First Photos of a New Year

I’m back. What a boring summer I had for the most part. I did thankfully get to explore some of the natural beauty of the Idaho Panhandle and ride in a Tesla. Other than that, though, the summer was quite uneventful.

One thing, though, that the most exciting was going down to the Clearwater National Forest. I was reading Reddit last winter and saw the Crags.  So we planned a trip for the summer.  We booked a yurt at Winchester Lake State Park and planned on driving a few ours to find the mountains.  I bought an app for my phone that can do manual shots.  One little problem emerged, though.  A massive fire complex was raging as we were heading down there.  Thus, we didn’t really get to see much of the actual Crags.  What we did see, however, was breathtaking.

We were perfectly safe at Winchester Lake State Park.  You could smell the smoke, but it was not much different from what I was smelling a Coeur d’Alene beforehand.  The lake was beautiful, even if it was originally a milling pond.  It felt small and quant.  We stayed there for one night before we headed off to find the Selway Crags.  We hit the road the next morning and during the drive through the Camas Prairie in Lewis County and Idaho County we encountered railroad trestles such as this:



There is a lot of interesting history in this area and it is really fascinating to see it first hand.

We kept venturing farther.  As we got farther away from Lewiston, it got progressively greener and greener.  Once we got to the general area that we wanted, at or near the Clearwater National Forest, it was no longer semi-arid at all but rather lush and productive.  For a while it got dangerously smoky.  It was hard to see and probably worse to breath, but it was only through small stretch.  Once we got to the area we the Crags should be, we couldn’t find an unblocked road. What we decided to explore instead, because we had already gone that far and we weren’t going to waste that effort, was the riverside of the Lochsa or Selway.


We parked and went down to this shore.  I was terrified of the stones I was stepping on worrying that a rattler would pop out.  Thankfully I never saw a rattler on this trip at all.  I was standing looking at the beauty of the area and there were all of these beautiful orange or black butterfly, definitely closely related to each other if not the same species.  One big one landed on my mom’s shoulder acting as if she was of no harm.  It seemed like how heaven is described.  The only sad thing was seeing that some of this lush forest was gone, taken by some 64,000 acre wildfire.



I was constantly taking photos of this shoreline trying to get the perfect shot.  I don’t think I quite did.  My ISO was set at a point where I had a lot of noise, but I needed my ISO set to that in order for me to get any shot.

It is possible that these low mountains were the foothills of the Selway Crags or even small Selway Crags themselves, but I thing they are deeper to the left in the picture than what can be seen.


Later we drove on and encountered a bridge.  I should have taken a picture of this bridge, but I didn’t.  We walked across it to find a very beautiful, lush, fern-covered hiking path.  Bright greens were impossible not to see.  We walked for a little while, then turned around, partially out of fear of encountering a snake.  I’m pretty sure, though, that we were by the Lochsa, which doesn’t seem to have many rattlesnakes.

Interestingly enough, the Clearwater National Forest is partially a temperate rainforest in sections, at least, according to the research I could actually find on it.

After spending sometime driving back, we spent the remaining day driving back to our yurt and sleeping.  The next morning we canoed and took a little hike.


During the summer I also rode the Silver Mountain gondola, the longest single-staged people carrier in the world, for the first time.  We rode the gondola three time forth and three times back.  We hiked up there a little and I found a striking tree that I had to capture.  In parts it has this type of algae growing on it — this being yet another showing characteristic of the greenness of the Idaho Panhandle.


On the last day before school started we were in Hope, Idaho and a black bear crossed our path.  I had no time to set in manual settings, so I used the normal camera app on my phone.  It took too long to adjust, and thus I lost the shot, but I got a really cool shot none the less.  The angle it was shot at is captivating.  The road lends leading lines to the shot.  The car frames the shot.



All of these photos had minor edits done on them in Lightroom to this photo in order to achieve what it really looked like.  Sadly, many of them had to much noise.

Although I did not take a picture of the Tesla, for whatever reason, nor the Crags most likely, the times when I wasn’t sitting at home doing nothing, I was out in nature.  I was paddleboarding or hiking it.  That is the way it should be.





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