"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Still Sittin' in the Smoke, ID

Thompson Falls, ID
Thompson Falls State Park

On our way back to Montana to meet up with friends, we stopped at Thompson Falls after heading East on I-90.  We were unsure about traveling on NF9/Coeur d' Alene River Rd toward Enaville as it looked narrow and windy but it had been recently resurfaced and had nice clearance on the sides of the road.  It was a beautiful drive along the river passing through some beautiful farming and mining area.  We were surprised to see how many RVs were parked right along the river mile after mile.  Apparently this is mostly private owned land and people make campgrounds all along the river.  Many were filled with permanent residents.
Clark Fork River
Thompson Falls State Park is a small campground located along the Clark Fork River across this bridge. 13'6 clearance.

 There is a family of Osprey that the ranger said have maintained this nest for the past 20+ years.  The parents were fishing constantly to keep their youngster fed.  He looks fairly ready to leave the nest. 



The campground has 18 campsites.  There is no electric but there are water spigots throughout.  I'm not sure if any were threaded.  It's a beautiful wooded area and we were able to catch some solar with our moveable panel.  There is no dump station within the campground.  Some sites are reservable, some FCFS.  There are a few that will fit 40 footers.  We were in campsite #13, their largest at 38 feet.  It was a very easy pull through that would fit something much longer.  ATT was ok, Verizon very strong.  We paid $18 with our Montana State card otherwise, it would've been $28.

We were very much looking forward to kayaking here but the smoke and very windy conditions kept us out of the water.  The only day that was nice was when we pulled in.

While taking a nice drive to look around the area, we came upon several small campgrounds along the river that were run by the Montana State Utilities run by Avista.  HERE is a link to some of them.  The name of this one is Finley Flats.  These are FREE campgrounds.  Mostly small spaces at this one but some could hold a larger RV.  The roads are kept in good condition.  They have camp hosts, water and toilets.  No showers or dump or electric.  But FREE.  Right on the water.  There is a boat ramp at this particular one.  Many state's utility companies offer camping, so look for them.

The smoke from all the fires in Washington, Idaho and Montana are just horrible.  The picture on the left is when we arrived at Thompson Falls.  The one on the right is when we left.
The night before we were to leave a huge thunderstorm rolled in.  Some rain and very heavy winds with lots of lighting.  Not enough rain to help with the fires and the lightning started 5 more in the immediate area.  There was a lot of tree damage at our campground.  Luckily no one or any rigs were hurt.  The campground host was quick to come around and check on everyone and let us know that there was one pine tree that slightly uprooted and would probably fall within the day.

This one is expected to fall soon.

Some trees snapped right off.
Back into Montana tomorrow to meet up with two couples from the Class of 2014.
Lee & Trace and Ellen & Mario!


  1. We're in Helena and the skies have been pretty clear since we got here. Hoping the rain this week-end will help out with those fires. Have fun.

    1. I think it did. Tonight (9/5 in E. Glacier, MT) was the first time we've been able to have a campfire in several weeks.

  2. That's a lot of smoke!

    So glad that storm didn't cause any rig damage, looks rough.

    1. So glad we're finally out of the smoke (9/5 at E. Glacier, MT). Scary to hear the wind howl like that and hear trees breaking off.

  3. That has to be scary to see trees coming down around you in a storm, Debbie. Glad you were ok!

  4. Thanks for the link on Avista. We are coming back through Montana in the next few weeks and we will look for those.

    1. They looked nice. And ya sure can't beat free!


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