McCall, ID Day 1
August 7, 2008
It’s a long drive to McCall, Idaho. We left the freeway in Boise and headed north on Idaho State Road 55N. The road is designated a scenic byway, which usually means it’s a two-lane road, windy, and majestic. We followed the pavement north along the Payette River. We traveled through browned grassy foothills and finally found ourselves in a forest of Ponderosa Pines. The river running alongside the road was filled with white water most of the way which thrilled the many kayakers and rafters we saw in the water.
We’d driven about 50 miles when we crested the hill and rounded the corner and found ourselves entering a spectacular valley. There were meadows filled with cattle…maybe the livelihood of the valleys residents, mountains encompassing our view and Cascade Lake on the west. It’s a long valley as we still had 46 miles to travel before we’d reach McCall.
Upon arriving at the outskirts of McCall it seemed to be a simple mountain town similar to those in the California gold rush country; Oakhurst comes to mind. It took us several minutes to find the property management company to find our keys and directions to our “Cottage in the Meadow.” Once we did, (keys and maps left in a manila envelope behind the building) we continued north on Idaho State Road 55N. In just minutes, the road ended at Lake Payette. Unbelievable!! This little mountain town, I thought, turned in to an upscale resort nestled along this majestic lake. We turned left abruptly as to not find ourselves in the lake and continued on to find our cabin. Along the way though, there were fabulous homes sitting on the shore, yards filled with flowers and sitting among Ponderosa Pines.
We found the little cabin and it does sit in a meadow of wildflowers. We were a little nervous upon arriving, as the cabin is very small. We opened the door and found a small, tidy, quaint, eclectic cottage. Perfect!
We unloaded the truck of suitcases and ice chest and headed back to Paul’s Market to buy dinner. Dinner consisted of cheese, salami, fruit and crackers. We had Mrs. Cavanaugh’s Mindy Mints for dessert, an early birthday present from Danna.
It was late so we settled in for the evening. There is no television, but we found a nice library of music and old genre movies. The real treat was reading the guest book. Entries beginning in 2001 were fun to read. What struck me most were the notes from Janet and Jaycie Gearhard. Their first visit was on July 14, 2001. From what was written, I gathered they were mother and daughter on a weekend visit. Their entry indicated they would make this an annual retreat. As I flipped through the pages of the book, Janet’s beautiful handwriting popped up year after year and I began looking for their stories. They told of their time on the porch watching birds and deer, long conversations, wedding plans for Jaycie, and on June 29, 2005, Janet, Jaycie and Nora returned to the “Cottage in the Meadow.” This time mother, daughter, and granddaughter made their annual retreat to McCall, Idaho. I looked for them in the following years of notes and stories from the many visitors here and did not find them. I’m wishing them well and hope they’ll return again one day.
Lights out! In the distance, flashes of light and the rumble of thunder began. We fell asleep listening to drops of rain falling on wood and wildflowers.