Rick and I took a spur-of-the-moment trip down to Clearwater River to go kayaking on Sunday. It's about a 1.5 hour drive, but it's a pretty one going through the Swan Valley. The river is slow moving and takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to paddle through.
Since it's so late in the season, the bushes weren't as green as they probably were a month ago. It was still really pretty though, and the water was crystal clear in places.
We saw quite a few Painted Turtles sunning themselves on logs. It was almost 80 degrees out, so they were totally taking advantage of the warm weather.
I only had my little water-proof Olympus Stylus camera, so I couldn't zoom in much. Even so, the river was flowing so slowly that we could just drift by the turtles without freaking them out.
I think this is a yellow water lily, but I'm not sure. Their petals are a little different than the white ones, but they are still really pretty.
We saw quite a few turtles, and possibly one muskrat that jumped into the river before we could get a good view of him.
There were literally hundreds—maybe thousands—of these white water lilies floating around. I got a few close-ups and one shot of a bunch together. I had wanted to go further down to the end of the lake where so many were, but we decided just to head to the take-out spot instead. They were so pretty.
The river let us out in Seely Lake, so I got to see it for the first time. I've driven by countless times, but it's not visible from the road. It was windy on the lake (not on the river at all), but it was blowing in our favor as we paddled to the take-out.
We left our boat by the lake and then we had about a 1.5 mile hike back to the put-in spot. That's where our car was, so we got that and drove down to pick the boat up.
It was a fun trip. We'll have to go back sometime.