Have driven on three scenic byways the past couple of weeks: the White Pine Scenic Byway, the Northwest Passage Byway, and the Gold Rush Historic Byway. A logging boom appears to be present in all these areas. The Gold Rush Historic Byway was my favorite, along Idaho 11 up a steep grade to the village of Weippe. This is where Lewis and Clark first met the Nez Perce Tribe.
Above, Musselshell Meadow in the Clearwater National Forest just east of Weippe. The bottom picture is a camas flower. Nez Perce Tribe members have the legal right to come into the forest to harvest the roots of the flower. There were some beautiful meadows filled with the blue flowers.
A Eastern kingbird and a flycatcher of some kind in the Musselshell area. There were a number of common snipe’s nesting in the area, but I didn’t get any pictures of them.
Weippe is half a farming/ranching town and half a logging town. Their backroads are like a roller coaster ride and fun to drive. Although they are gravel, they are good roads. Think the logging companies keep them wet to keep people from complaining of dust from the logging trucks.
The red calf above has to be one of the biggest ones I’ve seen. It wasn’t happy with the amount of milk it was getting from it’s mom.
On driving the backroads, I was about to take a picture of a ring-necked pheasant when a woman in a truck blocked my truck. She thought I was a real estate agent and came up to me saying “We don’t want to sell our land, if that is what you’re taking pictures for!” When I explained I was bird watching, she was very nice, even telling me about a nearby pond where you could see elk in the evening.
Hope Weippe stays a small rural village. Let the rich people stay in Sandpoint.
A Swainson’s thrush seen in the Giant White Pine Campground. Have frequently heard their unique call, but it’s hard to get a picture of them in the trees.
Since I was in the area, thought I should visit Dworshak State Park. It’s one bear of a drive there from the town of Orofino. Uneven two-lane road with sharp turns and no turnouts to let people pass. The park is more for boater’s and fishermen. Seeing cedar waxwing’s there, however, made the trip worthwhile. The bottom picture shows what they were eating. Not sure what kind of tree it is. There are also lots of berry shrubs in the area that will provide berries for them in a month or two.
Below, view of the Northwest Passage Scenic Byway along the Clearwater River as seen from the road going up to Weippe.