Memorial Day Memories at the Ballpark in the LC Valley

2011 NAIA World Series Opening CeremoniesDo you know what I remember about Memorial Day? I remember barbecues where the number of hotdogs I ate in a day defied FDA regulations. I remember block parties where everyone was welcome and I remember neighborhood baseball games that started as soon as the sun came up and lasted well into the starry night.

Times have changed a bit but I still love a good old fashioned Memorial Day weekend filled with baseball, and I know where to find one of the best this side of the Rockies.

Come May 25th, you’ll find me at Harris Field smack in the middle of the NAIA World Series baseball tournament and I’m not coming out until there’s a 2012 champion crowned. 10 teams from across the nation play 19 games over 7 days; on real dirt in a ballpark large enough to make the homerun bombs memorable and small enough that every seat lets me smell the cut green grass of the field.

Did I mention the $1 Hotdogs, Soda and Popcorn on Memorial Day?

Let’s do a spot check.

Full supply of hotdogs? Check. Lots of friendly faces? Check. Baseball worth the watch? Check and double check! What do you say? If you don’t have your Memorial Day set, plan a road trip to the LC Valley – and don’t forget your mitt … fly balls make great souvenirs!

We’d love to hear about the Memorial Day memories you make in the LC Valley this year – share your story with us on Facebook and while you’re at the games, give a shout to @HellsCanyon on Twitter and we can exchange game notes – I’ll be the one glued to my seat.

~image property of LMTribune.com

Spring Chinook Salmon Season Opens In The Lewis-Clark Valley

The 2012 Chinook Salmon Season is about to open with an estimated 83,600 adult hatchery origin fish expected to cross Lower Granite Dam into  the waters surrounding  the LC Valley at the north entrance to Hells Canyon.  It’s FISH ON!

These massive, ocean going fish are often so big that fishermen call them “hogs” and anglers from across the nation head our way each year for their chance at hooking into one of these legendary game fish.

Washington fisheries on the Snake River open April 25 and Idaho fisheries on the Clearwater and Snake Rivers open April 22.

Get a great deal on your Chinook salmon fishing adventure by checking out the Fisherman’s Specials for a hotel and book your charter from one of these licensed guides and outfitters in good standing with Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau.

Things to know if you go:

The Catch

  • Adult Chinook measure 24 inches or more
  • Jack Chinook measure under 24 inches and must be at least 12 inches to qualify for harvest.

Know Your Limits

  • Washington; All Chinook with an adipose fin must be released.Washington allows for a daily limit of 6 hatchery chinook, with a cap of 2 adults. Anglers must cease fishing when the adult limit has been retained for the day.
  • Idaho; All Chinook with an adipose fin must be released.On the Clearwater River drainage allows for a daily limit of 4 hatchery Chinook, with a cap of 2 adults.  Possession limit is 12, with a cap of 6 adults.On the Snake River from Dug Bar to Hells Canyon Dam, the lower Salmon and the Little Salmon rivers, the daily limit is four hatchery Chinook, only 2 may be adults. The possession limit is 12, with a cap of 6 adults.

Photographing Wild Chinook Salmon

  • In Washington, wild salmon must be unhooked and released without being removed from the water.  Have your camera ready for a quick image capture and keep the fish low to the water.
  • Idaho allows anglers a bit more leeway and lets fishermen remove wild fish from the water for photographing.  Remember to wet your hands before touching the fish. Use both hands to support the fish, over the water if possible, so that if the fish struggles free it doesn’t fall onto a hard surface such as rocks or a boat floor.

Get Licensed

If you come, don’t forget the camera – we’d love to see what your fishing adventure was like and you can share it with us on the Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau Facebook Page.

