"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

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Awesome Food, a Ghost Town & Paddling The Meanders - ID

Donnelly, Idaho
Rainbow Point
While we would've liked to stay in the same site, it had a previous reservation for Friday night so we moved to the site next door which is the second nicest site.  We just barely fit once again, and the solar was still a challenge, but all worked out and we once again enjoyed our second week here.
Site #8.
Another deep site with waterfront view and accessibility.
We went out to Ragazza di Bufalo for dinner one evening later after looking at the online menu.  It's an Italian restaurant that specialized in Northern Italian.  Since that's where my family is from and you don't see it that often, we made a reservation.  It's funny as we had just found one a couple of weeks ago. 
We started with a glass of Prosecco for me and a beer for Steve.  We also had Beef Carpaccio, Bison Meatballs and a Wedge Salad. 
 Lasagna for Steve and Pasta Carbonara for me.  All was super delicious!

Just a few miles away is the ghost town of Roseberry.  It's deserted now but they have restored and moved some original buildings back.  It all began in the 1880s when settlers followed the lure of free homesteading land being given out.  The land was rich, filled with tall grasses.  The town grew and was incorporated in 1910.  Roseberry seemed like the obvious choice for the county seat.  It all changed in 1911 when a hard fought battle to bring the proposed Pacific and Idaho Northern Railroad through town was lost.  The railroad decided to locate it line 1 1/2 miles west in Donnelly.  Most of the town's buildings, homes and businesses were loaded on skids and moved.  It didn't take long to become a ghost town. The last business closed in 1939.

The one-room schoolhouse has been redone.

The General Store is adorable and full of items.  It was closed when we were there.
Opened in 1905.

It was loud, but Hurley is deaf now so it didn't seem to bother him too much.

There is a lot of unique farm equipment here.
Oil/Water Wagon used to water the road to the mines.
Seed Cleaners used to remove the chaff from the seeds.
Potato Sorter which allowed people to stand along the sides to pick out dirt clods, stones, stalks and rotten potatoes.
The Mail Wagon

Roseberry was made up mostly of Finnish who were escaping Russian Oppression.

The popular Bandstand which sits in the middle of town.  Parades and picnics and other events were celebrated here.
Look at that dovetailing.  The buildings were very well built.

Nearby was an old cemetery.  1824 was the oldest date we found.
The prettiest horses and mules were out in the pasture outside of town.

High on our list was kayaking what was referred to as The Meanders.  This is a 3 mile section of the Payette River which has perfect flatwater and almost no current.  It is where the Payette River runs into Lake McCall.  It curves and "meanders" around some beautiful scenery.  We didn't see any moose, but we did see an eagle.  There was a $7 fee parking with an area to launch and picnic.  
The scenery and reflections were just gorgeous.  We love easy paddle/floats like this.

It's mostly a wide, shallow river, but there are deep channels with lots of snags and grassy undercut banks.  Should be great fishing.  We only saw a couple of fishermen, but no one was catching.
There was some fall color in the trees and bushes along the lake and in the mountains.

The water was so clear you could see far down.  There were so many trees and snags in the river we wished we brought our fishpoles.

We found a nice sandy beach to have our picnic lunch.

The colors of the sky, river, trees and mountains were so bright and vivid.
Hurley always loves a ride in the boat.

Some Merganzers scuttling away from us.
I've never shared this funny story before, but this is for Jim who likes hunting memories/stories.
My Dad, who was an avid hunter/fisherman, would call these ducks (Merganzers), Milermore Ducks.  You know why?  Because when they sh*t, they sh*t for a "mile or more"!  Most won't get that, but I bet Jim will.  It still makes me laugh.

It was a very relaxing day.  After we drove back to the town of McCall to visit the shoreline shops.
We stopped in at the Salmon River Brewery up on their roof top bar for some drinks and appetizers. There were great views of the lake and we watched the boats, sailboats and folks below enjoying the warm, fall sunshine.

We ended our day with a walk along the lake on the bike/walking path.  
We still have more relaxing and paddling to do.


  1. Jim loves stories about sh*t. It's one of his hobbies. Looks like a great campground.

  2. I got the jokes.. Beautifull location with a lot of the fun things thrown in such as old buildings, boating and graveyards. Impressive rock foundations on the old homes. I've bet the corners are pinned as well. Thanks for the video, I appreciate the extra steps to add them.

    1. Thanks Mark. Plenty to go there. Those were sure sturdy buildings.

  3. First, I love, love that ghost town. It is so cool that they restored it. When you first mentioned the meandering river, my first thought was fishing it. The story about your dad is priceless! When we are duck hunting and a merganser flies over we say "Don't shoot, its a sh#tbird" So funny to hear your dad had a similar opinion of them! Thanks for sharing.

    1. First time we’ve come across a Finnish settlement. I knew you’d get the duck thing.

  4. I just noticed your American πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ flag flying high 😊. I couldn’t make out what the other flag is…. How does Hurley get around being deaf?? Being that you move around how does he get acclimated? Just curious

    1. The other flag is a Pirate flag. Steve says it stands for our “land yacht” It was tough for Hurley the first month, Now it’s just his new normal. He’s 14 1/2 so… ya know. He’s fine. It’s more work for us since he can’t hear commands. He has to be leashed always at night because he can’t see me for visual commands.

  5. Great camping spot and love the ghost town! What a gorgeous day for a paddle on the water. Safe travels!

    1. Overall we were surprised at how much there was to do, to keep us busy 2 weeks.

  6. McCall is such a beautiful area! There's a lot of activities to keep most anyone busy for a few weeks :-)


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