Idaho 2011, Day 21—Road Trip No. 3

No vertigo!  Guess Kay’s threat to do something today scared it away.

IMG_1533Wade and Cliff Lakes.  After a slow start to the day, we drove to a couple of alpine lakes near the Madison River Valley in Montana just a few miles west and north of Red Rock RV Park.  We turned off the paved highway onto a gravel road, followed a sign giving wrong directions, and retraced the drive to the point of the sign.  Finally figured out where to go.  As we drove through the high desert, the though of alpine lakes escaped us.  Then, as we began an unexpected descent, IMG_1535Wade Lake appeared with it’s varied hues of blue and green.  The US Forest Service campground was full, and there were many families enjoying the crystal clear lake.  Kay talked to some fishers and though they didn’t fly fish, indicated that there were prolific hatches in the afternoons and early evenings—food for thought for future trips.

IMG_1546Just a short distance “up” the road, we came to Cliff Lake, a sister lake to Wade Lake, though not quite as heavily used, perhaps because there were fewer campsites, and access was poorer.  It, too, had the varied hues of blue and green, and we could easily see the bottom through its clear water.  Who would’ve thought these alpine lakes existed in high desert.

IMG_2335BSawtell Peak.  We returned to paved roads and US Highway 20 for a short drive to the access road to Sawtell Peak.  Sawtell Peak is on the Centennial Mountains just behind our RV park, and has a number of FAA antennas located on it.  The drive was fairly gentle the first 90 percent, all on gravel, meeting several other autos and ATVs coming down the mountain, then we began some serious switchbacks to the top.  We are on top of Sawtell Peak, Centennial Mountains, Island Park, IDKay made it just great, with a relatively low “pucker” factor; she has come a long way with taming her acrophobia since we first met.  At the top, the views were spectacular, with snow on several mountains around us, and the shimmering surfaces of Henry’s Lake, Island Park Lake, and the entire surrounding area available before us.  As I walked around the peak, I was surprised to find that the eastern side of the mountain was a sheer drop-off, and I backed slowly away!  Our return down the mountain brought an unexpected view of a female mule deer laying near the edge of the forest, and lots of wildflowers peaking in their blooms.Wildflowers, on slope of Sawtell Peak, Centennial Mountains, Island Park, ID

Our return to the the RV park brought an end to the day’s road trip, but it was a good one, and we were able to mark a couple of things off our “things to see and do while in Idaho” list.  As usual, early evening brought winds and a brief rain, though the roads, mostly gravel, are still dusty.

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