Thursday, August 8, 2013

Our Camping Journey - According to Nana

It is now day eight of camping in my little nest with Granddaughter.  Actually adapting to living little in a tiny space with a extra person has gone pretty well.  What a eager camper my granddaughter is.

We arrived into Northern Idaho on late Thursday nite (6 PM) and were fortunate to find a camping spot due to the helpful camp host of our intended spot at Beaver Creek on Priest Lake. While she didn't have a spot for us she directed us to one that fit the bill perfectly. 

We had 7 available to choose from on one of the busiest weekends of the year.  We drove around and around until we decided on the best spot.  We did a minimal set up since it was sprinkling and ended up setting up and cooking in the dark.

But we are here!  This lake is home to many campgrounds and some of my fondest camping memories from childhood.  It is such fun to show all those special places to Hailey.  Our campground was Luby Bay National Forest Campground with the regular price of $18/$9 for seniors pass holders.  There were 2 big surprises,  flush toilets and 4G cell service !!  WOW!!

It had begun to sprinkle during the drive up here and we can hear the the National Forest breathe a collective sigh of relief to be receiving the much needed rain.  The forest is so thick in the Priest Lake area it often comes right to the edge of the road wrapping you up like a thick winter coat.

I  am always up for finding things to do when outside activities are limited.   Little gift shops, libraries and museums are on our list of things to do.   The rain has limited our access on the lake and prevented pictures from showing how pristine and beautiful the area is.  But the feelings and smells of the forest envelope your senses.

During my childhood, my Aunt and Uncle built a cabin on Priest lake.  This is a picture of the cabin as I remember it.  The picture was taken in 1964.

We went in search of the cabin.  It was difficult to determine which one it was, as the last two owners had made many changes.  But at last we found it.

Of course my memories span the cabin from it's very beginning in 1962 till the time they sold it in the early 1990's.  Hailey loves hearing the stories of my early memories.

Hailey happily took pictures and prepared  a guest blogger gig that she did for me for me (see the previous post),  It was fun to see the area and our travels from her eyes and experience. I think she did a fantastic job.

A visit to the local museum introduced us to characters who lived in the Priest Lake area.  Priest Lake is linked to 1920s silent movie actress and filmmaker Nell Shipman, who established a wilderness movie studio near what is now Lionhead State Park at the North end of the lake.    One story told of a movie starring her son, who fell through the ice while crossing the lake during the winter.  It is said that she pulled him back into the icy water several times until she was sure she had the perfect shot.  She certainly was known her dedication to getting the perfect shot at any cost.

Another story told of her as an actress.  The script called for her to be stalked by a couger.  Unkown to the crew the trainer released the cougar from the harness and the cougar crept up to within inches of Nell before the trainer regained control of the animal.

Anything for the perfect shot.

Since it was raining on our parade and beach activities seemed out of the question, we decided it was a perfect day for a drive and hoped that we would be able to hike and visit some of the sites.

We traveled up the west side of the lake and on up into the nearby mountains.

 It seems that many areas have a local shoe tree where locals and visitors alike leave behind shoes to commemorate their visit.  Northern Idaho has it's version as well.  So it was definitely on our list.


 We want to know, how did they got the shoes up that high?

A drunken yo-yo lite the tree on fire and now the tree is dead.  Just what are some people thinking?

The tree is located in a dispersed camping area at Granite Creek and just a short distance from Granite Falls and the Roosevelt Cedar Grove. 

This picture was taken just before she fell into the creek. 

Flowers and water.... could it be more beautiful?  

Is there anything that smells more wonderful than a cedar forest after the rain?

Look at these beauties

 Of course we had the cooking fiasco at the camp where Hailey, while trying to turn off the camp stove turned on the second burner and the gas exploded shooting flames.

Unlike Nell Shipman, I didn't get the picture, but I saved dinner, my granddaughter and the forest!

Emmitt took a stroll AFTER dark.... Scared me to death, but he showed up, wondering what all the fuss was about.

All is well and it ended well.  



  1. What a great time you two are having. Hailey will remember this forever and tell tales of her very cool Gramma. It's wonderful that she loves hearing the old stories of her family's past and finding the cabin. So many young people could care less. You go Hailey! And she's a fine blogger too. I don't get the shoe tree but wouldn't you like to brain the idiot who killed it? There sure are some really stupid people out there. Great pictures of a beautiful place and a fun time. thanks!

  2. Happy to hear you two are having a grand time. There's nothing like spending time with a grandchild. I'll be waiting to read another interesting Hailey blog! We are praying for you everyday.

  3. What a bonding you 2 are having. Great talks of the past family fun and now the ones you and Hailey are making. Keep on rolling and enjoying its just wonderful for me to be following along.

  4. It sounds like you're having a wonderful time. You have great memories of the past, and are making precious new ones! :-)