Photo detail

Marie Smith
Lowell, Syringa

Stories this photo appears in:

Lowell / Syringa News: It’s been a rough winter upriver

Lowell Syringa News is back. Ace reporter, me, Marie Smith, has picked up her iPod, to report the comings and goings from Idaho County’s least populated communities. The winter has been rough, with rain, wind, snow, ice and dark of night. We had ice chunks floating down the Lochsa for eight hours last Friday. The river was up at least three feet. Our Internet has been out, our TV satellite dishes covered with snow over ice, and we are restless. Highway 12 has snow floor in spots and threats of avalanches with snow melting. The traffic passes slowly this time of year, and we depend on ITD to be forever clearing the highways for us.

Lowell / Syringa News: Guides are trained

Short and sweet upriver news. People are moving in and out around here. Campers going up Selway, lots and lots of them. D of L doing slash burns up the Selway River in the rain, smoke starting all over again.

Tease photo

Lowell/Syringa News: Kayakers crowd falls

Alan and Mary Hamilton of AIRE Boats down in Boise spent the weekend on the Lochsa boating, the river was right at four feet and such a perfect level for the start of the rafting whitewater season. Alan was saying the new boat or equipment of choice down in Boise is the Stand Up Paddleboard! Three Rivers Rafting took off on Saturday and Sunday morning with some new guides to get wet! Ten plus boaters had the most perfect weather, the most perfect water level, and almost perfect new guides!!!

Tease photo

Dr. Wright dusts cobwebs off ‘Mojo’

Lowell, Syringa News

Dr. Morgan Wright went boating on the Lochsa last weekend, he took the “MoJo” out to get the cobwebs off.

Lowell / Syringa News: Fenn Pond to get a facelift

Fenn Pond, across from the Fenn Ranger Station is getting a new lease on life, with big equipment rolling in right now and working until May. They are digging, building, planting and then stocking fish – whoop, whoop, how great is that.

Lowell / Syringa News: Steelhead are jumping

Beautiful, glorious, healthy, steelhead are jumping up the river at Selway Falls. It’s such a sight to see. Drive slow, the last 10 miles of the road are a little bumpy, but what a great way to spend a day off. Sorry no cell service, no Internet, no “Big Mac,” and you can’t even plug in to charge your devices unless it adapts to a car charger, but a lesson in the beauty of the Idaho Wilderness is priceless. The Wilderness Inn is rumored to open this coming weekend, whoop whoop!

Tease photo

Lowell / Syringa News: ‘Those are rafts, Nana!’

White Clouds, blue sky, a truck next to every cabin, steelhead fishermen, fish and game guys installing traps, two couples on a getaway, one from Moscow, one from McCall, and even some kayakers from Boise. What a great time of year upriver. The whitewater season is about to begin and the phone has been ringing a lot.

Lowell / Syringa News: Mighty Lochsa sees boaters from east, west

It’s exciting to report that the mighty Lochsa came up to four feet last week, and by the weekend it was down to two feet, but the boaters came from east and west to get the cobwebs off their equipment and try out the new stuff.

Tease photo

LOWELL/SYRINGA NEWS: Shots fired, rocks on highway

Four shots were fired at 5 a.m. on Sunday morning. Could be cougar hunters, could be target practice or sighting in a gun, we’ll never know, but anything is possible.

Tease photo

LOWELL / SYRINGA: Live from Vegas ...

No Lowell news because headed to Las Vegas for my birthday. Free room, free buffet, cheap airfare! Had a Big Mac and shake for lunch (closest McDonalds to Lowell is 100 miles). There’s one right next to Harrah’s. Movies on TV are $17.99, using the Internet is $14.99 a day. A cup of coffee is $12. Life has been good to me, and Chewbacca is taking me on the new Ferris wheel!

LOWELL/SYRINGA NEWS: ‘Strong as an ox’ Marie

Nothing’s going on upriver, but then that’s normal. Dogs chasing cougars, followed by hunters, geese flying south after spending the night at the confluence, rocks on the highway, wild turkeys everywhere and snow still on the rooftops.

Tease photo

LOWELL/SYRINGA NEWS: All’s quiet in Lowell

No one is hunting, no one is fishing, no one is hiking or even building a snowman. As always, it’s a quiet time of the year.

