North Idaho photos: A hike along Shoreline at Farragut

blue heeler mix dog running

My mother often reminds me I was never much of an “outdoors” child.

When she’d walk in the pasture and woods behind our house, she’d drag me along and I’d whine and fuss and cry.

Times change.

When I rescued my first Maremma sheepdog, Shep, he awakened a part of me I never knew existed.

Hiking woman.

Gone were the corporate high heels, the pencil skirts, and the five-speed Mustang.

In were the hiking boots, the hydration day packs and the wee truck, my now retired Ford Escape.

In were trips every other weekend to the Rocky Mountains, exploring amazing, beautiful places like Barriere Lake in the Kananaskis foothills.

Here one of my favorites of my sweet boy from a 2009 hike, taken with my old D40, long before I ever knew dog photography could be a business.

maremma sheepdog at kananaskis mountain range

Shep at Barriere Lake in Kananaskis, Alberta

Fast forward 10 years

I don’t get out as much as I’d like to anymore.

With enough foibles and f***ups on many adventures with Shep and Bella, my husband likes me to either stay close to home or make sure I have company.

No really.

Among the mishaps are:

  • Blown tire
  • Stuck in a snow ditch
  • Blown sparkplugs
  • Lost (several times)
  • Almost run out of gas, while lost

Some of these adventures are logged on my not-very-well-maintained adventure blog, Our Great Escape.

So, when a few Idaho friends were heading out for a hike along the Shoreline Trail at Farragut State Park, I jumped at the chance!

See, honey? Bella and I will be fine!

OK, as long as I check in via text time and time.


All along the shoreline at Farragut

buttonhook bay at farragut state park

Buttonhook Bay at Farragut State Park

Farragut State Park is just a quick one-hour drive from the house in Spokane Valley.

It’s the site of our first camping trip together—me, the now husband, and Shep—back in Summer 2011. We figured then that if we survived a one-night camping excursion together, there was something to this relationship.

My visit on Saturday reminded me we haven’t been back as a family with Bella since then. It’s due time, isn’t it?

If I spent the time exploring the park, a former Second World War naval training site, the history super geek would emerge and I’d be lost in a state of reading signs and wandering around for more.

On this day, my gal pals, all members of the North Idaho Photography Club, were hell bent on eagle hunting.

With cameras, mind you.

An easy stroll

The Shoreline Trail is an easy hike with quick access to Lake Pend Oreille should the dogs require a quick cool-off or drink.

We made our way along the trail, often stopping along the rocky beach when squawks were heard or dive bombings for lunch were caught out of the corner of an eye.

(If you’re one of those fishing people, you can drop your hooks in Lake Pend Oreille and come up with lake trout, rainbow trout, bull trout, Kokanee salmon, largemouth or smallmouth bass, perch, crappie, Northern pike and walleye.)

But me?

Well, you know me better by know, right? I spent my time taking pictures of the dogs, making sure my creative muscles are always ready for a session with you and your pups.

Bella is an always an easy subject. Here’s her gallery:

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And then there’s Newt

Superdog Newt.

Always a happy smile. Always a bounce in her step. Always a free lick and cuddle when she sees me.

Newt is a three-year-old border collie-heeler mix who spends her weekends hiking and exploring North Idaho and Eastern Washington with her paw parents, Mike and Cat. You may even remember meeting her last September.

She’s an easy one to train a camera on, always up to something.

And now that Bella and I should get out on more adventures, thanks to our new chaperonesfriends, you should be seeing more of Newt on the Noses & Toes Instagram feed and here on this blog.

Here are a few Newt:

blue heeler dog in Lake Pend Oreille blue heeler dog at farragut state park

headshot of blue heeler cross

blue heeler dog photos in north idaho

Eagle hunting

OK, so I told a teeny tiny fib. I may have told a few people I wasn’t at all interested in finding the bald eagles that so many photographers seem fascinated with.

But then I found one.

Since Bella is a bit bossy and likes to be well ahead of the pack (she’s the team lookout), we were on our own as the others stopped to poke around.

It was kind of fun to find him perched on a tree, eyeing the fish jumping out of the lake.

And so I trained my 70-200mm on him and fired away.

bald eagle in a tree bald eagle taking flight bald eagle taking flight

Needless to say, the Shoreline Trail is a #bellaapproved hiking spot.

Would I recommend it for a dog photography session? Hmmm … it might be a good fit for a 90-minute or longer session but you’re going to want to be up for a stroll.

If you’re interested in a session, reach out and let me know. We can talk about the locations that work for you and your pup!

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