Posts Tagged ‘Lake Pend Oreille’

Lake Pend Oreille — Wikimedia photo

“Forever is composed of nows” — Emily Dickinson

It was a sunny June day in 2010 in Northern Idaho, where from my RV window I was watching a multitude of animals scampering about.

  Rabbits were hopping among the shadows of the trees, which were full of noisy squirrels chattering above. Mourning doves and dark-eyed juncos were pecking at the bird seed I had scattered about, while colorful butterflies flitted to-and-fro among a patch of wildflowers not too far away.

Closer still, a black-chinned hummingbird was drinking from my small nectar feeder.

The animals would come and go for the next three months, just another perk to go along with the free camp site and utilities provided in exchange for being a volunteer at Farragut State Park.

Located in the Idaho Panhandle at the tip of Lake Pend Oreille near the Canadian border, the 4,000-acre park was a Naval Training Station during World War II – and Lake Pend Oreille, which is over a thousand feet deep, is still used by the Navy for submarine research.

I got to spend an afternoon and evening on the lake, which included watching Rocky Mountain Goats scamping high on the cliffs above the lake.

When I wasn’t animal watching, or greeting and registering visitors and campers at the park’s entrance kiosk, I spent my days bird watching and exploring the park.

I saw my first chestnut-backed chickadee here. These birds were frequent visitors to the bird feeder at the park’s visitor’s center.

And from one of the park’s permanent workers, I learned to identify Douglas Firs from Grand Firs. The Douglas Firs could easily be spotted by the new growth of bright green on their tips, which gave them a lighted Christmas tree appearance.

            Park Ranger Errin Bair told me I could also tell the two trees apart by their cones. The Douglas’ cones are light brown and hang down; the Grand’s are greenish or even purplish and grow upright.

          It was a grand summer.

          Meanwhile, I know I’ve been off the grid for a bit, but I haven’t forgot my 30-cat challenge. Here is Cat No. 10: Fierce Cat.

Cat No. 10L Fierce Cat

          Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon (Free on Kindle Unlimited), and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

Read Full Post »

Some folks say big ol’ Lake Pend Oreille is Idaho’s most magnificent lake. But let’s just stick to the facts: It’s the state’s largest (43 miles long, 111 miles of shoreline). It’s the deepest (at 1,158 feet deep, there are only four deeper lakes in the nation). It’s got terrific scenery, splendid clean water, big fish, a fascinating history …” – sandpointonline.com

A Canada goose taking of from Lake Pend Orielle.  I took the photo during a Ladies Night Out boating cruise for Farragut State Park’s volunteers. — Photo by Pat Bean

It’s pronounced Pon-de-ray

I was listening to Clive Cussler’s Poseidon’s Arrow in my car while driving from Tucson  to my daughter’s home in Marana. It’s just 13 miles away, but traffic and construction detours turn it into a 40-minute drive, making the familiar route an excellent time for book listening.

An aerial view of Lake Pend Orielle. — Wikipedia Photo

I think of Cussler’s Dirk Pitt books as fantasy swashbuckler reading, not to be taken seriously, simply a time to enjoy the good guys wearing white hats and the villains all wearing black hats, which isn’t ever the case in the real world.

Anyway, after a boat/vehicle chase that led through a crowded Mexican town, the book has its protagonists landing at the Coeur d’Alene Airport in Idaho, then driving through Farragut State Park to Bayview, a small town that sits beside Lake Pend Oreille, which is pronounced Ponderay. The lake is home to a Naval submarine base, and the book’s characters talk of the place as being interesting trivia for back home in Washington D.C.

Now if you’re thinking that the idea of an inland submarine base in Idaho is all in Cussler’s imagination, you would be wrong. I was a campground volunteer at Farragut State Park one summer, have been boating on Lake Pend Oreille, and learned all about the Farragut Naval Training Station that was in operation during World War II, a part of which is still active for underwater submarine research.

One of the beauties of being a widely traveled old broad is reading books that include descriptions about places I have visited. It seems to happen regularly these days. I find such déjà vu moments, which refresh the brain, a bonus for having lived so long.

    Bean Pat: Have you ever seen an Inca tern? https://cindyknoke.com/2017/12/20/inca-tern/ Then take a look at them here. They are awesome, and so are this blogger’s photographs of them.

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y  You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

Read Full Post »