~image property of HellsCanyonSportFishing.com

7 Awesome Things To Do Without Leaving Hells Gate State Park

When is a park not just a park? When it’s Hells Gate State Park! Read on to learn about the unexpected adventures that await you during a stay beside the Snake River in the LC Valley …

Camp out
Breakout the JiffyPop, S’mores and dutch ovens for a stay at any one of the 104 spots available within the tree covered slice of heaven that is Hells Gate State Park Campground. Wether you love RV, tent or cabin camping, Hells Gate has you covered!

Big Game Expedition
Come face to face with 65 mounted game heads from around the world and learn about one of North America’s most successful outdoor writers and hunting enthusiasts, Jack O’Connor, at The Jack O’Connor Hunting Heritage and Education Center.

Pedal Away the Day
Don a helmet, check the air in your tires and head out for a ride through the park. There are three camp loops to explore and any number of paved or dirt trails that wind all over the public green spaces on the grounds – guaranteed smiles for miles.

Explore the Corps
Grab a compass and head into the Lewis & Clark Discovery Center to meet Weetxuwiis and the Nez Perce, just like Lewis & Clark did over 150 years ago. Everyone can wander through 2 acres of outdoor exhibits at their own speed and the live stream with hidden animal sculptures and footprints is a great scavenger hunt.

Become a Jr. Ranger
Kids and families can suit up and become a resident expert on raptors, bees, flowers, bugs, birdwatching and a whole lot more during the totally free and totally fun 3-hour Jr. Ranger Programs inside the park. Learn more about the Jr. Ranger Program on the Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau Events Tab on our Facebook Page.

Swim, Splash and Snorkle
Slap on the sunscreen and paddle around in the shallows or venture out into the deep end of the swimming area at the north end of the park.

Drop a Line
Kids 13 and younger don’t even need a license, so find a spot on the bank, bait your hook and you might just catch dinner!

If you come, don’t forget the camera – we’d love to see what adventures you had in the park and you can share it with us on the Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau Facebook Page.

Free Family Fishing in the LC Valley

If the inevitable infection of Spring Fever among kids of all ages is threatening to break out in your home, we suggest getting to the LC Valley for a little outdoor recreation.  A road trip and fishing might be just what the doctor ordered.

What’s that?  You have no fishing equipment?  You don’t really know what you’re doing?  No worries! Getting the family outside to enjoy spring fishing in the LC Valley just got a lot less stressful and a lot more fun in 2013, thanks to Idaho Fish & Game’s Take Me Fishing Trailer.

The Take Me Fishing Trailer is fully stocked with fishing equipment that can be checked out for free, on a first-come, first-served basis and has friendly, knowledgeable IDFG staff who can get you started in no time.

Everyone, of any age is welcome to use the equipment.  While anglers 13 and under are always able to fish Idaho waters for free, anglers 14 and older will will be granted a permit to fish without a license.  You can get information on Idaho Resident and Non-resident licensing here.

From March through June, the trailer is making eight visits to Lewiston, Idaho, at two ponds this year.  Here’s a Google Map of Lewiston Take Me Fishing locations, so you can find the ponds easily.

  • March 30 at Mann Lake, from 10am-1pm
  • April 6 at Kiwanis Park, from 10am-1pm
  • April 7 at Mann Lake, from 10am-1pm
  • April 14 at Kiwanis Park, from 10am-1pm
  • April 20 at Lewiston Wildlife Habitat Area, from 10am-1pm
  • April 28 at Kiwanis Park, from 10am-1pm
  • May 4 at Mann Lake, from 10am-1pm
  • May 5 at Kiwanis Park, from 10am-1pm
  • May 26 at Mann Lake, from 10am-1pm
  • June 1 at Kiwanis Park, from 10am-1pm
  • June 23 at Kiwanis Park, from 10am-1pm

What happens if your family gets hooked?  Come on back and fish again – maybe take a full-fledged fishing trip with one of the LC Valley’s fantastic guides.

If you come, check the weather and dress appropriately, bring something to drink and don’t forget the camera – we’d love to see your catch and you can share it with us on the Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau Facebook Page.

