Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Camping with Quincy

This past week we took Quincy for his first camping trip in the North Idaho wilderness. Our trip took us up into the Coeur D' Alene National Forest to a campground named Kit Price (still have no idea who Kit Price was) where we stayed for six days and five nights. All five of those nights were spent in a tent, two of which we had NO airbed and one night rained.
We started our trip out by driving to my old stomping grounds of Coeur D' Alene, Idaho for one last night of good sleep in a motel and a good dinner before heading out to the campsite. We reserved a room at the Flamingo Inn, which was two blocks from where I lived when I was going to school at North Idaho College. The picture below is after we checked in, just hanging out in the room checking out the "Magic Fingers" machine that was super loud and barely moved the bed.

During the night it poured rain and we woke up to a weather forecast that included fog and rain for the first two days. After that, we had upper 80's the rest of the time so we new if we could tough it out for a couple of nights, we'd be in the clear. We made the drive up I-90 and headed out for our campsite at Kit Price. Once we arrived, camp was set up and we were good to go within 30 minutes.

Here is a view out from inside our palace...

After setting up camping and when there was a break in the weather, I went on a hike to check out the surrounding area. We camped on the North Fork of the Coeur D' Alene river, where there is world class trout fly fishing. All of the fishery is catch and release so the fish can reach over 20 inches, which is big for mountain trout. This picture is a view from above, which was very steep.

One of our adventures to us up to two different waterfalls. We ended up driving about 8 miles into a trail head and then hiked about 3/4 of a mile to both of the falls. The road in was really cool. These pieces of concrete rip-rap are to keep the stream in place in the spring.

The road was very narrow, with some cliffs sticking out right above our sun roof.

After we made the trail head, we began the hike and headed up to the first waterfall.

Behind Elaine is a creek that was draining from the first waterfall, Fern Falls.

Here is a picture of Fern Falls, with some good friends taking an even closer look...

The last fall we got to see was Shadow Falls, which is up above Fern Falls by about 1/2 of a mile. This was a gorgeous waterfall...The air temp plummeted by at least 15 degrees around the falls.

After taking in the falls we trekked back down to the car and passed quite a few people on the way up. Four wheelers are very popular up in the area and are allowed on the forest roads. We ran into some very nice people from North Idaho on the trail.

Here is Sydney holding her new dear friend, the butterfly.

Luckily there were a lot of butterflies about because that one did not live very long in those young hands. After we got back to camp, lunch and naps were in order. Quincy did great sleeping in the tent between mom and dad...Tough to get that sleep out of the eyes!

We also managed to just hang out and relax along the river as well. There were a couple of rock pools that were made so you could lay out in the water or small kids could have a place to play. The water was really warm and nice when the sun was out.

The North Fork of the Coeur D' Alene is probably the clearest river I have ever seen. You could literally see down 10 feet without a problem. No pollution and very well maintained. This picture shows how clear the water is. Note the tip of the rock just poking out of the water.

Here is another one.

One really cool thing about this trip was how much wildlife we saw. We were able to spot whitetail deer, blacktail deer, grouse, rabbits, snakes, frogs, and moose...This was a young cow and bull. A guy that was camping with his wife next to us told us he was charged by a female moose while in the river fishing. He was in water up to his chest so he couldn't run and he couldn't pick up any rocks to throw at it. Luckily she turned and went up the river about five feet from him. He was scared shitless. Female moose are known to have very, very short tempers.

After throwing rocks in the river, hiking, and enjoying all of this wildlife, people can get a little sleepy.

Another thing that can be addictive is building cairns. This was a pretty good one!

We were able to have full sun all day at the rock "beach" we had laid claim to. Everyone was reading, splashing, skipping rocks, watching the clouds, and just having a ball with the simplest things in life. It always amazes me how much fun you can have camping if you relax and take in everything and everyone around you.

When I was up here a few years ago I went horseback riding with some friends. We all had a great time except I left my saddle behind. Luckily they left it for me and even made me a sign!!!

One morning Quincy woke up super early...Like 5:15AM early. So Elaine and I got up and hopped in the car with him and some food for a little road trip up into the hills to find a fire lookout. In Idaho the Forest Service rents out a lot of the lookouts for camping in the summer. We ended up going up a super steep hill for over 10 miles to find the lookout. The road started out going over Shoshone Creek, pictured below.

We worked our way up, up out of the fog on the valley floor below.

When in the wilderness, one must truly expose themselves to the wilderness...

We finally arrived at the lookout but it was booked and had someone staying in it. The cool thing is, they gate off the road one mile below the lookout for ultimate privacy. This lookout was at about 6,500 in elevation.

The weather ended up getting quite hot one day so Elaine and I were able to have her mom watch Quincy so we could drive up and then float down the river in inner tubes. Mary drove us up and dropped us off and Elaine and I headed down...

It was a lot of fun as you can see.

On the way home we had to stop in Quincy, where my grandparents lived for many years and where my mom and aunt grew up. There are two signs the City of Quincy has always had up and I am sure this isn't the last time we will stop here...Grandma and grampa would love this picture!

One recipe that I did manage to make was my stir fried broccoli. It is a great side dish for a lot of meals and I have had people who do not eat broccoli not only eat it, but like it and ask for more. This went over great and was super easy to prep air in camp.


1) 3-4 heads broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
2) 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
3) 1 1" piece ginger, chopped
4) 1/4 cup or so of soy sauce
5) 3 T honey
6) Red pepper flakes to taste

Start with a little oil in a saute pan large enough for the broccoli and saute the broccoli over medium high heat for about five minutes, turning from time to time. Once it has cooked some, add the ginger and garlic and continue to saute, moving the pan so you do not burn the garlic. When it starts to brown some, add the soy sauce and honey and continue to cook until the broccoli is cooked to your taste. Unsually takes about ten minutes. Sprinkle with red pepper and enjoy!