Thursday, May 7, 2015

Journey Northward...... Beaver Lodge about 200 miles from our house....

.....because we needed some raspberry plants....because the deer ate ours. So we thought, "It's time for a little vacation." and off we went. We looked for a place to stay on our journey and, at first, went for the sterile environs of the nearest big town, Colville, or the next nearest, Kettle Falls. But, then, we saw this....on Lake Gillette, 3200 ft. elevation...and thought...."Hmmmm, rustic."  And in the backs of our minds, "Hmmmmm, rough." And in neon lights, "Probably bad beds."  So, I checked. The mattresses are new but bring your own bedding. So, I thought, "Back to rustic." This is the cafe and store and bait shop and boat rental, etc. The cafe had prime rib on the menu, and very reasonable, it was. And one of the best meals I've had in a long, long time. Prime rib done just the way I like it with a humungous baker (I couldn't eat but about 1/4 of that), salad bar (yum) and other veggies, hot.

We got there in late afternoon and moved into our rustic cabin (the only one of several with indoor plumbing; there are detached bathrooms for the other cabins and campers and rv'ers). Isn't it cute? There's a place to hang your dear, or elk, or whatever, there, in the shed. Didn't you guess? Beaver Lodge is open year around for lake people in summer; snowmobilers, hunters and fishermen, other times.

Inside, this trusty Fisher Stove kept us warm and cozy. It's only JUST spring up at Beaver Lodge. The nights are still frosty and it snowed the week before we went up! Nothing like a pine-fired stove with the sounds of crackling wood. No, I didn't have to chop. Everything was right there.

Decor was woodsy......

curtains were....WILD! How about this for a quilt, friends? Beautiful, I thought.

But even in the wilderness, quilt design goes on. When we got back from dinner, Erin settled in to do a little quilt art. She and her pet tiger. Not much light, so she put on her handy "head" light. See her darling little mouse that goes with her notebook? Glad it was the only mouse we saw on our trip. I'd rather see a bear than a mouse.....anywhere. What am I saying? Did you ever see the movie, "The Edge (?)" (Was that the title, with Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin?). Jeepers. A mouse, any mouse, would be better than the Kodiak in that movie.

There is a chain of lakes up there (WA state hwy 20): Thomas, Sherry and Gillette. Lots of different varieties of trees: Douglas Fir, Cedar, White Pine, Tamarack (just getting their needles). Lots of black moss on the bigger trees which the Salish Indians ate in the spring during, as they called it, "The Starving Time." Spokane Indian ladies say they still make black moss soup in the spring, a reminder of olden times. 

Wild strawberries!

Across the lake, an eagle's nest. We saw him, too, during dinner, over the water. We also saw an osprey get a fish. The eagle was the first of three we would see on our trip. Wherever there is still water, the eagle hunts. The second, we saw at Gifford Ferry. The third, at Old Fort Spokane, where the Spokane river meets the Columbia.

Getting late......

This is my very first attempt at a video on my blog. Hope it's as restful and lovely as our little journey.

After Kettle Falls, we turned south, for home, on highway 25. A few miles on, we crossed the mouth of the Colville River, where it flows into Lake Roosevelt (Columbia River, actually). The water is very low right now, with the spring run off just over.

The balsam are in bloom along with camas, syringa, mock orange and rock flowers. These are balsam.

The river.....

as it flows out to the lake...

with lots of Canada Geese along the edge....

and some trout, maybe.....


Very lovely.

Further on, man's work and nature's ever-present beauty.....

Looking to the west, over the lake....

Great skies....

And toward the south and home.

Remnants of an early try at farming....or, maybe the old homestead. Last year's mullein in the foreground (good for bronchitis if picked when small and leafy, before blooming).

Then, the ferry, across the Columbia to Inchelium, on the Colville Indian Reservation. "Columbia Princess"

Mostly Indian crew....

....we hopped on board among fishermen and others......and away we went.....

see how low the water is. It'll be up to the third marker, soon, though, when they close the dams.

A clearer view of the landing on the Inchelium side.

The view to the north, on our return trip. 

We stopped at the day use area at Two Rivers Casino to picnic. You can see it where the pale green trees are. The land you see is across the mouth of the Spokane River. We're standing on the grounds at Fort Spokane campground on the south side of the river here. The casino land was where my ancestor, Joseph Gangros (Gingras) and his wife, Marianne (Bastien), were allotted land in the early 1900's. They were mixed blood people, children of early French fur traders of the Hudson's Bay Company, and Okanogan, Shasta and Rogue River Indian tribes.  

An old photo of Fort Spokane taken in early times. We wandered around the old fort for a little bit and then headed for home, about 60 miles away. We couldn't have had better weather, better food or better traveling. Sure was nice!


  1. You have to love those little hidden places like that! Looks like you had a marvelous time. I have used the fabrics the curtains are made of before myself. It's a busy little fabric! LOL!! Nice get a way. We all need them from time to time.

    1. We sure do. A little fun is a good thing.

  2. Oh my goodness what a lovely experience you must have had. Sounded all amazing to me! Gorgeous scenery! Course I know how pretty it is out there...blessings to your day...thanks for this wonderful story being a part of your life!


  3. What a fun and lovely trip. Don't know that I've ever seen the water so low for that ferry. So glad you had a great adventure and a good time. Hugs!!


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