Public Art in the LC Valley

Image Courtesy NWPassageScenicByway.orgFrom Lewis and Clark to wildlife and architecture to water, Lewiston Idaho’s history is commemorated with over twenty installations of public art. Pieces from as far back as 1902 and as new as 2011 are tucked into everyday places and not so common spaces throughout the town. Each one waiting for you to discover and explore a slice of Lewiston’s personality.

Artists including J. Shirly Bothum, Nancy N. Dreher, David Govedare and Keith Powell, Doug Hyde and Sharon Taylor-Hall have several pieces of artwork, ranging from 1911 to 2003, that pay tribute to the LC Valley’s ties to Native American culture and the Corps of Discovery’s journey through our area.

Turn of the century life in Lewiston is found in the more fanciful pieces around the valley. Fish-like cherubs in fountains, seahorse entry posts, grotesques and gargoyles invite today’s touch and provide a preserved bridge over 100 years of Lewiston’s past.

Contemporary people and life are also reflected in several sculptures like David G. Sears’ The Dance, Rip Caswell’s Cougar Beaver Otter Fish and Christopher Fennell’s Canoe Wave.

It’s an amazing thing to be able to touch a piece of art … to feel the textures under your fingertips and to understand with your hands the form your eyes see. The LC Valley’s public art not only allows this, it asks for personal attention.

Other public displays in or near the LC Valley include the Winter Spirit lights at Locomotive Park, the Lewiston Sesquicentennial Historic Kiosk Series and Maya Lin’s Confluence Project installation at Chief Timothy Park in Clarkston, Washington.

To help you get to know Lewiston through it’s public art, we’ve created the Google Map of Public Art in the LC Valley. On your tour, take a picture with your favorite piece and share it with us on Facebook – we’d love to see what you love most!

~image courtesy NWPassageScenicByway.org

A Taste, A Glass, A Bottle and More …. Wine in the LC Valley

Wine by ~TankPhotographySome people will tell you that the best time to visit a new place is on a weekend.
Some people are wrong.
Each week (not weekend, mind you), restaurants in the Lewis-Clark Valley host a number of tailored events that cater to fun-loving, adventurous wine lovers, their search for a taste of the region and something new in a stemmed glass.
Mid-week starts with Wine Down Wednesday at Tomato Bros. where you can get 40% off the purchase of any bottle of wine all day.  Any wine … and there are some great labels on their wine list.  Pair your bottle with a 1/2 price appetizer during Happy Hour from 4 to 6pm and you’re set for nice how-do-you-do.
Wednesday also means Women Who Wine, from 5 to 7pm, at Quality Inn & Suites.  Not just for women – men are also welcome to enjoy complimentary tastes of featured wines along with 40% off all bottle purchases and glass pours of the featured wines.  Add a half price appetizer and it’s a complete night out with a river view.
Wine O’clock Thursdays, from 6-8pm, The Exchange in Red Lion Hotel brings something a little different to the table.  With the purchase of your choice of 3 different flights, ranging from $5 to $15, you’ll receive 10% off the purchase of any bottle of wine.  Each flight brings 5 tastes of wine and for those of you choosing to make a night of it, pair your flight and bottle purchase with dinner and receive 20% off the entire bill.
The Basalt Cellars Tasting Room, in Clarkston, Washington, is open Monday through Saturday from 12-5:30pm.  Be sure to taste the triple-award winning 2007 Merlot, when you go.
Regular tasting hours for Clearwater Canyon Cellars are on Saturdays from 1 to 5pm, May thru Christmas.  The Renaissance Red and Lochsa are local favorites and, if you’re lucky, there’ll still be some Carmenere.

image courtesy ~TankPhotography

Make the Holidays Festive in the Lewis Clark Valley

There are tons of things to do in Lewiston, ID and Clarkston, WA this holiday season.

