Where There’s Smoke…

We aren’t threatened with many natural disasters here in Idaho. We get a minor flood here and there, the occasional tremor of an earthquake, and one tornado watch when I was a kid. The one thing we have to be very aware of is wildfire. As I write this, wildfires in northern Idaho, Canada, and Oregon are raging and filling the Pacific Northwest with a thick haze of smoke. It’s so bad that an orange air quality alert has been issued for Boise, meaning that those who are particularly sensitive to air quality may suffer more serious effects, but all are advised to stay inside. Smoke tends to linger in the valley, so this weekend my friend Molly and I decided to take a trip up and out of the valley into McCall, Idaho.

We had expected the air to be clearer in McCall, as it so often is when Boise is plagued by the dreaded “inversion”. As we drove further into the mountains, we realized that would not be the case. In fact, McCall is under a red alert for air quality, meaning that not only those sensitive to air quality could experience serious negative side effects from being outside. Sure enough, by the end of our mini road trip both Molly and I had headaches and felt vaguely ill. The whole journey we couldn’t help but remark on how awful the air looked, and how weird it was to not be able to see the foothills and mountains clearly.


Actually from the night before the trip to McCall, this is the sun setting through the smoke in Boise.




Molly and her gorgeous hair. You should be able to see so much further!




This is Payette Lake in McCall. It’s so eerie when the smoke and the water blend together.

Despite the poor air quality, Molly and I had a nice little day trip. We wandered around the little shops, petted as many dogs as owners would let us, had a nice lunch, and goofed around on the beaches. It was nice to see McCall again before I go, and it was one of the little adventures I had planned on my Very Idahoan Summer Bucket List. I suppose the smoke just made it more typical of an Idahoan summer.


Aside from the little McCall trip, I also have been hanging out with family and friends this past week. Last night was the Bachelorette finale (boo) which I enjoyed watching with Molly and her boyfriend, as well as Grandmother. I also got to swim and have dinner with my aunt and cousins this weekend.

IMG_2659Reagan and I, the oldest and youngest grandchildren.

I’ve also been working on some photography skills. I usually like to take wide shots of landscapes, but I’ve been trying to get better at some more detailed shots, and with the macro setting on my camera. Here are just some shots of smaller objects that I liked, coincidentally mostly of flowers and bugs.


The water lily in our backyard pond.


Lucy ❤


Just taking a little swim.


That wraps up the adventures for last week, but I have a few special things planned for this week that I can’t wait to share….


Photos taken by Sandra Walker. McCall, Idaho. August 2017.


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