Sunday, April 7, 2013

Pictures From Last Weekend

Most Americans, when you say Idaho, think of the pictures below -- even though much of the population lives in the southwestern part of the state, and looks nowhere near this nice.

We originally planned to try and get to Vulcan Hot Springs and some of the old mining camps east of Cascade, but the snow was simply too deep to consider this once off the cleared highways.  We did end up looking for lunch in the backwoods, and found ourselves at the North Shore Lodge on Warm Lake.

Okay, it looks like a redneck notion of "lodge," and in truth, it was: the food was basic home cooking, reasonably priced, the lodgekeeper was wearing a cowboy hat, and kept us entertained with the tricks his golden retriever/labrador mix could do, including bellying up to the bar for a drink. 

And yes, he told us that Warm Lake is so named because there are hot springs under the lake, and in summer, the top layer is 74 degrees.  (When I took the picture, the lake was completely frozen over.)

This was true everywhere we went.  At McCall, Lake Payette, which in summer is a popular waterskiing and wind surfing destination, was better suited to cross-country skiing:

This is the center of McCall -- which was a hopping and jumping with tourists, some of them clearly foreigners.

We stayed at the Ashley Inn in Cascade, partly because we have enjoyed some romantic weekends there before, and partly because we were given a gift card for the place.  Imagine a place decorated in cottage style, and you see why many women just go ga-ga over the place.  I am always amazed that someone manages to run this place at a profit, but my wife tells me that much of their business are Christian retreats and similar stuff that makes use of the meeting rooms. 

One example of how attentive they are to guest needs: they have milk and cookies at 8:00 PM downstairs.  My wife mentioned that she was gluten-intolerant, so she would probably not be participating.  And sure enough, they had gluten-free cookies that evening.  The next morning, they had mixed up some gluten-free waffle mix for the breakfast.  Very nice.

Cascade itself is a very small town -- and one that seems to be economically declining since the economic collapse.  We ate dinner in what appears to be nicest restaurant in town, overlooking the golf course and the lake.  (I do not remember the name, and I can't find them on any guides to Cascade.) 

From a decor and atmosphere standpoint, it wasn't much, and the menu seemed like it was designed to frustrate a gluten-intolerant person, but they were able to make some adjustments to come up with a pretty respectable meal for my wife.  I had a Cobb Salad, and it was pretty decent.  I do not expect that a fancy restaurant in the big city would have done a better job, and then, it would have been three times the price.

Lake Cascade, of course, was frozen over, except for a few cracks beginning to appear:

You may be familiar with Caspar David Friedrich's The Wanderer Above the Mists (1817):

For some reason, this picture of my wife before the lake made me think of it:


  1. If you want, I can take that set of panorama shots and run it through AutoStitch for you.

  2. Sure! I could do it, but I am getting ready to go to bed.

    Did you get my email about publishing in the Journal of Firearms and Public Policy?

  3. I've waterskiied on Warm Lake, and claiming the top layer is 74 degrees in summer is a bit of a stretch.

  4. My most recent e-mail from you was 12/23 after I was asking about defensive gun surveys.