Friday, June 06, 2014

Early Midweek Priest Lake

Moose on the way up to Priest Lake.
Life on Laurel was getting a bit mundane since Linda finished her marathon Sunday, so we loaded up the camper and followed the Unchurches north to Priest Lake.  That’s not exactly how it went, but we did camp up at the Beaver Creek Campground from Monday through Friday.

During Linda’s run I got a phone call from Daren inviting us up to Priest for the week.  We talked it over and then took Monday morning to re-supply the camper and make sure we had everything.  Daren and Marcy drove up in the morning and saved us a spot.

Group photo at Plowboy,  Upper Priest Lake.
On our drive up we enjoyed all the usual pre-camping conversations. We wondered how busy the camp would be and where our camp site would end up. Our conversations darted back and forth between this adventure and future trips that we have on the books. Halfway through the drive Linda turned on the audio book that we started on our last trip and that kept us entertained.  Just a few miles before the turn at Nordman we spotted a bull moose out in a field near a stream.  I was able to get a picture of him; he looked to be about two years old.

When we arrived at the campground we found the Upchurches sitting in the sun. It was easy to spot their camp; they were the only people in the entire campground.  In fact, that was about the way it was during the entire week.  I think the most campers in the park at one time were six groups and that included both of us.

Tuesday morning was sunny but by the afternoon thunder clouds came in and it started to rain.  We did some mushroom hunting and found about seventeen Morals growing in the campground area.  Our evening was spent moving in and out of the sprinkles.  Marcy made a great dinner and we stuffed ourselves.

Wednesday we took a long hike up to the upper lake.  We hiked up to Plowboy and had lunch. Kobi ran about a million miles and that evening he was a very tired dog.  The Bennetts cooked dinner this time. We had a long evening of talking by the campfire; the day had turned out to be just beautiful.

Linda got up and took a long mountain bike ride on the road.  She came back with wide eyes; turns out she had come upon a bear on the road. She said that she made all kinds of noise but the bear was not a bit concerned with her.  Eventually it headed off the road and into the woods.

Thursday morning brought calm winds and a flat lake so Daren and Marcy took their kayaks up to the upper lake. Linda and I hiked the Lakeshore Trail south to Teacher Bay.  On the way down we came upon a yearling moose. It turned tail and made tracks away from us. We continued on but did not encounter it again.

Back at camp we read and waited for Daren and Marcy to return.  When they did they had stories of two more moose and a great trip up to the upper lake.  We ate dinner and went to bed at about 9:30 PM.

We left the campground for home on Friday morning. The camp had been completely empty for two days, we were the only campers.  That is what early midweek camping is all about.  School is out for the kids around the area this Friday and I imagine things will change quickly; the campgrounds will start filling.

We made lists as we drove home. Tried to think of the things we needed and didn't have with us.  After about ten miles we were talking about where to go next.  Life is so good, knock on wood.
The chance encounter moose, on the lake trail south.

1 comment:

Lisa Brown said...

Hi Dean!
Came upon your blog when searching for info on Priest Lake, great site, you and your wife have had some amazing adventures, I am extremely jealous!
I am also an Idaho native, proud to say 4th gen here!! But I'm from southern Idaho so I was wondering if I could pick your brain about Priest Lake camping?
We are planning a trip for my active 87 yr old Mother and would like to stay at Priest Lake.
We would like a more secluded camp and Reeder Bay Campground looks like it may be a bit quieter, what's your "Locals" opinion on this? Also would love to take her on a boat ride to upper Priest Lake since she could not hike that far, do you know of a boat rental/charter service in the area? There's nothing better than getting info from someone who's been there done that :)!
Just in case it helps with your feedback here's some info on what rig I have, 21.5' toy hauler that I pull w/a long bed Dodge Diesel so I don't need a huge spot to park. I would rather go when school is still in to avoid crowds but we are bond by my sister's
work schedule:( and will be traveling during June or July. Our problem is we are more used to camping in undeveloped areas where we can be by ourselves. We are not worried about hook-ups or camp amenities, the rougher the better(I know, we have a trailer so we are never really roughing it)!
Thank you for any help you may be able to provide!
~Lisa Brown