Saturday, August 16, 2008

Dworchak, not Dvořák

August 12, 2008
OK, I confess, I sent our last set of blogs from, of all places, McDonalds! Turns out Starbucks (right across the street) only provides the WiFi Hotspot for subscribers. The whole point of hitting hot spots at a commercial venue, to me, is to pick up free wi-fi while I partake of their goods or services. Ah well. MickeyD’s doesn’t require subscription – yet.

I’m writing this from our camp in the Bitterroot Mountains on August 15. Here’s the lo-down on how we got here.

At the recommendation of a Lewiston, ID resident, we headed up to Dworchak Reservoir out of Orofino, ID. “The water’s warmer, clear and green. It’s beautiful. That’s the place to be.” We HAD considered Hell’s Gate State Park on the Snake River, but the girls didn’t particularly care for the name, and the local said the water was too swift and too cold there for kids (and some adults) to enjoy.

Well, our handy-dandy (ahem!) GPSr said it was only 27 miles to Dworchak, so that sounded like a great alternative. Turns out, the GPSr couldn’t map the whole route for whatever reason and failed to note the 24 miles of windy, climbing two-lane road that then drops down to the lake through hairpin turns with traveling speeds no faster than 15 mph. So, it took us an extra hour or more to get into camp where we found…the dam was releasing HUGE amounts of water for the salmon run, so the lake shore was muddy, FAR from camp, nearly impassible. And the water, while green, was anything but clear. We couldn’t tell if the lake dropped off or gradually deepened, and with a slippery, clay bottom, I was afraid to get in for fear of not being able to get out. We walked out to the end of one of the several boat docks, all posted “no swimming, no diving,” and dunked our lower halves in the lake. I’ll give the local one thing: it was warm water.

We meet so many like-minded (adventuresome) travelers along the way. Another nice neighbor in camp – a guy from Riverside, CA who sold his business and L.A.-area home to purchase a beautiful Airstream trailer and travel the country “for a year or two” before settling at his second home in Borrego Springs “unless I find somewhere I like better.”

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