Exploring State Highway 55

Boise, Idaho

It’s been a fairly quiet month for blogging, my apologies! I’ve been working through some emotions ( as always, lol) and of course it’s the holidays, so busy busy! Not really, but it feels like it sometimes. It’s not the usual adult kind of busy but my one year old is taking up loads of time. He demands my time and I am ready ready and willing to give it to him at his every whim. I did manage to do some traveling out to a small city called McCall about two hours north of Boise. I figured I would take a quick moment to share the photos of the trip while my boy is having a particularly long nap!

The destination was a straight shot north on state highway 55, and many times during the drive I felt so overwhelmed with the beauty that I could feel my mouth drop and maintaining focus on the road became slightly challenging. Not too challenging of course, as you are highly motivated to pay attention when the road is narrow and at nearly 5,000 ft elevation and if you swerve even a little bit you will be falling down mountains to a certain death.

It’s a very mild winter this year, thankfully. At least in Boise. McCall, ID has the highest average snowfall in the state, so I set out to see some snow! I had to stop at a few places to just absorb the scenery and snap some shots. The mountains and valleys surrounding the Payette river are an absolute dream. I am alone, and enjoying the peace. These drives and explorations are what heal my soul. I love seeing the beautiful less traveled spots across the USA.

It gets grayer and grayer as I move closer to a snowstorm. These photos are quite bright, you wouldn’t anticipate it actually being in the 30s and quite cold. It was a bad day to forget my chapstick at home, thats for sure.

I finally made it to Lake Cascade and boy, is it breathtaking! Cold, snowing, and sometimes hard to tell what is water and what is earth. The reflection of the mountains in the lake staring back at me is something I’ll never forget. There’s children nearby sledding. I’m going for a walk, in the snow, with my big city knee high boots that I foolishly thought would treat me will in the snowy weather.

The next stop: McCall! The spot I am headed to is called Payette Lake. Payette Lake is a 5,330 acre expanse of clean, glacial water sitting at an elevation of about 5,000 feet in the mountains of Idaho. I’ve seen photos of it during one of my late evenings studying geography and history of Idaho and have wanted to have a look in person for many, many moons. It does not disappoint!

I had lunch in a winery cafe in McCall, a hot tea to go and made my way south on highway 55 to head home for the day. Taking in beautiful sights is fine but I didn’t budget a hotel and driving in the dark on narrow mountain roads while it was snowing was significantly less appealing. I managed to grab one sunset shot through the mountains around Smiths Ferry. It was stunning and I wish the photo would do it even a shred of justice, but alas. Just imagine the soft pinks and oranges blanketing the skies behind the mountainous terrain.

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