Adventures of SJ & Cricket: Boundary Dam

posted by Sara Jean -

I'm going to be completely honest. 

We skipped town because of the full moon. It wasn't a friendly full moon, and to avoid potential catastrophe, Cricket and I channeled our inner wolves and hit the open road to make nice with the cosmos at a place you could actually see the stars. 


If you head toward the Canadian border you will eventually find Boundary Dam. A hidden gem of peace, quiet and an abundance of ways to celebrate Mother Nature. We stayed at the free campground ran by Seattle City Light right at the entrance to the dam. For a free site it was pristine. The cleanest of bathrooms, running water, boat launch, tidy campsites. A lot of love has went into this place and more is about to go into it. After getting bid approval, the campsite closed today (Monday, July 10) and won't re-open until spring 2018. We are very lucky we got to experience this magical place on it's final weekend.

Boundary Dam sits on the Pend Oreille River and creates the perfect conditions for a fantastic paddle. If you ever saw "The Postman" with Kevin Costner, you'll recognize this incredible location as many scenes were filmed here. After setting up camp we launched the kayak and took off to find Pee Wee Falls and explore some caves.


It didn't take long. The falls could be heard from the moment the boat launch started to disappear in the distance. About a mile into the paddle there they were, all 200 feet of their glory. You can paddle right to the waterfall and there is a small beach next to the falls where you can beach the kayak and enjoy the sights for as long as needed. Absolutely majestic. 

We were fighting the setting sun so we made our way back into the river and paddled upstream to find the caves. One in particular is large enough for you to paddle into - but beware. You'll be sharing the space with a beaver who's made quite the home there. Sadly he wasn't around to say hello during our visit but we admired his house of sticks and logs from the dark, damp interior of this limestone cave. 


Every turn of the river brought something new to look at. Fish were jumping, birds were singing and wildflowers grew from every crack of every rocky cliff. I was waiting for a unicorn to jump out at any moment. 

We only had time to go about two miles upstream and watched the sun begin to set on our two mile stretch back to the camp. 


We chose a campsite next to an old miner's cabin. The descriptive sign said the well-maintained home had been lived in until 1917. It was creepy and beautiful all at the same time. 


Dinner consisted of sausages on a stick and I read to Cricket (Women Who Run With Wolves - HIGHLY recommended) by campfire light until the full moon rose above the still water, reflecting its sheen across the canyon rocks and trees. We sat at the end of the dock barefoot and dirty and let our inner wild take in the sights, smells and sounds until it was time for bed.


In the morning we hit the road again for Sullivan Lake. Cricket showed me her new doggy-paddling skills in the warm crystal-clear waters before we headed home....wet, sunburned and reeking of campfire smoke. And oh, so incredibly refreshed and happy. 


Another adventure in the books. 

xoxo, SJ


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Sara Jean

Sara Jean

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