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Tag Archives: sawtooth mountains

The girls and I drove north and east from SE Oregon up to the tiny mountain town of Stanley Idaho and a different time zone. It is located high in the Sawtooth Mountains. We drove north out of Boise along some beautiful rivers and through some impressive mountains. Fall foliage was getting started as was deer season. We saw many hunters along the way. Our destination was Redfish Lake. It was named for the legendary sockeye salmon runs of the past. In the 1800’s it was estimated that 25,000 to 30,000 sockeye returned to spawn at Redfish Lake. Now, even with hatchery programs, the numbers of returning fish are only in the hundreds. One year there were only 17.

I knew there were quite a few campgrounds in the area but apparently they close most of them at the end of September. One campground was still open on the lakeshore so that’s where I set up camp. Sky was delighted to have a big lake and Luna was happy to have colder weather. The elevation was about 6500′ and towering mountains arose on the far side of the lake. I read that the highest one was over 12,000′. Snow had fallen the night before we arrived. We visited an old mining area near Stanley with its discarded equipment and dilapidated buildings. Sadly, all of the interpretive signs had been removed. We also enjoyed a hike up Fishhook Creek.

Someone else coined the term ‘cardio Wednesdays’ and I’ve taken it to heart. Three weeks in a row Luna and I have joined other dogs and women for a brisk uphill hike to someplace with a great view and wonderful wildflowers. This week we went down-valley to hike with Lindsey and her three canine companions in a canyon pretty much in her backyard. We walked an abandoned road up, up, up til we came to a tremendous viewpoint of the snow-covered Sawtooth Mountains underlined with banks of yellow balsamroot sunflowers. Then we followed the ridge to a flat spot, the site of an old hunters’ camp, where we rested before heading down the other side of the ridge. It was a great morning hike.

Ponderosa pines have a wonderful scent when the sun hits the bark


A puffball emerges from the forest duff


The Sawtooth’s lie between the Methow Valley and Lake Chelan


Evidence of old logging activity


Luna catches her breath





and more balsamroot



and still more


Moose is an old dog who still loves his walks


A relic, possibly from an old hunting camp


Arnica lines this forest floor. I missed getting photos of the blooming patches.


A tremendous wildlife tree



and another one


Down through fields of balsamroot


Lindsey points out another trail we could have taken




Shiny beetle on lupine buds


Looking back up


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