Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Whitebird Summit Lodge B&B - Grangeville, Idaho

Monday morning we left Whitefish to drive to the Whitebird Summit Lodge Bed & Breakfast in Grangeville, Idaho.  A little bit of background… we are not your typical B&B kind of people.  The idea of staying in a stranger’s house is a bit weird to us.  However, Scott found this place online when searching for a halfway point between Whitefish and Boise so we could break up the 10 hour drive.  This place looked like it would be great and looked more like a separate lodge rather than someone’s actual house.  Then after reading the reviews, we decided to book two nights instead of one.  In fact, when we saw that the bedroom had four separate beds, we were sold!  We could each have our own bed for a couple of nights!  HA!

When we arrived, we pulled onto their property and were greeted by two goats tethered to their fence.  As we pulled further down the driveway, two bunnies scurried under the deck of the first building we came to.  Then we looked over at the “lodge” and saw a horse roaming the front yard.  The girls were hooked and wanted out of the car!  We pulled around to the second building, what we assumed was the lodge, and saw the entrance.  We didn’t know whether to knock or just go on in, so we opted for knocking.  After all, we were realizing this was indeed someone’s home.

Welcome from the goat!

Harley, the Horse

Yep... that's a rooster!

Fortunately, they gathered up the "birds" at night
so we wouldn't hear the rooster at the crack of dawn!

Bunnies roaming the yard
We were invited in, and our host/homeowner gave us a tour around and showed us to our room.  Two sets of bunk beds – four beds… one queen, three twin.  I made Scott take the queen by himself, since I was sick (wink, wink), and I got my own bed!  I picked a top bunk… just kidding!

The décor in the B&B was a story in itself.  It seemed that our hosts were avid hunters and had hunted all over the world.  And their “trophies” were everywhere… everywhere!  Hanging from the walls, hanging from the ceiling, laying on the floor, draped across the furniture, upholstered to the stools… everywhere!  There were deer, elk, buffalo, warthogs, crocodiles, fish, a baboon, mountain goat, mountain lion, cheetah, and animals that I had never seen before… there was even a zebra and a giraffe (the girls were NOT happy about that!).

This is just one corner of the room.
The entire room was filled wall-to-wall with "trophies."

Sad to say, yes, that is a giraffe. The girls almost cried.

A full size dead bison! Looks like he's wearing a wig!

 It was more sad to see all of these because we had just
visited the zoo and wild animal safari in San Diego. :-(

After unloading our stuff and checking out the horseshoe pit, our hosts started the bonfire and brought out the fixins’ for smores.  They had one other family staying that night, so we all sat around the bonfire, roasted marshmallows, and chatted (heard some “hunting” stories too) before turning in for the night.

Checking out the horseshoe pit

Smores and stargazing at the bonfire
We also learned that the horse roaming around the yard was Harley – he used to be their best trail riding horse but they had retired him.  He was 42-years-old, too old for trail riding, so they just let him roam around the yard instead of putting him in the field with their other horses.  They said he was too old to fight for his food.  After the girls spent some time loving on him, he would follow them around the yard for more attention.

The next morning, we were treated to a fabulous, home-cooked breakfast.  No continental breakfast this morning!  Our host had homemade Belgium waffles with homemade maple cream syrup, fresh fruit, homemade banana bread, homemade cinnamon bread, and lots of other things to choose from.  So we pigged out before our horseback ride.  Scott wimped out on us for the horseback riding, so it was just the girls on this one.  We saddled up and headed out for a 2.5 hour mountain trail ride.  The ride took us out to the back country overlooking the Camas Prairie, the Gospel Hump Wilderness area and the Salmon River Valley.  We traced the steps of Chief White Bird and Chief Joseph while overlooking the Nez Perce grounds where the US Cavalry fought the Nez Perce Indians in the war of 1877.  We were also able to overlook Hells Canyon and see mountain peaks way off in the distance that were actually in Oregon.  The views were amazing, and the horseback riding was a blast!

Getting ready for our trail ride.

Emilee and her horse, Blue

Ashlee and her horse, Oreo

This is my horse, Concho. Do you see the grass
hanging from his mouth? This is what he did for the entire 2.5 hour ride.
He just walked along and grabbed at the grass as he passed by it.

Listening to the story of the Nez Perce War.

These are the dogs that went along on the trail with us.
If you look closely, you can see that they found a carcass from
something that was very big at one time.  Yuck!

Overlooking the Nez Perce War battleground

Back at the lodge
We finished up on the horses around 12:30, ate lunch, and then we took off to Hells Canyon to check out one of the trails we heard about.  When we arrived, we realized we were the only ones there… not another single car in any one of the three parking lost along the Snake River.  A bit creepy, but we decided to take off.  We grabbed our water and found the trailhead.  We started off on a paved trail that was a bit narrow, about two feet wide, and a bit overgrown with some kind of tall brown weed that looked like wheat.  We had gone about 30 feet when Scott said he didn’t have a very good feeling about continuing on, and we were all thinking about snakes.  While Ashlee ran back to the car to grab her binoculars, Scott walked about 50 more feet down the trail.  By the time she got back with her binoculars, Scott had turned back around and reported to us that the trail was totally overgrown and we weren’t taking any chances on it.  We went back to the car, got about ½ mile down the road, and there basking in the sunshine in the middle of the road was a snake.  Yikes!

Hells Canyon National Park

Saw this sign driving down into Hells Canyon. We stayed away from the edge!

Just saw a sign warning of rattlesnakes

Snake River in Hells Canyon

ICK!  Glad we didn't walk that trail!

Nez Perce War Battleground
We got back to the B&B and spent the rest of the evening playing horseshoes, feeding carrots to the horses, chasing the bunnies, and sitting in the living room reading while being stalked by dead animals!  Hee-hee!  We then retired to “our” end of the house, and the girls watched a movie and had popcorn before bed.

Carrots for the horses

Morocco, exhausted after our trail ride
Listening to some tunes while being stalked by dead animals!

Dexter is pooped too!

Reading to Morocco
Dexter & Morocco getting some lovin'
We packed up the next morning and, once again, were treated to a delicious breakfast before heading off… homemade baked “Summit French Toast” along with fresh fruit, homemade breads, etc.  The girls said one last goodbye to Harley, and we hit the road toward Idaho Falls for our stopover before heading to Yellowstone National Park.

Bye, Harley!
Ashlee wanted to take him home with her.

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