In early spring of 2007 I decided to quit my job, sell my house along with nearly everything else that I owned, and to live out of my car while traveling the country. These are my stories (and pictures) of life on the road.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Call a Priest!

So far the weather has been working out about perfect here in Idaho. The first weekend I got here it was a little damp and dreary, but that was fine because it gave me a reason to stay inside, organize all my stuff a little and catch up some things online. Then all week it was sunny and warm and I took advantage of it getting out to play often. Now that the weekend is over it's back to rainy and is supposed to stay that way the next couple days. Their is a pretty decent thunderstorm going on right now (actually the best part is already past). But it's OK that it's raining again because Don is due back from Mexico late tonight and I'll probably be heading out in a couple days; which means I have to organize and get everything lined up. Now I won't have and distractions (well, not too many anyway).

Like I said though the weather this weekend was great. It sunny, calm and supposed to reach over 90 on Sunday so was in no hurry to get outside early. I just killed time until the middle of the afternoon when I drove a couple hours north to Priest Lake. There is an Upper Priest Lake and a Lower Priest Lake, connected by a channel a couple miles long. Their are no boat launches on Upper Priest Lake and not even a road leading to the lake. The only way to reach it is on foot or by boat. Upper Priest Lake is also catch and release only with single barbless hooks and their is no water skiing allowed; which makes for a quiet, calm, peaceful lake.

By the time I got on the water it was 5:00 and still plenty warm. It was starting to cool off though and it was very comfortable if you got in the shade of the steep banks. Being over the cool water made a big difference. There was some current in the channel that made it a little bit of a work out getting to Upper Priest Lake but it wasn't anything I couldn't handle. Just before I got into Upper Priest Lake I saw what I thought was an old steel wheel and axle on the bottom. When I turned around for a closer look though I noticed it was a large old crank shaft with a couple pistons still attached. I wonder how old it was, what it was doing in the middle of no where, and what it came from. I'd guess it had something to do with the logging industry at one time.

When I got to Upper Priest Lake it was dead calm and their was an insect hatch going on so fish were surfacing all around me. They seemed to really be concentrated on the mouth of the channel, I assume because everything gets funneled into that area by the current. The whole thing seemed almost magical. I saw a ton of fish when paddling in the channel but I'm not sure what they were. At first I thought they were Largemouth Bass because I could see a thick and very distinct lateral line. But the more I saw I started to doubt that. Many were in schools of 10 or so and I'm sure I saw well over 100 of them total. I wouldn't expect to see that many bass all together in such a small area like that and wouldn't think they'd be spending that much time in the current. Also, the black lateral line really seemed to extend all the way to the tip of their noses and something else just didn't look right, I don't know what it was though. I looked at some pictures of different Trout and other fish that are supposed to inhabit the lakes but didn't see anything that looked like what I saw. If anyone has any ideas I'd appreciate them.

Anyway, other then a couple other boats on the lake I had it all to myself. The entire shoreline of the lake is either state or federal land and is administered as a scenic area, so their is no development at all (and like I said, not even a road to the lake). Just a couple rustic camp sites for hikers and boaters to use. I stayed on the lake until sunset before paddling back at dusk. I really don't know what to say to try and describe it so I hope that some pictures will do it justice.

You can view a few more shots from Priest Lake in this set on my Flickr account


Mark said...

I don't think I could have left that crank alone. I would have yanked that baby out and mounted it on the front of my saturn, and when you stop to padle around in your Yak then ya got yer own Yak anchor.

Alan said...

Well, it would have been pretty entertaining to watch you try and drag it up. I'd say the water was a little over 6 feet deep and pretty darn cold with some current. I'd guess the crank, pistons, all the other parts attached weighed a couple hundred pounds.

It would definitely make a good kayak anchor though it would probably drag the kayak to the bottom with it and anchor it there.

You've reached the end of the page but that's not the end of the stories. If you want to read more (and who wouldn't!?) then click on the archive links to the right hand side of the page. They're listed by month; the adventure starts in May.

The February archives aren't actually from this trip but are previous adventures I've had, which are worth reading as well.