Idaho 2011, Day 13—Road Trip No. 2

Ptarmigan near the RV park, Henry's Fork, IDStill no fly fishing for us.  This area experienced about 10 feet of extra snow this past winter, and it was a late snow melt to boot, so all the rivers are real high, some still raging with runoff.  As we began the drive today, a ptarmigan was in the middle of the road between the RV park and the highway.  It would not and did not move for the longest, so we were able to take a few photos, and as always from the south end of a north bound animal.

Big Springs, ID, primary source for the Henry's Fork of the Snake RiverBig Springs.  Today, we drove to Big Springs near the RV park, and it was a picturesque place, complete with an old cabin, intact and complete with furnishings.  The cabin was built by Johnny Sack, a 4’ 11” German immigrant furniture maker.  He powered the cabin and his woodworking tools with a small waterwheel located in the foreground.  Handmade furniture inside Johnny Sack's cabin, Big Springs, IDThe cabin has been kept in immaculate condition, complete with furniture he made.  Big Springs is a US Forest Service facility, and the springs themselves serve as the primary source of water for the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River.  They are not as impressive as Mammoth Spring in northeastern Arkansas in terms of size and volume of water, but do discharge a Kay at Big Springs, IDsignificant quantity of cold water (56 degrees) sufficient to create a small river. Below the springs, rafters and tubers are numerous, filling the river—people from Idaho love their outdoors.  A bit further downstream, fly fishing seems to dominate with a myriad of drift boats and waders.

From Big Springs, we drove further south to Ashton, ID, to pick up lunch at the local deli.  Our goal was to drive to Cave Falls on the Falls River in the southwest part of Yellowstone National Park, then return to the RV park for lunch, then to Old Faithful.

Kay at Cave Falls on the Falls River, Yellowstone NPAt Cave Falls, we found a table near the lower falls, and had a picnic lunch under the trees with the roar of the falls behind us.  We walked the short distance to the upper falls, and was surprised to find that high water blocked the trail to the cave; obviously fly fishing was out of the question.  (Our friends and neighbors, Bill and Bootsie told us about this great fly fishing river; we’re sorry we didn’t get to fish it—maybe in a couple of weeks.)  By the time we finished our “tour” of the falls, we were wiped out, and opted to head back to the RV park for some R&R.

We did stop by the Upper Coffee Pot Rapids to scope out fly fishing opportunities on the Henry’s Fork River there, and it looked real good.  We’re now back at the motorhome for a nap and our evening walk, maybe a movie, and goodnight to all!

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