Tease photo

LOWELL/SYRINGA NEWS: Smith celebrates 35 years as Free Press correspondent

Monday morning, Jan. 4, up and at ‘em 5:45 a.m., breakfast: two brown home laid eggs fried over easy in coconut oil, sprinkled with turmeric and black fresh ground pepper, 1/2 banana, 10 red seedless grapes, one tablespoon of dill yogurt sprinkled with one tablespoon of chia seeds, one wonderful cup of coffee, full glass (eight ounces) water.

Tease photo

LOWELL/SYRINGA: Thankful for drivers in all sorts of weather

Busy week for “Mr. Mailman” as Mr. Max says! Thank you for the long late hours, Junior Jackson, and have a Merry Christmas to you and alternate driver, Dixie.

LOWELL/SYRINGA NEWS: Christmas list: ‘Electricity and Internet’

The social event of the year, our QRU Christmas party was a roaring success. Held at the Wilderness Inn in Lowell, the folks upriver came out of the woodwork, in this case woods, to help with funding the unit for another year. Thanks goes out to the participants on both giving and receiving.

Tease photo

Lowell/Syringa News: Great-grandma here for Thanksgiving celebration

What a nice Thanksgiving weekend we all had here in Lowell. Great-gramma Martha was here for the week, the Mike Smith, Jr., family made it back from Las Vegas, Marty, Dani and Max Smith hosted the Apple Cup Buffet at their home up on the hill, even though the Cougars laid down and died about halftime, but the Seahawks were awesome on Sunday!

Lowell-Syringa: Hunters go home

Best recipe for the Thanksgiving turkey yet, heard it on Saturday Night Live, “Just stick the bird in the oven ‘til it’s done.” Then, of course, there are 501 versions for pumpkin pie, and one read “if you use real pumpkin you will have to add more spices.”

Tease photo

Hunting camps report ‘good luck’

Wind, rain and snow on the mountains all around us brings the chill of winter upriver. Shots ring out this time of year in the early morning as light, just enough for a good shot, presents itself.

Brown, Crouse get hitched on the Lochsa River

Lowell, Syringa News

It’s so beautiful today; the grass is green, the river is clear, the sky is blue, I don’t even remember what smoke looks like!

‘Wait and see’ period during fires; Max set to turn 2

Lowell, Syringa News

Internet working, electricity on, fire five miles away, fire trucks in front of all structures, it’s a “wait and see” period. Don’t want to call it over yet, but Lowell and Syringa are much better off today than we were two weeks ago.

On ‘edge of seat’ about fires

Lowell, Syringa News

“Fire, fire everywhere and not a drop to drink.” I am on the edge of my chair as I write this as there are 20-plus fires in and around Lowell and Syringa.

Smiths return to the basics after 40 years

Whew, it finally cooled off to the high 80s this past weekend, what a relief.

It was a quiet Fourth of July

Lowell, Syringa News

Not one single firecracker was set off in Lowell this 4th of July, and no parade, no birthday celebration or Independence Day party of any kind. It was 104 degrees upriver and has been for weeks.

Some like it hot ...

Lowell, Syringa News

Hot, hot, hot — if we had sidewalks we would fry an egg on it! Big family reunion this past weekend and not one single complaint about the heat or the dust or life in general!

Taking the circus for a ride ...

Lowell, Syringa News

It all came and went last Sunday, Father’s Day, summer solstice, first day of summer, Idaho County taxes due, highwaymen biker meet at Johnson Bar campground, Culpepper and Merriweather Circus in Kooskia, big controversial Selway River Timber Sale, and record-breaking water levels. Did we survive up here in Lowell and Syringa?

Couple ties the knot at campground

News comes from my iPod this week. Its screen is cracked like a spider web, but that’s another story. It has been a busy month of June, but between Internet problems and record-breaking heat, the daily life upriver has been anything but normal!

Weekend brings on camping season

Lowell, Syringa News

Like the high wire act that fell into the net, I’m going to pick myself up and get back on the wire.

It’s mushrooms galore in Lowell

Lowell, Syringa News

We’ve got mushroom pickers, mushroom buyers, mushroom eaters, it is a mecca for the ubiquitous morel mushrooms, and they are everywhere.

Williams spruce up town sign

Big project finished up last week, the Lowell sign on Highway 12 has been spruced up and rehung by Victor and Cindy Williams. Dave Shindel, Steve and Ann Ryan and Rick and Stephanie Moore also worked on the project.

Nezperce mayor pays visit

Lowell, Syringa News

The mayor of Nezperce was in Lowell for a visit. Steve Bateman was just checking out the spring thaw. He and his wife, Cathe, and daughter, Cherry, are summer dwellers along the river and it was nice of him to come up and say hi!

