7/29/2012

Flying Adventure: McCall, Idaho

Hubbie and I finally had some time yesterday to break away for awhile. The builders are still putting new siding on our house. I'm not quite retired yet, but getting very, very close. (It's something I cannot yet wrap my head around.) Next weekend, hubbie will be busy preparing for harvest. I'll be babysitting three grandkids for three days, and so we decided it was now or never. Well, now or not again until September, when we hope to fly to Utah over Labor Day weekend. ; )

So yesterday, we hopped in the RV-7 and flew 200 miles to McCall, Idaho, which is one of four exciting resort towns that we've discovered within a 200-mile radius of the Palouse where we live. We're sure there are many similar towns in beautiful WA, OR, MT and ID, that other people have discovered, just not us, not yet.

We left at 11:00 am and got there around noon. The flight was serene, entirely uneventful. It felt like we were driving along in a car, only at 10,300 feet, over mountains. We had expected some mid-summer, hot-air, mountain-flying turbulence, but found none. 

On our flight back, we flew directly over Hell's Canyon, which is the deepest river gorge in North America, even deeper than the Grand Canyon. It was pretty amazing. I would've taken some pictures, but unfortunately, I wrecked my camera before leaving McCall.  


Once in McCall, we discovered that the McCall airport has four bicycles available for the taking. The bicycles left a lot to be desired, but they were better than walking, and so we hopped on and headed for the center of town, about a mile away. 

McCall is tiny, but being a resort town, it boasts many eateries. We've eaten at most of them in our trips to McCall over the years, and they're all good. But instead of eating where we'd eaten before, hubbie wanted to try something new. We headed toward a public beach a little ways outside of town, to see if we could discover something along the way. 

We found a place across the street from where we took the picture of a public beach at Payette Lake, above. If you are so inclined, you can ride your bicycle all the way around the lake. It's only 25 miles. We did that once on our own bikes, which we stashed in the back of our former airplane, a Maule. A bush plane, it had more room for luggage than our current airplane. 

As for lunch, I won't name the restaurant where we ate. I didn't think it was so bad, but hubbie spent the rest of the day complaining that it had the worst food in town. I would say, rather, that it had the healthiest food in town. He didn't like the salt-massaged kale salad (with chopped apple, hazelnuts and huckleberries), or the herbal sun tea. The turkey sandwich with bread from a local bakery, and goat cheese from a local dairy, was too bland. I'd have to agree about the blandness. Gimme heat. Gimme spice.    


After lunch, we went to Gravity Sports and rented a two-person kayak, $35 for three hours. We'd never been in a tandem kayak, although our son's been talking about buying a couple, and wanted to know if we wanted to go halves. Hubbie decided after only a few minutes that a speed boat would far better define his idea of fun. 

But we spent an enjoyable hour out on the lake, getting tossed about like a cork by the wakes of passing speed boats and other water craft. Water sloshing up over the edge left me completely soaked, but refreshed. It was sweltering outside. There's something about an 80-degree afternoon when you are (almost) one-mile high that makes the heat feel just that much hotter.  


      
After kayaking, we hopped on the bicycles and went out to the campground area, where there's also a ranger station, and you can rent some fantastic cabins, should you decide you want to stay awhile. We saw they were already booking the cabins for 2013. 

We bought some ice cream bars, then rested in the shade of some towering pines before heading back to the airport. By then, it was around 5:00 pm and time to start thinking about our flight home. 


McCall has a few lovely, upscale shops that are fun to browse if you are so inclined, like the one above. If you are seriously into shopping, you'd find more stores and more trinkets in Whitefish, Montana, or Sandpoint, Idaho. 

Below is another view of the area around this shop. When we passed by, a string ensemble was entertaining people with classical music selections.  


The final picture, below, is a view of Main Street just before I dropped my camera on the cement sidewalk. Fortunately, I was able to retrieve the pictures from it, but alas, it's jammed up and the lens will open no more. 


McCall is also a wonderful area in the winter. Brundage Mountain Ski Resort is located just outside of McCall. 


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