Monday, August 3, 2009

A Fine Day Out – McCall, Idaho

What a weekend we had from Friday evening until Sunday noon. In fact, it seemed like the equivalent of about two weekends. Our Portland friends, Sue & Jay, rolled into Indian Valley about 9:30 on Friday, & we spent a few hours of chatting, playing fiddle & guitar, & baking chocolate zucchini bread.

Then it was off to McCall in the morning for a truly marathon day. For those of you who don’t know, McCall is about 50 miles northeast of Indian Valley, & is a mountain resort town. It was first established in the early part of the 20th century as a getaway from the summer heat in Boise. McCall is a a mile high, & lies next to the beautiful Payette Lake, so it makes an ideal summer vacation spot. While the valley temperatures are hovering very close to (or above) the c
entury mark, the temperatures in McCall usually stay in the 80s (all of this Fahrenheit, needless to say).

We began our McCall outing with canoing on the Payette River on the north side of the lake. This is a non-motorized zone, & it was a really enjoyable outing; a fair number of other canoers & kayakers were out, but we had many intervals of peace & solitude on the river (which flows very gently in this area—south of McCall as the Payette River descends into the valley there’s some pretty serious whitewater). The river winds thru moose habitat, but we didn’t see one; we did follow a loon for a while, however—I’ve seen them from afar & certainly heard them both in Idaho & in Vermont, but had never seen one so close—this included watching the loon dive & catch a trout. Of course, the one chance I had for a close-up shot happened when the camera wasn’t ready at all!

After this, we headed to Lake Fork (south of McCall) for a wonderful l
awn picnic with our good friend Judy Anderson, & refreshed on salad, chicken & mint water, we drove back to McCall to help Eberle & Sister Beverly set up for one of the Marymount Hermitage sales at the McCall Catholic Church. By the end of this, yours truly was about ready to cash in his chips, but I rallied, & we had a fun Chinese dinner at the Panda on the Lake, followed by a trip to the Alpine Playhouse for an excellent production of the Tracy Letts' play, Bug. The emotions elicited by this play can be rather grim (interpersed with moments of surreal & hysterical humor) but the acting & production were—as is usually the case with the Alpine—just first-rate.

Sunday morning saw us up & at ‘em early to head from Lake Fork, where we’d spent the night, back to Our Lady of the Lake catholic church to set up for the Sunday sale. During mass, Jay & Sue & I toured McCall; then back for the sale, during which I couldn’t keep myself from hauling out the resonator guitar & regaling the parishoners with edifying tunes like “Country Blues” or “I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground.”

Sue & Jay left from I
ndian Valley, & I see they returned safely back to Portland, as I took some of these pix from Jay’s Facebook site. Meanwhile, yours truly had a great time, but feels a bit as if I was rode hard & put out wet. Will be trying to catch up on blog visits during the next couple of days during periods of more energy!

Top Pix:

Loon on Payette River
The Payette River, with kayakers
The Maypole on J
udy's lawn

Intrepid canoers

View up river

Canoing sirens

Eberle, Sue, Judy & Jay

Sister Mary Beverly outside the church with a small portion of her wares

Menus at the ready

Our all-time favorite theater, the Alpine Playhouse, about to go Bug-house

Sue & I kicking back on Sunday morning

Yours truly with guitar; yes, the case should have been open....


  1. Oh John You Lucky Lucky Man,So Beautiful.
    Hey Your On Facebook! Give Me A Call
    Have A Fine Week Ahead.

  2. Your river is beautiful, John, and it looks blessedly cool. What is that object in the third photo, though?

    I'm glad you had such a lovely weekend. Welcome home.

  3. Wonderful virtual road trip for me. I like the Sister's blue jeans under her robe, and yes, open the guitar next time!

  4. Hi Tony, Sandra & Jen!

    Tony: I'll drop you a line Facebook-wise later today!

    Sandra: Thanks! That object is a maypole.

    Jen: Well, I would have but while the folks were happy to hear me playing & singing, I'm not sure how actual busking (playing for tips) would go over in a church parking lot!

  5. That sounds like a great weekend. And as far as I can see from the photos - no rain. Luck indeed.

  6. Hi Alan:

    It was a good weekend indeed. Not much rain in these parts from June thru August.

  7. Looks like a wonderful time! The river is gorgeous.

  8. Sounds like a fun day. I like the theater.

  9. Always fun to see your pics, John. :)

  10. Hi Karen & Jacqueline & Willow:

    Karen: The Payette River is a very beautiful setting.

    Jacqueline: I bet you'd love it. They do interesting things at the Alpine. It's a converted Cathloic church, & has great acoustics.

    Willow: Thanks!

  11. oh, what a neat trip you took us on - up river down river and in between - loved it all!


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