We are not big fans of short stays in a spot before moving on but that’s exactly what we did in White Bird, a quick 3 day stay and Monday 7-20 we were on the road again headed to our next stop in McCall Idaho. It seemed that every time we spoke with someone that had visited McCall they loved it so we were really looking forward to seeing what the town was all about.
Our travel day was another short one of 80 miles. South on 95 until we reached New Meadows and then we hung a left and followed HWY 55 to McCall Idaho. And another beautiful drive it was along highway 95. We hit some road construction on 55 that took traffic to a single lane but it was pretty short lived.
As a side note, once we got just south of Riggins we noticed a RV park called Canyon Pines right along the river that looked pretty nice from the road. I think we would check that out as a layover spot if passing through again.
We tried to get a spot at the Ponderosa State Park but because of our unplanned, short notice U-Turn we were not able to plan far enough in advance and couldn’t get a spot but we were able to secure a spot at the McCall RV Resort which turned out just fine. It’s a nice park, sort of laid out strange on the upper level with a couple areas where you park around a square grassy area that becomes a mutual yard for the RV’ers around it. It would be great if you are traveling with others but otherwise we are not crazy about the setup. Lucky for us we had a nice sized back in site in the lower lever that worked out well.
The McCall RV Resort has a nice lodge and the grounds are kept nice. And they have a nice (but small) indoor pool & hot-tub along with a small workout area and steam room. It’s a bit odd having the weight room in the same area as the pool with no separation but for the beautiful people of the world I guess it would be ok. For the more out of shape people like me, not so appealing LOL!!
During our stay the pool area stayed pretty busy with kids so we opted to not take advantage of it this trip, maybe next time.
We had a nice 7 day stay in McCall, the weather was nice and even though they consider this peak season the town was enjoyable mid-week, a little busy on the weekend but hey it’s a tourist town for the most part so no surprise.
We have mentioned before that before we ever go to a new location we check Trip Advisor to see what it shows for attractions and places to eat. When checking McCall for restaurants the #1 rated thing out of 60 is a cake shop, the #3 place is Ice Cream Alley and the #4 place is a seafood/steak house. Now how can you go wrong, that’s my type of town LOL!!
We actually ended up having breakfast one morning at the #10 rated place in town called The Pancake House and Christmas Shop which caught my eye on our first run through town. And the only other meal we ate out was at the Salmon River Brewery which is listed as #15 out of 60. We have tried both the McCall and the Salmon River brewery and I couldn’t find a beer I was crazy about, neither really does a good wheat beer which I like. However Diane had no problem finding a couple that she enjoyed.
Oh, I guess we did stop for an Ice-Cream at the popular Ice-Cream Alley shop after a day on the bike trails.
And we also spent some time sitting outside at a place called Crusty’s Pizza. We ate dinner at the brewery before walking over so we didn’t eat, just had a couple beers and listened to a band play while we sat outside and enjoyed part of the evening. But we will say the pizza looked good if you like thin crust.
We normally only try to eat out 1 or 2 meals in each location otherwise the food expenses can get out of hand pretty quickly and we only budget $300 per month for eating at restaurants which is normally plenty.
Speaking of food we were also told about a great bakery in town by our friends Dianne & Tom called Evening Rise Bread Company. And a great tip it was, we ended up going twice for bread, once we got a loaf of the Blue Cheese Walnut and the second time we got the Plum/Apricot and bother were great.
Aside from food we really enjoyed a couple drives around the Payette Lake. The lake is 2.5 miles wide and 8 miles long and at its deepest point the lake is 392 ft. deep.
You can rent boats, canoes, jet skis, paddle boards or about anything else you might want to enjoy the waters with but we stuck to the land. I know every time we get around water Diane wishes I was a water person but I’m just not. I don’t swim and neither does Diane so I just don’t want the responsibility of looking out for our safety on the water when I really couldn’t do a thing about it if either of us got into trouble. It’s just not worth the stress to me.
When I was younger I rafted, did the inner-tube thing behind boats and even tried to ski but now that I’m older I think more about my actions I guess. But the drive around the lake was very enjoyable and we also took a drive to the Upper Payette Lake a few miles north which was a nice outing.
McCall has a Farmers Market every Wednesday and Saturday and we love markets so of course we attended both mornings. They are pretty small markets but still have enough to keep you occupied a little while.
We also drove south to the small town of Donnelly and drove around Lake Cascade and checked out the Tamarack Ski Lodge and also made a stop in the small historic town of Roseberry.
There wasn’t anything going on in Tamarack or Roseberry during our visit but it was obvious by the huge beautiful homes in Tamarack and the gigantic lodge that it’s a happening place during the winter months and it sounds like Roseberry has a few events each year that would be worth attending if in the area during those times. Here is a link to Roseberry in case you are interested. http://www.historicroseberry.com/
We also spent a couple days out on the bike trails. We rode the trails around town and inside the state park. There are a variety of trails from asphalt to gravel and some true mountain bike trails that are far beyond our experience levels.
In reality some of the riding we did was more than I should have done with my ribs still on the mend. It seemed I would take two steps forward and one step back on the heeling but we really wanted to experience what we could of the area within reason.
We can see why the people we talked to before coming to McCall had great things to say about the area. It has a nice mix of touristy downtown atmosphere and back country drives and trails to keep everyone happy. In fact we liked it enough to ask how far in advance we could make reservations for a month long stay next year. You might remember that we are considering touring just the west coast next summer, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and maybe Northern California in order to stay closer to Diane’s mom next year. Plus we love the Northwest anyway so a month here in McCall makes some sense.
Sunday 7/26 was our last day in town and we pondered another bike ride but decided to just hang around, go for a short hike along the river and just take care of some everyday housekeeping stuff before we hit the road again Monday morning.
We know what route we are taking to Portland and its 445 miles from McCall but we have 3 days before we need to be there and we have nothing reserved between here and there so I guess we will be winging it LOL!! We actually have 3 campgrounds picked out at 3 different spots along the way and will just play it by ear on how far we feel like going before we stop. We don’t normal travel that way but its OK now and again.