Properties shaping up for spring, summer

Lowell, Syringa News

Road building and timber salvage is starting up on the Selway, lots and lots of it —USFS land, state land and private land, too. It’s a different world we live in.

Lulu is back home

News this week is brief. Two calls for the EMTs from Kooskia and Lowell/Syringa — one on Sunday, March 1, preparing for Lifeflight transport for Elaine Landry from the Selway River Road Bridge landing spot, and one next morning, Monday, March 2, for Dani Smith, transporting to hospital by ambulance.

Anyone see a fireball in the sky?

Lowell, Syringa News

Beware the Ides of March, oh wait that’s next week. This week is the first of March and what a beautiful week of sunshine.

Horn hunters have good luck

Lowell, Syringa News

It’s 21 degrees this morning as I write this, not a cloud in the sky, and the geese are either coming or going all day and all night along the Lochsa and at the confluence. They fly in flocks of 30 or 40 at a time (excuse me, it’s called a gaggle if they are on the water).

‘Mecca of activity’

Lowell/Syringa News

It’s been a good week. Kayakers and catarafters are on the Lochsa. It’s up to five feet plus with the warm weather, the phone hasn’t stopped ringing with questions about the level. The snow is all gone from Lowell and Syringa, and the sun is high in the sky today. It’s for sure we still have some cold days ahead before summer; I’m not planting my tomatoes just yet.

Mighty Lochsa is on the rise

Lowell, Syringa News

New week, new day, new news. Pay attention to what is going on around you. Don’t pass an opportunity to look someone in the eye and ask them how they are doing, and listen to their answer.

Volleyball bonk leads to staples

Lowell, Syringa News

If it weren’t for bad news, I’d have no news at all. Our beloved Seahawks lost the Super Bowl in the last 26 seconds of the game.

Salvage timber sale under way

Lowell, Syringa News

One more newsy report from the communities of Lowell and Syringa. The month of January is almost behind us, the Super Bowl is right around the corner, and nobody is turning 70 this week. We have warm weather, we have cougar hunters, we have mud and slush, and we are happy within ourselves, and satisfied with our world, and welcome to it.

Marie turns 70

Lowell, Syringa News

Jan. 23, Friday, is my 70th birthday, remember 012345.

Residents dig out of snow

Lowell, Syringa News

First thing every morning when I open my eyes, I think, “Do we have electricity?” Once it’s established that we do, I can go on with life as we know it in Lowell and Syringa.

Merry Christmas from Lowell

So Christmas is here with some wind and some wet, our shopping is done and dear Santa we met! We put up the tree, and the wishes are free, we’ll open the presents all wrapped to a tee.

Program brings neighbors out

Lowell, Syringa News

Right this minute it is 9:10. a.m. and 11 seconds a.m. on 12-13-14, a very interesting date, but not as great as 012345, which happens to be my birthday!

Party is ‘event of the year’

The social event of the year was the Lowell QRU holiday party at the Wilderness Inn last Saturday evening. It was a grand party with folks coming out of the woodwork to donate at the auction and enjoying a delicious potluck, with lots of mystery meat and homemade dishes.

QRU party is Dec. 6

It’s cold, power was out last Sunday night for five hours, but as always they got it back on before the school bus came.

Women take on Las Vegas

It’s colder than a well drillers behind in Montana, only we’re in Idaho, so I guess it would be an Idahoans behind. Anyway whoever’s backside, it’s cold.

Smith home from trip

Lowell, Syringa News

Beautiful fall with all the yellows, reds and browns all around us. Rainy, rainy week.

ROW closes for season

Lowell/Syringa News

River Dance Lodge (ROW) at Syringa is closed for the season. Their huckleberry pie is homemade and the best ever, but you’ll have to wait ‘til 2015!

Sparse news week

Lowell, Syringa News

News is sparse this week. I could tell you I saw a big dead moose in the back of someone’s truck last weekend, or that I saw a dead beaver in front of cabin #10, but it’s all been reported before. The flies are bad and the bees are gone. The river is low and the turkeys are everywhere. Everything else is just about the same.

Summer season is officially over

Lowell, Syringa News

It’s cold at night up here. It’s been sunny during the day and warm, seems to be everyone’s favorite time of year.

‘Life is good’

Lowell, Syringa News

The Johnson Bar Fire is winding down with less and less smoke for the incoming hunters and fishermen, less and less meals to cook, less and less yellow shirts running around, and more and more sprinkles and yellow leaves falling.

