Family vacation: McCall, Idaho

We wanted to spend a week in Idaho and friends pointed us to McCall as a beautiful location (and it is). Planning began back in March and we started searching for a 4 bedroom house to rent for a week. We settled on a rental by owner, and it wasn’t until after I had sent off a check for half the amount that I realized I had no assurance these folks were legitimate. After some quick searching, I verified that all the phone numbers and addresses made sense.

Quite a horse

As our departure day approached, the weather was not at all promising. Rain and showers the whole week before. And we did have some wetness and chilly temperatures, but it didn’t really keep us from doing the things we wanted to.

It’s a long drive to McCall. We left Friday after work, drove to Winnemucca, and spent the night (actually early morning), then drove the rest of the way Saturday on Highway 95. The house was nice and the kids liked it. Cortnie was drawn to the horse, but I think quickly tired of it.

Sunday we played around the house, recovered from driving, and explored around McCall.

Kids bedroom


Harbor in late fall

Monday, we decided to brave the chilly temps and brief sprinkles to hike from Boulder Resevoir to Boulder Lake. The trail started nice and easy, but after a while became rocky, and fairly difficult for Cortnie. I think she took a fall, and lost her enthusiasm for walking, so Dan carried her on his shoulders.

Boulder lake

Rocky trail

Contemplating the situation

After arriving at Boulder Lake, Cortnie was still moody and needed some alone time by the water’s edge. The rocky shoreline made the lake picturesque, but the chilly wind kept us bundled up and huddled behind rocks for a windbreak. Even so, Audree was enjoying it.

Rocky shore

Snug and warm

The rain that fell on us was sometimes kind of mushy, while at just a little higher elevation it was snowing. Hiking out, Cortnie hitched a ride on Mark’s shoulders while Annmarie carried Audree in the baby backpack.

The drive back took us through the valley south of McCall along the Payette River. The autumn colors, cloudy skies, and farm buildings were beautiful.

Fall fields


And how did we spend our evenings? Playing a new game we bought for the Xbox on the way up, chewing on Xbox cables, and reading stories.

Evening recreation with the XBox

Mmm... good.

Tuesday was again overcast with showers and chilly. We decided we wanted a nice flat hike, so we chose a trail along the Secesh River. Fall colors were all around under the Spruce trees. The river was wide with little riffles here and there, and not a fisherman to be seen.

Easy walking

Secesh River

As you can see, we stayed in our jackets the whole day, but on our drive back to McCall we detoured a little bit to an old settlement called Burgdorf.

Chilly day


Burgdorf used to be an R&R spot, but about the only attraction I could see now is the hot springs. It’s rustic (run-down may be a better description). But Annmarie and Mark took advantage of it. The pool had a large log floating in it, and Annmarie demonstrated the old adage, “easy as falling off a log.”

Burgdorf cabin


On the day we hiked to Hazard Lake, quite a bit of the trail was through a burned area—part of a massive fire that wiped out square miles of timber.

In the meadow

Beautiful Hazard Lake

They fell in

The lake was beautiful and we enjoyed sitting on the edge and watching the clouds. Unfortunately, the thick grass fooled Cortnie about where the edge of the water really was, and she slipped in. That so startled Karen, that she stepped in the lake to get Cortnie out. So, they both ended up with wet pants.

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