The weather after crossing the Rockies to KGPI was rainier but still fine for flying, so we took a short detour a little to the Northwest.
The idea was that we might enjoy new scenery along the valley up to Eureka and then back down through Kootenai National Forest along Lake Koocanusa where the Kootenay River meets the Libby Dam. But blue smoke was still dulling the green so near Stryker we turned toward Libby. We still saw interesting shapes straight down where the smoke doesn’t show as much, like this artistic feature.
I couldn’t recall whether William Clark had left his legendary expedition with Lewis to explore the Clark Fork and may have stood on those rocks below the Noxon Rapids Dam.
We stretched our brief flight across the North tip of Idaho by heading to Sandpoint for fuel, and the river mouth on Lake Pend Oreille was beautiful.
We passed North of Spokane, and on the way to our turn into the I-90 mountain pass at Ellensburg we saw what looked like a plume of smoke from a new fire. After passing it near Wellpinit we could see that it was wind-blown ash from a large recent fire that had crossed the Spokane River at Cayuse Cove.
More smoky but interesting miles later we passed the welcoming sentinel of Mt. Rainier, for more fun with family and friends in the Seattle area.