I must e got out the wrong side of the bed today (5/5/13). I went to the “wrong” side of the lake, and more.
Priest Lake has been called the Idaho Crown Jewel. It is a long, narrow shaped lake tucked in the mountainous region of northwest Idaho.
I got up in the morning eager to see this pretty lake which is only an hour away. Since it is so close, I wasn’t in any hurry, taking my time turning to side attraction such as Priest River and so on.
The sign for Priest River campground is only 2 miles. It turned out to be the longest 2 miles – I ended up driving more than 15 miles. After going to the campground, my GPS miss-led me to believe that there was another way to keep going without turning back. Eventually, after about 7-8 miles, it asked me to make a U-turn! Luckily the scenery was pretty and I was driving, not walking.
When I arrived to Priest Lake, I decided to go to the west shore first where there is a Ranger Station so that I could get specific information. I always like to talk to the rangers before I visit a place. They know the best and the worse about the area. I love getting their tips.
Well, the Ranger Station was closed. It only opens Monday to Friday, which doesn’t make any sense to me since more people probably will need to use the Station on weekends than on week days. Without more precise information, I followed the map I had and kept on driving up north on the west side of the lake.
Pretty soon, after I stopped for photo shot, I realized that I got on the wrong side of the lake! The sun was shining directly on me. Even though I could see the beautiful snow-capped mountains on the east side of the lake, it was almost impossible to take any good picture because they were in the shade.
What should I do? If I keep staying on this side, I won be able to take any useful picture until afternoon; if I turn back and drive to the east side, by the time I reach the other side, it would probably be too late and the light wouldn’t be good any more.
Since driving to the other side didn’t seem to be a wise choice any way, I had to keep on driving on the “wrong” side on the lake and to get whatever I could. I drove as far north as possible (until the road was either closed or became unpaved) and stopped along the way for short hikes.
By early afternoon when the sunlight was finally shining the “right” direction, I decided to take a longer hike. From the brief description I got, “Lake View Trail seemed pretty good. It leads up to a mountain where you can have a view of the lake from the top.
Although for the whole day, there were hardly anyone around, I was lucky to find an old couple walking their dogs near the parking lot. So I said hello and asked them about the trail. The couple was very warm and friendly. “After 2-3 miles, the trail splits. Although the main trail is on the right, take the left. The man told me. “After 7-8 minutes, it will take you to a gorgeous overlook of the lake. I thanked the couple and started my hike. About 45 minutes, the trail splits as the man told me. The sign points the trail to the right. I was so thankful that I got the “inside”‘t information so I turned to the left trail as suggested by the old man.
Twenty minutes later, I still couldn’t find the overlook he was talking about! And the trail started downhill instead of uphill. Was this the right turn? Should I keep going? He did say 7-8 minutes. Even if I wasn’t too quick, after 20 minutes or so I should be able to reach it, if it was the right path.
Another 5 minutes passed, I had to turn back I heard some noise!
I have seen signs posted for ear Country all around the Priest Lake area. Even though I was hiking and probably will keep hiking, the possibility of bear encounter truly bothers me.
“Just make some noise. Sing a song. The old woman said when I mentioned bear. I have trouble singing, even without anyone around to listen to me. So I kept on clearing my throat and stepping heavier than I needed to.
The noise was actually made by a deer. He was standing in the shadow of the dense pine trees, looking at me, alertly. I was so thankful that it wasn’t a bear! But it was a sign to turn back.
Perhaps, if I kept on walking a few more minutes, I would reach the overlook. But I don care!
No, I didn’t find the overlook and I couldn’t get the pictures of the lake from the top. But at least I am still here, alive, ready to go to a different location to take pictures of other beautiful scenery.
Overall, even though I got to the “wrong” sides several times today, nothing dramatically wrong. Thank God! 🙂
PS. my photo website: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/qing-yang.html