Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Camas you are

Well, what would Memorial Day be without a road trip with our Empty Nesters group? For 2009 we decided to revisit Orofino, ID--a city rife with Northwest history, from the Canoe Camp for Lewis & Clark in 1805 to the mighty Idaho Gold Rush of 1877, with a whole lot of Nez Perce History thrown in the pot.

This picture at the left has in its background a somewhat curious mound of basalt, rising maybe 40 feet. Called "The Heart of the Monster" it represents the origin of the Nez Perce people. I couldn't resist seeing it so dragged the rest of our crew down to Kamiah, Idaho Monday morning, following a restful night beside the Clearwater River in our wonderful hotel.

Here we are Sunday night in the spacious lobby of our hotel, playing our usual card game, "Hand and Foot." Partners lay out cards on the table and attempt to use up the cards in their respective hands (and feet!) to go out, kinda like Gin Rummy. Carol and Dorothy Hibbs won this night--a rare but joyful event.

This is what camas in bloom looks like. It is still breathtaking to me as it was to the Lewis and Clark parties who described the appearance of a lake or stream, only to be the delicate blooms of thousands of camas plants. This is only the second time I have ever seen this sight outside the podunk town of Weippe, Idaho. But this time, my buddies could see. We even dug a couple of camas bulbs up and I ate one. Like most things in the wild, they are mostly functional and tasteless (think salmonberries).


  1. After driving through souther Idaho so many times it is easy to forget that Northern Idaho is actually pretty.

  2. So what are you going to do with the bulbs? Do they store for replanting next year like tulips?

  3. um...you ate it? that made me laugh out loud. i remember hearing that lewis and clark description before. they were right! sounds like a lovely trip in the perfect kind of non-boring way.

  4. I read things and want to see them. I want to see the OK Corral in Tombstone. I want to see El Capitan and Yosemite Park. I want to see Kamiakin's Grave. I want to see Hell's Canyon. In short, I don't have to see New York or Paris (although that wouldn't be bad). But I do like to see local historical stuff and am stunned after so many years to find a small group of friends who are content to sit back, let me make the plans, and enjoy my joy. They told Mom after the Camas expedition that it fun to not have to do anything but come, pay for the hotel and restaurant and just follow Dennis around. My dream come true.