Picking up the SlackWestward Ho, Day 23: Coeur d'Alene, ID, to Spokane, WA
|Photo from USBLM|
Taking about three years to mature, kokanee end their life cycle in November as females lay eggs and males fertilize the eggs. After spawning, the fish die and float to the surface of the water, providing a generous source of a favorite food for the visiting eagles.
The local office of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, an arm of the Department of Interior, maintains a weekly count of eagles sighted around Wolf Lodge Bay once the birds migrate into the area each fall. Figures from the 2011 count make it clear that word spreads quickly among the eagles when the salmon begin to float. During the week of November 22 last year, only 12 eagles were observed around the bay. A month later, the salmon feast had been spread before them, and the number of eagles sighted had surged to 273.
|Wolf Lodge Bay|
|Forest service road|
We didn't have to go far. The nearby Mineral Ridge nature trail, a BLM recreation site, proved to be an ideal location. Not only does it offer an interesting environment with diverse, lush vegetation, the trail climbs up a hill opposite Wolf Lodge Bay, offering a spectacular view of the lake and any visiting eagles from the ridge.
|Have any idea what's under that SPOR? (Suspicious Pile Of Rocks)|
|The dummy method at work|
Entering Washington this afternoon, we checked off our 41st state that we've visited this year—seven more to go to complete the Great 48. After we have visited those final 7—and found and planted letterboxes in each—our goal will still not be quite concluded. There are five states further east that we have found letterboxes in this year but we still need to place one of our boxes in those states: Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Since we've given ourselves until the end of the year to accomplish this goal (and we have all the letterboxes prepared and waiting in our car), we're pretty optimistic about getting it done.
- Miles driven: 86
- Letterboxes: F 4, P 1
- Weather: 32° to 42°, cloudy, rain, snow
- States: 2 (ID, WA)
- Eagles spotted: 0
- Footprints left in the snow: 854