The Lewis Clark Chamber of Commerce 25th Annual Lighted Christmas Parade is Saturday, December 3 at 4:30 pm in downtown Clarkston. This years’ theme is “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”. It’s a great kick-off to the holiday season with marching bands, businesses and many more showing their true Christmas spirit.

Locomotive Park, at 2012 Main Street, comes to life with thousands of Christmas lights, music and the sound of laughter from the Saturday before Thanksgiving to New Years’ Eve. It’s the perfect winter wonderland outing for the entire family. It’s Winter Spirit at it’s best.

Twenty three downtown Lewiston businesses are participating in the month-long Shop Downtown campaign. Do your shopping in downtown Lewiston and visit those businesses to pick up your “passport” for a chance to win the $1,000 Downtown Shopping Spree!

Skaters Welcome In Lewiston Idaho

Mtn. Dew Skate Park in Lewiston IdahoWho knew?

In a small North Central Idaho town in Idaho, there lies a little known, brand new, concrete mecca for skaters.  One of only three Idaho skateparks professionally designed and built by Grindline, the Mtn. Dew Skatepark is now open in Lewiston, Idaho.

I’m not a skater nor do I play one on TV but I do spend a lot of time walking my dog, Harvey (named for the Rabbit) on the Lewiston Levee by Kiwanis Park where the skatepark is located.  I have to tell you, it’s nothing short of amazing.

First, it’s HUGE!  As a parent, I’ve always been skiddish of the rocket-speeds and congestion that seem to gather in skateparks but there’s room for everyone in those bowls.  Second, it’s open and well-lit so riding doesn’t have to end when the sun goes down.  Third, it’s pretty to look at and fun to watch – I see parents watching young beginners in the upper bowl while the beginners watch more experienced skaters down below.  The smiles on everyone’s face says it all . . . “this place is great!”

Pack up the decks and come to Lewiston, Idaho – skaters are welcome here!

A Walk On The Wild Side

Nestled up in the Orchards of Lewiston, Idaho, is one of my most favorite spaces in the entire Lewis-Clark Valley – the Lewiston Wildlife Habitat.

There are five-acres of paved trails winding through a variety of trees, grasses and meadows that support wildlife I didn’t even know I could see here.   Canaries, hawks, deer, rabbits, tadpoles . . . and that was just on a Tuesday!   At each entrance, boxes are stocked with birding checklists and brochures for the 15-station, self-guided tour of habitat eco-systems and wildlife viewing at spots like the rock fountain and the Aspen colony.

Every season, the habitat offers something to enjoy – from underwater viewing of fish and frogs in the stream to birdwatching in the enclosed blind and rabbit watching in the meadow. Whatever the season, most of my time is spent at the pond. In the spring and summer, I love to sit on the small dock and watch the dragonflies in the cattails and the turtle on the lilypads. It’s where – in the dead of winter – my boyfriend proposed to me with snow falling on the barren, frozen water.  If there’s magic anywhere, it’s here.

There are other preserved nature areas in Lewiston, like the Ruth Modi Park Conservancy, but the Lewiston Wildlife Habitat has something special that draws me back for a walk on the wild side time and time again. Do yourself the favor and stop in – you can thank me later!

Ride Of Your Life Winners!

We sure appreciate your patience with this announcement – we’ve now contacted each winner and confirmed their ability to take the Ride Of Their Life Adventure.  So, without further ado . . . congratulations to:

  • Tyler Barkstrom of Spokane, WA, will enjoy the Ultimate Extreme Adventure Tour
  • Mary Kukowski of Missoula, MT, will enjoy the Historical Adventure Tour
  • Wendi Haught of Hayden, ID, will enjoy the Culinary Adventure Tour
  • Melissa Gephardt of Mountain Home, ID, will enjoy the Family Adventure Tour

If you weren’t one of the lucky four – you can still follow in their footsteps. Just head on over to Everlater and find the adventure itinerary of our choice. Happy adventuring!!