Fall, fires and fishermen time

Lowell, Syringa News

Fall, fires, FAOL (Fly Anglers on Line) fishermen, and fly tying: the five F’s of September. It seems to be the talk of the town. The fishing has been phenomenal regardless of the smoke.

Toad warts? Maybe ...

There was a big toad hunkered down in the corner of my office this morning when I opened, and I thought, with all the fires around us, trucks and firefighters in and out, and with fall coming on fast, this little guy is just a survivor.

Still feeding firefighters

Lowell, Syringa News

News is happening right here in River City; we are in the middle of a mecca of activity, the fires, weddings, memorials, birthdays and don’t forget football.

’Twas a beautiful Labor Day weekend

“I have such a bad hangover not only does my head hurt, but even my hair hurts,” Labor Day weekend quote from a good friend and nicest guy ever.

No time to cry: Be thankful

Lowell, Syringa News

It is time to pick ourselves up, dust off our pants, turn on the open sign, and carry on.

Fire on the Selway

Lowell, Syringa News

It is important to first address the Idaho County Sheriff’s Department and USFS and fire crews who have moved in to protect us all upriver from this raging forest fire all around us. Know that we appreciate all you have done and continue to do.

Smokey celebrates his 70th

Lowell, Syringa News

Smokey the Bear had a 70th birthday party last Saturday, and that night at about midnight a lightning strike came down along the Selway River and started one of the worst fires we’ve seen here in many years.

Just ‘livin’ the dream ’

Lowell, Syringa News

Sitting in my office this past week, grateful that I have an office here in the wilderness, a guy walks in and I asked him, “How ya doin’?”, he replies, “Livin’ the dream.” It brought a smile to my face, and so from now on I’ll use that as my comeback, I am livin’ the dream, and here’s what was in my dreams this week!

Birthdays, reunions and fiddlers, oh, my!

Lowell, Syringa News

It is a new day, the garden is producing, the river is warm, and our bodies are tan all over and covered with bites. We are busy drinking iced drinks and eating watermelon.

‘Highwaymen’ are on the Selway

Lowell, Syringa News

Official start to summer is this weekend. Better start to dry up a little so we can get sunburned. Also property taxes in Idaho County are due on June 20, save up, smile, count your blessings, and be kind to your neighbor.

Kids talk safety

Lowell, Syringa News

Jackie Peterson and Arlene Ambach are now all settled in their RVs in Lowell.

Watch for madness on the Lochsa River

Watch out for Memorial Day Madness on the mighty Lochsa River. The boaters are lined up for miles to hit the water as it rises to maximum height; it’s a good thing and a bad thing, but everyone is ready!

Major rafting, great weather

Lowell, Syringa News

News short and sweet. Major rafting weekend last Saturday and Sunday, everyone had a great trip, the Lochsa River was 5-1/2 feet and rising, the sun was out 80 percent of the time, the lunch was great and everyone was happy. What’s not to like?

It’s a ‘big one’ upriver this weekend

Lowell, Syringa News

April showers bring May flowers, only this morning the daffodils are frozen solid and the dogs’ water is in the same condition.

Guides are back on the river

Lowell, Syringa News

Massive amounts of chocolate cream filled Easter eggs have been eaten upriver this past weekend; we had sunshine and green grass on the big day, as well as colored eggs hidden between the stacked rafts and catarafts. It was a mighty fine day along the banks of the Lochsa.

‘Don’t tax him, don’t tax me’

Lowell, Syringa News

“Don’t tax him, don’t tax me, tax the man behind the tree.” That’s always my motto in mid-April, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Get on the river

Lowell, Syringa News

Get your taxes finished, put your sandals on, unroll your rafts. The river is rising, the sun is out, and there will be dancing in the streets!

Brotnov has the chicks

Lowell, Syringa News

So now we have April upriver, and the real cure for cabin fever is sunshine. Get out, get moving, get your boots and garden gloves on, get on your game, (whatever that means) we are free. The Wilderness Inn is open for breakfast and lunch, Cougar Canyon is open during the day as well, we have construction going on and gravel being delivered. The bulbs are sprouting (not sure if that’s the right garden term, but sounds good). It’s finally spring in Lowell.

Park is happy spring person

Lowell, Syringa News

The kayakers are moving in, the river guides are heading this way, the river is coming up fast, the USFS got out their brown paint for signs and posts, and Memorial Day madness will be here before we know it.

