McCall, Idaho and Payette Lake

The shores of Payette Lake as you enter McCall.

After reminiscing in New Meadows, Idaho after the high school reunion, I was curious about the rest of the area, and wondered how things had changed in the nearby town of McCall. While the population of New Meadows is just over 500 people, the population of McCall is 3,650, which makes it gigantic compared to my home town.

The drive up was very pretty and the weather was spectacular. I drove to the end of McCall, taking note of what was changed and what was the same. The streets were packed with vacationers because this beautiful little town is a resort-type destination.

It was early evening still and I had nothing else to do. I had been inside the car so much getting here the day before, that I had the idea of exploring the park at the lake. I could get out of the car and walk around. Though I had lived near here for so many years, I had never been to the park on the peninsula in the lake, and this was a beautiful day for my first sight of it. That was a great choice. I had leftover salad from the potluck at the school for the reunion earlier in the day. I stopped at Albertson’s and bought a bottle of wine. I drove to the park.

I followed the road to the very end of the park, where there was an overlook on a hill. I parked and walked up to look at the view.
The view, needless to say, is outstanding.
The Narrows Overlook
Standing at the overlook, looking back toward the city of McCall on the far shore.
With full zoom you can almost make out the city of McCall there.

I loved it up there. At the Narrows Overlook in Ponderosa State Park, I decided to have a picnic. I grabbed the potluck salad, and the wine, and went to find a place to relax with my supper. There were park benches but it was too windy right on top. I went over the edge of the hill into a meadow filled with Arrowleaf Balsamroot covered in gorgeous deep yellow blooms.

This was where I spent the next hour.
I couldn’t get enough of the flowers.
I followed this raptor with my camera and watched it zooming around in the setting sun.
I think it’s an osprey.
I spotted snowy peaks in the distance.
Idaho is such a beautiful state.
I must have learned to love mountains while growing up here.

All the melancholy that I had carried up the canyon highway with me from seeing my hometown and having all my memories of living there, began to seep away from me the longer I sat in the sun and watched the world around me. I never came close to another person. It was just me and nature. I took a video and it captures my joy.

Soon after I shot this video, I packed up my supper and drove back out of the park into town again.

I spotted tourists clustered around the bear statue that I remembered from years ago. I parked behind the indoor skating rink (new since I had lived in the area), and walked to the shore again.
A happy bear family on the shores of Payette Lake.
A marina in the lake in the setting sun.

I was full of love and joy and sunshine and good food and drink. I drove back down the mountain and returned to New Meadows where I had been invited to stay the second night at my sister’s house. I had arrived in time to say hi to them all (as well as an extremely long overdue visit to see her mom, my stepmother) before her family left for the week on vacation. The next morning I fed the cat and locked up the house and drove to Vale, Oregon to visit another stepmother, and then all the long, long way home to Rainier.

9 thoughts on “McCall, Idaho and Payette Lake

    1. Aww, that is so nice, Derrick. I was fortunate to grow up in a gem of a place, as you can see in this post and the last. Hard memories and good memories are there, which I imagine is true for anyone who remembers where they grew up and all the people who used to be there who are not there anymore.

  1. I had a very good friend who had history in MCall. She died at age 89 in 2020 just before Covid hit. We had a long history, and while we spoke of her place in McCall often, I never visited. It’s gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your trip.

    1. I’m honored to have been able to take you to her town to visit then! I didn’t show any photos of McCall itself, but it is cute and has a lot to offer. It’s a little island of city life in a rural area, with fancy coffee and wine shops, and theatres, and a hospital, a skating rink, gourmet restaurants, a ski resort, a lake resort, the hotshot smokejumper training base… you know, stuff a bigger place can offer that a tiny place can’t. All of this is then surrounded by some of the US’s most outstanding natural beauty. If you’re ever in Idaho, you will probably go right through it, so you may yet see it one day.

  2. I wish we had more of those kinds of towns. Green, lush with water available. You may want to go back at some future point. Just beautiful. Great video. Lots of stepmoms to visit. 😉 Hugs.

    1. Oh right, you have Arizona eyes now!! I keep whining to my brother in Phoenix about all the rain and cool temperatures. He has zero sympathy for me, heh heh. Yes, lots of stepmoms. My father was good enough to provide a wide variety of them for me, ha ha ha!! 🙂

    1. ❤ I'm glad I posted with so much joy about it. This truly is the best perspective of the beauty of the area in this post, and the tiny tight-knit town in the last post. Naturally there are down sides to life in a small town, as you know, but in this case I was only feeling the good stuff.

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