Find us on Google+ Rick and JoAnne's RV Travels: Winchester Lake State Park, Farragut State Park, and Cherries

Monday, July 29, 2013

Winchester Lake State Park, Farragut State Park, and Cherries


On Wednesday July 17 we left Ponderosa State Park and headed to Winchester Lake State Park. This is a small park on a very pretty lake – pretty much in the middle of nowhere. What do people do here? Mostly fish. In fact, they have a couple of pictures in the visitor center of a huge Tiger Muskie that were caught in the lake which brought back memories of Muskie fishing in Wisconsin every summer as a kid. Oh yes… Winchester. The town has a population of 340 and was, in fact, named after the Winchester rifle. Not much else to say. More photos here.

On Saturday morning we drove about 170 miles to Farragut State Park to see our friends Joyce and Jerry who we first met while camp hosting at Ridgway State Park. Farragut is on the beautiful Lake Pend Oreille (pronounced: pond-o-ray) about 20 miles north of Coeur d'Alene, ID.

Jerry and Joyce were spending the summer as volunteer camp hosts at Farragut and invited us up to visit them. Glacier formed Lake Pend Oreille is the largest lake in Idaho and at close to 1200 feet deep making it one of the deepest lakes in the US.

Before it became a park this was the site of the Farragut Naval Training Station – the second largest during WWII with over 40,000 inhabitants. Yes, really a Naval Training Station in the middle of Idaho! The Brig Museum in the park that recounts the history of the training station, which we found fascinating. Today, a small part of the original station is still active and conducts US Navy acoustic underwater submarine research. The rest of the training station land is now a large state park with over 200 campsites, boat launches, swim beaches, museum, and visitor center.

As much as we liked the lake and the park – the real fun was hanging out with Jerry and Joyce and their pal Prince. The park was 100% full. But we were able to “share” their campsite. Yes, as you can see from the picture, it was a tight fit!

They became our personal tour guides around the area and we had a great time visiting Coeur d’Alene and the fun little town of Sandpoint. Did I mention Jerry and Joyce love to cook - no, make that bake. Bake like in chocolate cake, pumpkin pie and Cinnamon rolls. More photos here.

On Monday we drove along more of Idaho’s scenic byways into Montana and the Diamond S campground in Ronan, MT. We stayed here last year on our way to Glacier. This is a very small, well-run commercial campground with great views of the Mission Mountains and easy access to Flathead Lake. It is a perfect place for us to catch up on laundry, stock up supplies in Polson, visit Roma’s our favorite cooking store in Big Fork, and of course eat lots of Flathead cherries. More photos here.

As we arrived in Glacier on July 25 to begin our volunteer camp hosting we were greeted be a beautiful view of Lake McDonald. It feels good to be back in this beautiful park.

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