Sunday, December 12, 2021

The Eagles have landed on Coeur d'alene Lake

 Always a thrill to see these big beautiful creatures up close! Went walking along Coeur d'alene's Lakeview Drive to witness the annual visit by the big bunch of eagles that flock here to eat at this time of year. So many people many with high powered telephoto lenses walking and standing waiting to catch that perfect shot. I park in one of the lots about half way down and walk east. The best eagle watching was right where I parked the ca as that was where they were stopping in the trees to eat the fish they had caught. I like to walk along the shore whenever possible and some of the way you can but you do run into places that the rocks are to far out into the water and you have to go up onto the path along the road. At Higgens Point I go down and follow along the shore until you run into the I90 bridge at the far end. Be advised that some of the paths are steep and slippery so you have o watch your footing or you'll have a cold wet way back to the car after falling in the lake. The paved path that runs from one end of Lakeview drive to where it deadends allows for wonderful nature and lakeviews. Another way to enjoy eagle watching on the lake is to take a cruise on one of the big boats from Lake Coeur d'alene Cruises that run out of the dock at the Coeur d'alene Hotel. I saw one go by today and it was full of people enjoying the sights.


Wednesday, December 8, 2021

NEW Antione Peak Trail Trentwood trailhead

 Had planned on walking off the new Trentwood Trailhead a couple of weeks ago but the car had another plan and broke down on the way. This new trailhead has only opened a few weeks ago and the trailhead is beautiful! a paved parking lot, security camera and an outhouse are a super nice way to start your treck off. A nice wide gravel path leads from the parking area to where the trails start. At the split go right and you're on the Arrow Leaf Trail, left to the Lost Apple Trail. They make a loop, each going about 3/4 of a mile before you reach the other one. I wanted to do more miles and see where it hooked into the original Antione Peak trail so I too the Arrow Leaf Trail and continued straight instead of turning onto the Lost Apple to return. It is about another mile before it hits the upper trail. You head up, up, up but because it is a series of long switchbacks your accent is more gradual. The trail was very muddy and slick in places so you need t watch your footing. A couple of bike riders were working their way up and it as tough going for them. I turned around at the join with the upper trail and headed back down taking the Lost apple trail on the way down. The decent is very gradual on this trail as it takes a wide swing and the trail goes through a field instead of along the edge of the hill. Some of the way down you are on what must have been a driveway as the trail is wide and gravel for some of the way. The trails are well marked and well used so easy to follow. To reach the trailhead take the Sullivan exit off I90 and go north, turn right onto Wellesley Rd, travel for 1 mile and continue straight where the road swings right onto Flora. 

Monday, December 6, 2021

A winters walk on the Centennial Trail through Riverfront Park

 Went snow walking on the Centennial Trail along the river behind the Convention Center and Riverfront park today. Its always so peaceful and energizing at the same time as you plod along. We all get tired of the wet and cold as the season progresses but the first snows are always special.


Sunday, December 5, 2021

The Swans of Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

 Turnbull is always a new adventure every time you go. You never know what creature you'll encounter. Today it was swans enjoying some of the only open water now that the temps have gone below freezing. There are still quite a few of this years babies sporting their soft gray feathers. There were also Canadian Geese and some other water fowl looking for a meal in the still open water. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Columbia Plateau Trail Cheney-Plaza Road

 This is one of the prettiest stretches of the Columbia Plateau Trail that you will find. Numerous ponds, abundant wildlife and areas that you pass through that have a sheer rock wall on either side. This section of the trail is in the northern most end of Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge. The trick on this stretch is figuring out where to park. You can access the trail off of Cheney-Plaza road just before the overpass bridge. There is an access road and a really wide turnout area that doesn't block the gate but I got a bad surprise in the mail after parking there one time. A overzealous park employee ticketed me even though I wasn't blocking anything. They threw the ticket out, but, it is a possibility. You can park on the Cheney-Spangle trailhead and walk the mile between to start or park on the other side of the bridge where there is a wide shoulder. If you park at the trailhead a Discover Pass is required. The trail is unpaved but mostly level with fine gravel, not the big rocks you find on other stretches. People run, walk and  ride horses and bike on this section. Coming down onto the trail you ae greeted by a large pond on either side. These are quite often filled with geese, ducks and a Blue Heron or two. I have seen owls, hawks and Cormorant here as well. I once came face to face with a coyote, we both hadn't been paying attention and were both surprised. We each went along our way. Elk, deer and moose play in these woods. On this trip the only 4 footers that I saw were a dog playing with his owner and a really interesting American Red squirrel that posed for a photo. Swans, Canadian geese and some ducks dotted the numerous ponds on this stretch. In the spring and early summer these ponds are jam packed with new life, so many really interesting not often seen water fowl choose them for nesting. 3 3/4 miles from the entrance at Cheney-Plaza there is a bathroom complete with hitching post to tie your horse to if you brought one. If you're wanting a little less mileage then the pond about 2 miles or so down the trail from the entrance is a good place to turn around and head back. It has a bench and information about the area on podium type signage.

Manito Park spring

 What a glorious space this Manito Park is! Every season is gorgeous and completely different and to be experienced! I went walking in Manit...