Thursday, September 1, 2011

Payette Forward

Maybe it was just the time of year we were traveling, but Eastern Oregon was more spectactular than I’d anticipated.  The sweeping views of valleys and mountains, the people, the obvious care for keeping yards tidy and streets clean.  I could live there.
Oh that’s right, I already did.
Anyway, heading farther east to McCall, Idaho, we enjoyed a few days of play and fun with relatives on the shores of Payette Lake.
Two words to you about McCall, dear readers: get there.
McCall is probably mostly known as a winter resort town, so maybe the summertime is its best kept secret.  A brand-spankin’ new city beach park, a network of bike paths, great vacation homes (it's not hard to find dirt cheap rent prices), this place was a wonderful surprise. In many ways, this place reminds me of how lake resort towns were before being overrun by tourism and expansion.
So, yes, it may seem ironic that I’m encouraging you to go there and add to the tourism and expansion.  Oh well.  I’m stickin’ with my message: get there.

I rode the blue beast on a spin around the perimeter of the lake. Great highway shoulders for riders, and some gravelly roads up on the north end for when you want something other than pavement under your tires.
Payette Lake is gorgeous.  Boating and hiking, kayaking and rock climbing are popular summer pastimes here. So much to do if you like the outdoors. Lots of critters, too. In fact, while riding my bike at a pretty good clip, I almost inadvertently T-boned a deer that jumped right out in front of me! 
It’s also bear country there. We did indeed see bear poop in the woods (um--think noun and not verb, please). 

So, hikers, remember the two main rules: make lots of noise, and always have somebody slower than you along on the hike :)
But oh my goodness, this place needs to be on your next year's summer bucket list.
Like I said, get there.

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