Sam Owen Campground, Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho

This is a Forest Service campground near Hope, Idaho.  It’s actually nearer to the “Beyond Hope” resort community.  So, we like to think that we are ‘beyond Hope’.   The campground is on the north shore of Lake Pend Oreille (pronounced Pond-o-ray).  The words “Pend Oreille” are French for an ear-hanging or pendant. Ear pendants were characteristic of the Kalispell tribe who lived in this area (says one explanation).  The island is an ancient burial ground.  Besides Crater Lake, in Oregon, Lake Pend Oreille is the largest and deepest lake in the north west.  Our campground is dense with Ponderosa pines and tall cedar trees.  There are VERY few insects here. (YEA!)  We’ve heard the cedar trees keep the insects down?

Lake Pend Oreille
Lake Pend Oreille

We were asked to move here to take over for the Area Manager who has taken ill and needs to leave.  You’d have thought it was a hostile take-over though!  We were not treated badly but there were a lot of hurt feelings and it was a challenge to dodge bullets at times.  Collateral damage was losing 2 additional couples who had been here for 4+ years.  We were very sorry to see all of them go, especially under the circumstances.  Anyway, the drama is over and we were able to keep a great couple who is taking care of the Day Use Area.  Day Use is a challenge for me and they love it so, right now, I worship them!   We were able to find 2 great couples to replace the ones we lost.  Timing could not have been more perfect.  The new people arrived the same day the others left.  We’ve been here for two weeks now and the new couples for almost a week.  We’re still learning about the area but things are smoothing out nicely in the campground.  We couldn’t have found more perfect people, to step in, in the middle of the season!  We now have another great team to run this little piece of heaven in the Idaho Panhandle.  Every time I talk to a camper (mostly Canadian) they tell me of how many years their families have been coming here.  Today’s record was a woman who’d been coming here for 35 years and guessed her mother started coming here 50 years ago.  They rarely miss a year and lots are on their 3rd generation.  Here’s some evidence of all the fun:

Rock Creations
Rock Creations

Upon arrival at Sam Owen Campground we heard the bear report.  This area had a long, wet, cold spring that delayed the huckleberries.  A bear’s gotta eat though!  So this guy wandered into the campground to get some easy pickin’s.  The date/time on the photo is correct.  He was here in broad daylight and he wasn’t scared off by loud noise.  A couple days later a sow and cub also came into the campground and found something to eat.  We notified Fish and Game and they brought in a trap.   Thanks, Jay and Penny, for the pic!

Black Bear in Sam Owen Campground

Now we’re under a Food Closure Order by the Forest Service.  That means “no unattended food or garbage outside a hard-sided vehicle”.

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