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Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Trip to Red Ives Cabin

Red Ives Cabin in St. Joe National Forest

In February I entered a lottery and won three days at Red Ives Ranger Station in the St. Joe National Forest in the Idaho Panhandle. It's such a popular rental, The Forest Service has had to use the lottery system. About 500 entries for 50 vacation slots. Jay stayed home with Pepper because dogs aren't allowed.  So, my party consisted of my son Donovan, our neighbor Cheryl and me. Just as well - the SUV was packed to the gills. It was about a four and a half-hour drive, much of it up the beautiful St. Joe River, which empties into  Lake Coeur d'Alene.
Headwaters of St. Joe River in National Forest near Red Ives.

We hiked; we did a little exploring; we read on the porch; and Cheryl and I played ten games of Scrabble by lantern light. Although wired for electricity, run by a generator, when a Forest Service family was in residence, the cabin now retains only hot and cold running water, a gas stove and a propane-cooled refrigerator. We discovered we didn't really need electric lights.

Cheryl and Donovan on hike.

Red Ives Ranger Station was named for an early prospector. The cabin was built by the CCC in 1936.  It retains much of its original architectural embellishments.

Front porch at Red Ives.
Original river rock chimney and cedar shingles.

Original fireplace, now with propane insert.
Art Deco door hardware.

Original ladder to attic behind closet door in hall.

A Steller's jay that expected to be fed on the porch railing.
Indian paintbrush and daisies along river.

The St. Joe River is a fisherman's delight.

 A lovely three days, and not the end of our adventures.


  1. What a treat! Such magnificent wilderness, and Red Ives is stunning.

  2. I am a little more relaxed just reading your blog. So nice!