Monday, October 17, 2011

Diving south out of British Columbia into Montana in September, we spent several leisurely days on Flathead lake near Kalispel. It's surrounded by mountains and the water is so clear I just had to have swim, but forgot how cold it would be, so it was a quicky. We continued south into Idaho for some more sightseeing.

After following the foothills of the Bitterroot mountains in Idaho, we spent a day walking on the 15000 year old lava fields at "Craters of the Moon" park. A hike up the outside edge of this cone, gave a good sight of the whole crater created from the volcanic eruption.

In northern Nevada we visited an old railroad town that has seen many better days, but it has the history of the pioneer's travel with several routes that bisected this area. A local museum had lots of personal history of their struggles and life on the trails. From here we found this pretty mountain lake for a day hike, following a switch back road to reach the top.
We drove across the state of Nevada on the loneliest road that we have ever traveled on, with no shoulder, no cell phone service and oncoming traffic passing about once every 20 minutes. Admittedly, it was scenic with some canyon like passes and broad open desert, but it was a relief to arrive at the town Pahrump and a campground with a vineyard.

Behind the vineyard, our campsite overlooked the Spring mountains and gave us many different sights, from a vivid lightening storm one night to evening glows at sunset.

A vineyard in Nevada???? Yes. Our campground was adjacent to it and they do produce wine. although most of the grapes come from California. It still made for a pretty setting and some good wine tastings.

A drive to the top of Dante's Peak gives a panoramic view of the Death Valley. The basin below is 230 feet below sea level and is filled with an an ancient salt water sea bed.
(Steve..this picture is for you, but no tripod yet)