Salmon & Rainy Lakes

So far, I have posted photos from many of the lakes over on the other side of the mountains but not of Salmon Lake – at least not recently.  There are a series of lakes on the east side of the Mission Mountains fed by the Clearwater River. It takes us a couple hours driving time to get there even though they are directly 24 miles east of us across the mountains.   We have yet to canoe them all but we are getting close to doing so.  Below is Salmon Lake.  Salmon is by far the most likely to be choppy in the afternoon.  And no, I don’t know if there are salmon in there but probably.  It is a shallow lake and great for swimming in the summer because the water heats up before all the rest of the lakes.  There are some great spots to beach the boat and have a picnic too, if the turtles don’t mind too much.  This photo is taken from the lower end of  Salmon looking towards a large bend where it curves quite a bit further on.  All these photos enlarge if you click on ’em.

Salmon lake

Sparkling Diamonds on Rainy Lake – there’s a loon out there somewhere.  They like their water private.  It baffles me as to WHY the Fish, Wildlife and Parks makes such a fuss about the loons and then the agency continues to allow jet skis and other high powered boats on these lakes.  It’s crazy-making.
water diamonds

A hawk feather, I believe. It was quite large. We just left it there.

And the willows were just coming out on Rainy Lake when I took this photo. These lakes sit at about 4,000 plus feet.  This weekend we might get back to the lake area, or we might try Glacier Park depending on the weather.

Lake Alva with the Scamp

Scamp Alva

The Scamp above is nestled into a nook at the campground which is free until Memorial Day. One night the sky cleared up and the stars were like I had never seen them before.  Their sight gave new meaning to the song by Canadian songwriter Bruce Cockburn:  Lord of the star fields.  We stood there in awe while the proverbial shooting star streaked across the 2 am sky getting lost in the all the pinprick points of light.  Wow.

Speaking of sparks in the night:  The campfire in the evening was quite welcome as there was still snow left in small piles throughout the campground and boat launch.  The temperature at night fell into the high 30’s. Cheery, warm and contented we fell asleep in our little egg. The next morning we explored the beaver dam upstream the Clearwater a few feet.  There was quite a strong current but we had no trouble maneuvering.


Lake Alva in May

We combined our first camping trip of the season with the first excursion for the Red Raven over to Lake Alva for the weekend.  Finally!  I was nearly ready to crawl out of my skin itching to get out on the water.  Patience was our reward as the weather was beautiful.

Lake Alva sits at about 4000 feet directly across the Mission Mountains from our house here in Mission – 24 miles as the crow flies.  I love the fact that if I look straight east and think:  24 miles-there it is – I can conjure a beautiful picture in my mind. There is a very harrowing, bumpy road which crosses the Missions over to the lake district but we have never taken it.  Instead we drive south to Missoula and up the Blackfoot River to the Clearwater.  Rather a round about way when you think about how fast the crow can fly there.  We found Alva tranquil and quiet.  In this area we spotted a pair of loons near Loon Island.  Shshhh….

Tranquil Alva

This photo was taken yesterday from the far side of the lake from the boat launch looking towards the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

lake Alva 2

And this is the evening glow of the Lake taken from near the boat launch. How often does it happen that you get the whole lake to yourself?

Raven rests

Hesitate ~ OSI

A pause between breaths

the pivot of decision

whispers between one touch to another

a sigh before release

hesitation at the handshake

a space among the sentences

this cold, red surge of darkness when anger swells

the open gate before it closes

the heart of injury

a moment reigns.


Join with us at One Single Impression. The prompt this week is Reign.



When do we ask ourselves: by what right do humans believe we can despoil the earth for every other species with impunity? By what self-love have we granted ourselves not just dominion over the earth but wanton exploitation of its every treasure?

Is there no point at which we can say: this is enough? Andrew Sullivan