Kruisin’ the Kootenays

Trout Creek was a mellow little hideaway on the Clark Fork. We had an easy nights rest in the quiet campground. Cali and I went out early and spotted some white tailed deer foraging in the field next door. We topped up the propane and were on highway 200 by 10:30 after a long conversation with the owner of the motel/campground.

Faster than a speeding bullet

We entered the Kootenai National Forest and drove through the gorgeous countryside. We stopped at a few lookouts to see the river flowing beneath the majestic mountains and rugged hillsides. Colorful trees inserted themselves in between the pines and the winding road brought new surprises at each turn of a bend.

About a half an hour into the ride, there they were, grazing in a large field next to the Bull River. Two large moose, standing shoulder high in the tall grasses. We pulled off the road and admired them from afar. They watched us for a while then took off running across the flatlands toward the tree line. Awesome, we’ve been trying to find a moose since we drove through Maine in August only to be thwarted at every turn. So today was extra special for the wildlife viewing duo of PJ & Mike.

At the junction with highway 2, we took a little detour and went for a hike down to the Kootenai Falls. We followed the path to the fork and went left to play around on the swinging suspension bridge that spans the gap across the Kootenai River to the far shore. We weren’t the only ones around. A few other adventurers were out enjoying the sunny afternoon. PJ made friends with a little girl that wanted to show off her fingernail polish. “You can touch it if you want”. Too sweet.

We hiked the rocky trail over to the falls and watched the roiling rapids descend into the valley. Beautiful jade green water filled the deeper pools as the whitewater swirled around the edges. We climbed around on the rocks looking for a better view then walked above the falls to the large slower moving pools that feed the cascade. A nice break from driving and a good way to get up out of the chair and move the body around.

More pine forests and snow covered mountains followed us through a small slice of Idaho and on to the Canadian border crossing at Porthill. PJ got grilled again about the paddle boards and we both got sent to the side lot for a short wait before being sent on our way. Cali skates again on showing any paperwork. A dog without borders.

Just across the international line lies the small agricultural community of Creston famous for its apples, pears, peaches and other produce. We got settled at Scottie’s RV park then took a drive through the orchard valley stopping at a large fruit stand to do some browsing around. I picked out some tiny little green grapes and I couldn’t pass up their fresh home baked blueberry pie. The farm lady had an easy sense of humor and she seemed to enjoy bantering with the couple from California. A fun stop in the British Columbian growing region.

We took a walk around Creston’s nearly empty downtown streets. This is Canada’s thanksgiving holiday. They have a long weekend and most businesses were taking the day off. We decided to be thankful as well. Thankful to be seeing this great continent and meet all of the interesting people we are discovering including ourselves. It’s a great ride.