McCall  Memories


We’ve been coming to McCall, a quaint mountain town two hours north of Boise, for many years.  We have a whole slew of memories involving boating, camping and winter carnivals.  We have memories of feeding elk, snow skiing, golf tournaments and even a wedding.   

But the McCall memories I’m writing about now aren’t from way back – these are just from earlier this summer.   As we lost Elko and have wildfires to get through, these more current memories just got left behind for a little while.   They are no less valued and the friends no less loved.

fullsizeoutput_4acaOne of our first McCall activities this summer was a cruise on Payette Lake.  This goes into the category of “How did I  not know this was here.”


The cruise starts on the southern end and travels clockwise around the lake.  Drinks and snacks are available.  Mine is a huckleberry something as huckleberries are big in this area.


The Thursday night cruises have a piano player for accompaniment!

fullsizeoutput_4ac0Along the way there is narration about Payette Lake and the surrounding geologic features and homes.   The lake is eight miles long and 392 feet deep.  Native peoples thought there were evil spirits in the deep lake.


This property was involved with the early saw mill history of the lake.


This is Sylvan Point.  Cast and crew lived here while filming the movie Northwest Passage in 1938-1939.   Local construction crews built 125 structures including two forts.  A few of the original cabins still remain.

fullsizeoutput_4be6 Northwest Passage starred Spencer Tracy and Robert Young.  Some 900 extras were hired including many locals and 375 Indians from seven reservations.   Extras received $5 per day plus a box lunch.  


Sylvan Point on Payette Lake continued as a Hollywood destination and retreat.  We were told Marilyn Monroe’s potato sack photo shoot was at Sylvan Point.

fullsizeoutput_4abcNowadays there are beautiful homes surrounding Payette Lake. One of them comes with an interesting swimming pool.

P1020123We learned about the Payette Sunset Cruise from friends Kathy and Ted.  We didn’t cruise with them but we did meet them in McCall for a special dinner.    


Special because it was Kathy’s birthday and special because it was quite fancy!  We met at the Narrows Restaurant in Shore Lodge for a very delicious, enjoyable meal.

P1020063We enjoyed less pretentious eating at Jug Mountain’s Nine and Dine.  Randy joined former Boise golf league friends (and HP comrades) Mike and Rodger, and Rodger’s wife Donna for nine holes of golf.   Rodger and Donna now live in McCall.

Mike’s wife Nancy and I just went along for the ride and food.   Mike and Nancy now live in Arizona but were in McCall visiting.


Rodger and Donna hosted all of us at their home too!

fullsizeoutput_4bddCertainly not a personal memory,  but McCall history tells that the town is named for Tom McCall, a prominent leader who arrived in 1891.  Mining and timber were the town’s early industries and Tom McCall owned one of the first saw mills on Payette Lake. The picture depicts his first homestead.

We still have more than a month before we leave the McCall-Donnelly area and it is very likely we’ll live additional memories before we do.   Those will surely appear in another blog.

About Serene

Former full time RVers, transitioned to homeowners and travelers. We've still got a map to finish! Home is the Phoenix area desert and a small cabin in the White Mountains of Arizona.
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1 Response to McCall  Memories

  1. Teri McClelland says:

    That looks like a beautiful area. I don’t know about you but the picture of the potato sack dress made me itchy!

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