The weather for this weekend was wonderful, the sun was out and the skies blue. We had heard it was going to be the perfect camping weekend. We called up the Upchurches and met them down at Haybern State Park. Each day we hiked and on Sunday we found two Geocashes. This was our last camping outing for the season. Can't wait for next spring.
The Royal Room in Cottonwood was slightly deserted when we arrived. The pool tournament started at 7 PM and it was now 11:30 PM, so not many players remained. Dan and Mike were playing cutthroat with Teresa and I think there were about four other patrons hanging out at the bar. Jim, Tom and I settled in and started shooting on the second table. It was about 2:00 PM when we left the Royal, Dan and Mike had won ten bucks off a couple of locals, but could only collect two dollars, it was all they had. The rest of us settled for a two to two win-loss record in pool but that didn’t matter because it was real late. I drove folks back to the hotel and we all crashed amidst snores, farts and cigarette smoked cloths. Tomorrow we would be on the river.
Morning came fast and we packed up the rigs, ate breakfast and hit the road for Pine Bar. The sun was out and we had a slight over cast, but all in all the weather was perfect. Launch was easy and we proceeded on down to our first camp at Killer Goat Beach. Tom and I prepared the first meal. I used two 12” dutch ovens and produced a Louisiana concoction that Tom’s brother-in-law had showed me and it was a hit. Barely has any leftovers and that put the heat on the rest of the group to produce a meal that matched ours. The group consisted of Tim, Dan Breeden, Tom Husby, Mike Wassmuth, Dan Redline, CurtFranson, Jack Green, Jim Bellatty and I. After dinner everyone settled in and the river stories started to flow. The late night on Thursday, the launch on the river, a big meal all made for an early evening for the boys because tomorrow we fish.
We floated and fished down thought the Cougar Canyon. Tom ran all the rapids in great form. I think we only got about a gallon of water in the boat through all the rapids. China had the big hole which we skirted on the left. Our camp would be on the beach directly across from the cabin with the air strip. Mike and Dan put out their plainer boards and we settled in for another dinner. The dinner tonight was Danbo and Mike's. They made a dutch oven sweet and sour halibut feast. So far two dinners and very little left over, imagine that.
Next morning Tom, Curt, Jack and Jim hiked up to the top of the oxbow. I stayed on the beach swam and fished. The rest of the group set off down the river to fish and find the next camp. Once the four hikers got back from their hike we set off down river fishing and enjoying the sun.
The third night’s camp was set up at Wapshillia. It was Jim and Jacks night for dinner and they did it up right. Chicken, dogs and Jack Daniels BBQ sauce was served hot off the grill. We ate and, of course, left overs were few.
Our fourth nigh camp was at Fly Beach located just above Sluicebox Rapids. Tim and Dan provided a huge sloppy joe meal. They filled two 12" dutch ovens and we ate them both. In the morning we got up and Tom and I left camp much earlier then pervious mornings (or in this case afternoons). Our goal was to row out leaving the motoring to the rest of the group. We fished hard on the way out and caught a ton of bass. The group passed us at Coon Hollow, but we weren’t to far behind and got to the ramp as they finished up the take down and load up. Tom backed down the trailer and we loaded it up and hit the road. We got back to Cd'A about 7:00 PM.
With the camper packed Linda, Baka and I set our sights for the Priest Lake area. We had heard form a park ranger that the campground at Reeder Bay was open so we thought we would high tail it up that direction and stake out a spot for the weekend. We took Highway 41 North to Newport and then hung a right and followed Highway 2 into Priest River. Priest Lake is a great spot but we seldom travel this way because of the Washington population that takes over the area in the summer. I guess we should be a little more forgiving of our neighbors, but it seems like we seldom see Idaho license plates when we drive up there.
When we arrived at the campground we were one of two campers in the area. By the end of the weekend our group grew to about four campsites, but they were spread through out the area and none of the groups bothered the others. Our site overlooked the lake and included a fire pit and picnic table.
Linda and I set up the camper and detached the Jeep. By the time everything was in place the sun had gone down. The week had taken its toll and we stayed awake just long enough to eat and settle in to the camper.
Next morning we loaded up and drove up to Beaver Creek Campground. The trail into the upper lake is one of our favorites. We hiked into Plowboy Camp and checked out Upper Priest.
On the way back we found some firewood. We used the new chainsaw to cut it up and that worked out great. I now have an idea how much wood is needed for a weekend fire pit.
The evening’s events focused around our meal. I made up a rice dinner and corn bread both were cooked in the dutch ovens. Everything turned out fantastic, which proved to be a big mistake because we ate until we were so full we couldn’t move.
After dinner we watched Jack Black in The School of Rock. Yes, I know we were camping, but it was dark and cold and well I had my laptop. What can I say. We stayed up until about 10 PM. If we didn’t watch the movie we probably would have went to bed by 8:30 PM. It was a funny movie but I would not highly recommend it to everyone.
We got up the next morning and I cooked breakfast. Linda started the campfire and we sat around while the sun burned the fog off the lake. We could not have asked for a better weekend.