Activity springing up in communities

Lowell, Syringa News

Spring has sprung, what I see here in Lowell is not green grass, it’s not the sun shining overhead and locals basking in it with a fish on the end of their hook, it’s not butterflies and tulips, or robins finding worms and singing from the tree tops, it’s not tank tops and bikinis on our beautiful bodies, or even shorts and flip-flops, none of those things are happening in Lowell.

First boat on the Lochsa

Lowell, Syringa News

Here’s the news, short and sweet. Three Rivers Rafting had the first boat on the Lochsa in 2014, Liam O’Neil was out and about after the highway opened for a few hours.

Ace reporter finds the news

Lowell, Syringa News

Lowell and Syringa, just up the highway from Kooskia, on the banks of the Lochsa and Clearwater Rivers, first week in March, this ace reporter decided nothing was coming in as far as news, so go on out after it. Friday, put on my boots, gloves, scarf, hat, jacket and ski pants, up the Selway River I walked. No trucks, no fellow walkers, no snowmobiles, not even a jogger. Spotted four turkeys and about 25 geese. Saturday, same routine, only it’s raining so took umbrella, same four turkeys and some cougar tracks, no sign of the geese. Sunday, and this time it’s snowing to beat the band, the wind is blowing and it’s a whiteout. No other living human being out and about, no turkeys, no geese, and the cougar must have been heading out of town, no more tracks. Even a cougar sighting or attack would have given me a reason to get up the next day. But nothing, I was “one with the earth,” and the earth was frozen and cold as well as this reporter, I mean ace reporter.

Off the hook ... Phone ringing for whitewater

Lowell, Syringa News

So this morning I got up to no Internet, no news because no TV, the telephone is out, and even my coffeemaker didn’t work, my truck is buried in snow (slash slush), my boots are still wet from yesterday’s digging out, and I can’t find my cat. Highway 12 is closed again due to landslides, and the guy plowed the Selway road about 7 a.m. We do have electricity, thank goodness, and the school bus showed up at exactly the right time, so life goes on in Lowell.

‘Nothing happening’

Lowell, Syringa News

Nothing is happening upriver, no businesses have opened back up yet, no big parties, no rafters or kayakers yet, not even any hunters, and I refuse to stoop so low as to report about rocks on the road or dead raccoons again.

Count blessings in the deep snow

Lowell, Syringa News

Count your blessings, count your blessings, this keeps going over and over in my mind. The snow is deep, the icicles are five feet long, the temperature is dropping, and they didn’t call a snow day at school. Every picture I take is like a whiteout. The traffic moving along Highway 12 is going slow, but it’s going and so are the snowplows.

Basking in the Seahawks win

Lowell, Syringa News

Well the weather outside is frightful, but inside we are all basking in our big Super Bowl win!

Bridge crew moves on in

Lowell, Syringa News

Stock up on hot dogs, chili and football supplies, ‘cause Super Bowl Sunday is on the way. If the power goes out I’m going to shoot myself on the foot! My money is on the Seahawks, but I don’t have much of it to bet!

Taking ‘one step at a time’ with iPod

Lowell, Syringa News

Written on my iPod from Lewiston because of a family emergency. I never thought in a million years I’d be typing with my thumbs and making reservations for the resort 100 miles away from Lowell. It’s like living on the moon!

‘Downright ugly’ month of January

Lowell, Syringa News

Beware the ides of January, for it is wet, cold, windy and downright ugly.

’Twas the week after Christmas

Lowell, Syringa News

Twas the week after Christmas in Syringa and Lowell, we are all hunkered down like a mole in a hole.

Advice: Stay on your diet

Lowell, Syringa News

The snow is falling, the wind is howling and everything is white.

Still gotta buy those gifts!

Lowell, Syringa News

Outside twinkling lights hung up, check. Perfectly shaped six-foot tree cut, decorated and icicled up, check.

EMT party set for this Saturday

Lowell, Syringa News

Snow, sleet, cold, and dark of night will not keep us from the EMT Christmas party this Saturday at the Wilderness Inn. Bring your dish, bring your auction items and bring your snow tires, it starts at 5 p.m.

Muzzleloaders hunt on

Lowell, Syringa News

Rocks and trees down all over Highway 12 today. The poor travelers coming home from the big weekend are having trouble getting from here to there.

No news is good news?

Lowell, Syringa News

The biggest news in Lowell and Syringa is that the river is still running, the birds are still singing, the highway still runs east and west, and we are all still breathing in and out.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment


Information from the Free-Press and our advertisers (Want to add your business to this to this feed?)