Glacier for a week, and then the Yellowstone area for 10 days after that.  We already picked up our Papa Murphy's pizza for tomorrow night, so that we don't have a mess to clean up as we prepare to leave Saturday morning.

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