Saturday, August 30, 2008

Idaho Vacation 2008 - Part III

Aug 14 - 15, 2008

Steve and I went kayaking every morning while we stayed at the Lodge at Sandpoint. They have these little recreational kayaks for rent, and they were a great introduction into paddling.

We put in at their small beach and then paddled east, under the long bridge, and then over to Fry Creek. Each day we went a little farther until the last day we made it up into the creek and not just the estuary. It was a lot of fun and the water was beautiful in that sheltered area.

Sometimes the water was a bit choppy out on Lake Pond Oreille, but it wasn't too bad. Being in these sit-on-top recreational kayaks meant that we got soaked from paddling. However, we liked it well enough that when we got home we started researching kayaks and we've now purchased our own. I'll post some pics of some of our recent adventures in a couple of weeks. We just got home from a nice paddle this evening and I had Emma out with me. She took her very first swim (actually, three of them) from the kayak. I've already posted pics of her first kayak trip on her blog, and I'll post the wet dog pics later.

We explored more of the region around Lake Pond Oreille on our last full day of vacation. It's such a beautiful lake - very blue, very clean, and 1100 feet deep in some places.

It was formed during the most recent ice age, and it was really neat to see the geological information on the ice dam that form Glacial Lake Missoula.

I hadn't realize we were so close to the site of the ice dam.

Glacial Lake Missoula was much bigger than our current great lakes. When the ice dam broke, 500 cubic miles of water flooded in just about a week or so -- all the way to the Pacific ocean. There were several great floods and the result was the formation of the scablands of eastern Washington, the Columbia River Gorge, and the fertile soils of the Willamette Valley.

I grew up in this landscape and learned about the geological history when I was studying to become a botanist. Now I teach this geological history during my graduate biogeography course, and so i was really keen to go and see the site of the glacial dam that was so important to the story.

Here's a cliff that is the result of glacial shear at the site of the ice dam.

More geological information on the signs at the site. Click on the image to read the details.

The current site reveals a gorge, but you can see all the glacial valleys in the surrounding mountains.

You're looking at the site of the ice dam.

More info - click on the image for details.


The site now has a hydroelectric dam.

Darn! Last sunset from our room for this wonderful vacation.

We had to get up pretty early the next morning for the drive back to Spokane where we had an early flight home. Here's the lodge view from our parking spot.

Steve - I don't think either of us were ready to come home from vacation. It was very relaxing and a lot of fun.

No comments: