We decided to do a bit of exploring today. We drove about 100 miles north to visit the Priest Lake, ID area. We even saw a REAL moose. :-) Anyone who has been reading our blog for anytime knows we are always looking for moose. When I read about Priest Lake, it said they had a lot of moose in the area. Jerry happened to see one in tall grass along the side of the road. We had to stop on a main highway and take pictures, so they are not as close as I would like, but hey, we actually saw a moose, finally! :-)
We saw a lot of moose in Alaska and a couple in Yellowstone. Now we can add Idaho to the list. The park we visited is only 30 miles from Canada. We were tempted to go over the Canadian border and check it out, but we didn't have our car insurance form ready, so we decided not to risk it.
Priest Lake State Park offers 151 campsites, 5 camping cabins, and a group camp. We even saw dogs in some of the cabins and they had signs saying they were welcome on the beach. Our Ollie would have loved that. It made us miss him more.
Priest Lake State Park is actually located in Coolin, Idaho, but you won't find much info on this tiny town. Coolin is situated at the southeast end of Priest Lake, at an elevation is 2,490 feet above sea level. Coolin was named after settler Andrew Coolin. Its post office was established in 1893. That is about all we could find on the town.
Priest Lake State Park has an abundance of beautiful scenery and recreational opportunities with the dense cedar-hemlock forests and the wildlife, such as whitetail deer, black bear, moose and bald eagles. The stately Selkirk Mountain Range towers nearby and numerous streams tusmble down the slopes. We saw a lot of warning about the bears too. We didn't see any bears this time.
Noted for its clear water, Priest Lake extends 19 miles and is connected to the smaller Upper Priest Lake by a placid, two-mile-long water thoroughfare. We were surprised to read it is open all year offering park visitors great diversity ranging from boating and fishing to snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.
In the winter, Indian Creek Unit offers access to over 200 miles of marked, groomed snowmobile trails and a myriad of cross-country skiing opportunities. I would love to spend a winter here with a snowbobile, if it just had one Walmart nearby. :-)
We were also surprised to read that several movies were filmed at Priest Lake, but after seeing this beautiful area, we can see why. See info below:
Nell Shipman made a film called The Grub Stake, which costs around $180,000 to produce. Unfortunately, the film was never distributed. The American distributor went bankrupt and during subsequent litigation, the film got involved. During this time, Nell tried to maintain her production company by making several short films in Priest Lake, Idaho. However, because of the bankruptcy, Nell’s production company collapsed. The most notable contribution at this time was the story which became the basis of Wings in the Dark starring Myrna Loy and Cary Grant (1934). Nell finally moved to the California desert and continued writing there for the rest of her life. Her last project was her autobiography, The Silent Screen and My Talking Heart. She died in Cabazon, California at the age of 77.
I will let the pictures tell the rest of the story. I would also like to thank Greg & Barbara Jones for telling us about Priest Lake. We are happy we didn't miss this beautiful park and highly recommend it to others.