Bathtub Falls and a herd of cows

Friday, July 17, 2020

Hall Creek to Nez Perce Creek

18 miles cruised today; 266 miles for the trip

Lake Roosevelt totem? (hint: turn head sideways)

It’s special breakfast morning, with the last of our two omelets, prepped and frozen at home, along our final five sausages, supported by toast and juice. What a fine way to start the day. I pull out of our secluded anchorage at 9:30am and we slowly motor

Bald eagle perched on one leg

down the twisting channel and into the main lake. I let out my kokanee trolling rig and try the edge of the shallow flat between Hall Creek and Stranger Creek, but the kokanee are still “no shows”. After a 45 minute effort I haul in and motor up. The lake is nearly dead calm, and the day warm. What little air movement we have is with us, so I can’t even make artificial wind with the outboard. The run down to Nez Perce Creek is uneventful. I head into the main Nez Perce inlet for our lunch stop. We’ve read about another nice

Hiking up to Bathtub Falls

waterfall here, so after lunch I row the dinghy up to where the creek comes in, and see a steep trail heading up the side slope. We can see a falls through the vegetation, and after a few tries, we manage to get close enough for a good view. I go a little further, and am able to stand at the top of the falls. It’s called Bathtub Falls, and the large pool at the top apparently gives it its name. The falls is a series of little cascades, and it’s well worth the effort of getting there. After getting our waterfall fix I row back toward where the boat is anchored. We’ve seen a dirt road on shore, which leads to

Bathtub Falls

a tribal members only campsite. We secure the dinghy and scramble up the bank, so we can go for a walk along the road. The road contours around the side hill, several hundred feet above the lake. It’s not one of our finer walks, with lots of scratchy knapweed growing in the road. However, the exercise is good and we do see some nice wildflowers along the way.

Crawdad parts on the bank, near the falls

Back on the boat, we motor the short distance to our little lagoon, where we spent the night and visited with tribal members on the way up. No one is around as we enter, however, Sandy is delighted to see that the local cow herd has come down for their daily drink. They’re bunched together near the water’s edge, munching grass. A pair of bulls halfheartedly butt heads, and a little calf troubles his mother for some milk. They eye us curiously. While the cattle entertain Sandy, I put my swim trunks on for a cooling afternoon dip. The water temperature is 68 degrees, and it’ really refreshing. When I climb back into the boat, Sandy has a rum and coke waiting for me. I read while she works on genealogy at the computer. Before long it’s dinner time, with barbqued pork chops on the menu. I spend the final hour of the day in the dinghy, trolling. I get several bites, and finally land a decent sized smallmouth bass. Added to the walleye I caught yesterday, we’ll have enough fish for a nice dinner when we get home.

Fritillary butterfly on thistle
Scarlet gillia, goldenrod, and yarrow
Sandy on the bow, Nez Perce Creek
Cows at Nez Perce Creek anchorage

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