Neither of us has ever been to Hell’s Canyon and since we are close it seemed like a good time to take a quick look before we head into the Palouse.
As it happens, we met a couple in Central America who live in Clarkston WA, just across the Snake River from where we intend to camp, and we thoroughly enjoyed their company while south of the border so I contacted them before leaving home to see if we could get together for a drink or dinner. Our timing was good, they were in town, available and graciously invited us to dinner at their house even though they were busy getting ready to leave on an extended family trip to Africa in a few days.
It was such a fun evening, lots of reminiscing, lots of laughing, good wine and a fantastic meal. It’s too bad they live on the other side of the state but we are hoping that they will stop by this summer en route to Mt. Rainier.
We camped at Hell’s Gate State Park in Lewiston Idaho, literally right across the river from Patty and Tom’s house. It is a nice park that runs along the river and connects with a nice 9-mile bike trail that runs back towards Lewiston. It felt good to get out of the van and pedal a bit more although my derriere needs more conditioning before I can sit for a long ride on a bicycle seat; I was a tad sore after the ride.
In camp we listened to the roar of the jet boats heading up into the canyon for the day and then their return in the late afternoon and early evening. We had decided to pass on the boat trip this visit but will likely do it if we come back; I am sure it is worth the money and the time at least once. I was ambivalent about it this time and have ridden up the Rogue River in years passed; the idea of sitting in a boat all day just didn’t appeal to me this time.
On our bike ride we stopped at the Visitor Center near the campground and noticed a large nest and two occupants so we returned with the tripod to see who was home. There wasn’t much in and out activity so we think the eggs have not yet hatched but both parents were very attentive.