Another weekend and another mini adventure. This time we are traveling to Lake Wenatchee State Park to visit Leavenworth and watch the NICOP crew run in the Challenge the Lake Adventure Race. We loaded up the dog and took off at about 4:00 PM on Friday. We had several printouts describing where we would be going, but I didn't toss in a driving map. As we neared Wenatchee, we started to be a little concerned because all the printouts said was turn off Highway 2 and go north. Where was Highway 2? After much debate Linda reread the info sheets and there it was a little phrase, but an important one. It said, "Coming from Wenachee going west". Oh, west of Wenachee we would find Highway 2! So we were looking too early! Yup, we found the Highway and then the turn and finally the campground. It pays to read everything.
We set up camp at campsite 74. It was a good one that had quite a bit of privacy. We had stopped in town at a Bavarian SUBWAY and bought sandwiches. Couldn't taste any difference from non-Bavarian SUBWAYs, but they hit the spot for our evening meal.
We went to bed at about 9:00PM read and fell asleep to the rain on the top of the camper. It is a nice sound and makes it real hard to keep your eyes open while you read. Next morning we got up and looked around the campgrounds. It's a real big place with quite a few things for people to do during the camping season. This weekend everything was closed, so we did a nice long hike. Later in the day we took a ride to the north campground and checked it out. The south campground is much nicer, but probably gets a lot more use. After the ride we came back and took a nap, cooked dinner and ate.
By that time it was getting dusk so we went for another walk. Just as we came to the main road at the campgrounds the Outdoor Pursuits Adventure Race Team showed up. They found a spot and we chatted for a bit. They got ready for bed but before they turned in they came over and brought some cake. It was Rachel's birthday so we were able to enjoy some of her cake and wish her happy birthday.
The next morning was the race. We met the team down at the beach and watched them prepare. They hadn't trained together at all and I don't think Paul or Jon had trained any personally. There was a good crowd so I think they were a little excited to get it all over with. They were in the race because they had won their division last year and were invaded back at not entry fee. It's a fun event and participating gives us some good ideas for our event in the spring.
The race began and I took pictures of the start, kayak leg and the transition to Mt. Bike. The total race would take about four hours and Linda and I didn't want to stay all that time so as soon as they left on the bikes we returned to our campsite and packed up. On the drive home we followed Highway 2 back through some smaller towns like Davenport. Wasn't eventful, we did see a coyote running along the road. Got a good look before he rambled into the sage.
The OP Team took first in their division and 3rd overall. Should have had second, but they had a little problem with the last challenge and one team passed them.
Headed up to the 14 mile camp for the weekend. The camp area was looking good, a little dusty but at least the trash had been picked up. We had our usual chili and Fritos for Friday night and then made a pasta meal on Saturday. Fished and hiked and on Saturday evening we spotted a little bear about a quarter mile up river on the far bank. It was trying to climb up a little tree to eat something but the limbs of the tree kept breaking and it finally moved off into the woods. We got up and put things away and headed into town. Monday we plan to go shopping.
Traveled down to Lewiston, Idaho on Friday night and set up our camper at Hells Gate State Park. The drive down was uneventful except for the crazy drivers in Spokane. We stopped a Quiznos in Lewiston and picked up a couple sandwiches before going to the park and once we got the rig set up we ate our dinner while the sun went down. We then walked the dog and rode our bikes, almost hitting deer and a mole.
Next morning we got up with the sun and Linda competed in the Hells Gate Duathlon. She did real well. Linda's parents drove down and were present to cheer her on. Some hasher friends were there and Linda started the race with them and ran the first leg along side, Boots.There time was real good and by the end Linda was 14 seconds behind Nuts and quite a bit ahead of Boots. She came in first in her age group and above the middle of the entire pack of runners. It was good for Linda to have her Mom and Dad there to root her on and running with Boots really pushed her to go faster. We drove to Linda's parents and set up the camper for the night. We went shopping and for dinner Linda's Dad made some great hamburgers on the BBQ. We slept well got up and then drove home, ending another Canyonwren adventure.
Pine Bar to Heller Bar was the plan. We had been talking this trip up to the Upchurches for the past year and now it was time to get it together and show them what we do every summer.
We put on the river just about 11:00 AM and pushed on down, our goal was about 12 miles down which would be somewhere around 2 miles below Killer Goat Beach. That was the plan, but the wind came up and the weather moved in making progress a little slower then anticipated. The wind was blowing upstream making rowing a little hard. Rain added to the fun, but wasn't too uncomfortable. We selected a camp below KGB on river left. It was a smaller beach that had two camp areas separated by a mote. Darren created a rock bridge and dry passage was achieved.
The second of the summer’s duathlons provided Linda with another challenge. The bike leg was not as smooth and clean as a person might want and the organization of the event was peaty poor. We started our morning by hunting for the start line with several other duathloners. No one could figure out where things were to take place but that didn't matter, "It's just a duathlon." The idea that if you don't swim you're not a athlete is something Linda hates, but all those tri-athletes keep bringing that forward every chance they get.
Linda did real well in the event and even received another ribbon for her division. I quess I did well by reading two chapters in my book and listening to my ipod.
Next duathlon is in Lewiston and is a sprint race, what ever that is.
After two days of Linda and I lounging on the beach, we packed up and floated down to the Pine Bar put in. Approaching from up stream we checked out the campground above the put in and noted that they have a pump for water. This is good to know if you don't want to haul water down to the put-in, and we had never looked over the camping area so that gave us some good reference information. The rapid above the put-in had about three slots you could use to get down, I chose the center right run and we had no problem getting through. When we arrived at Pine Bar the group had not gotten there so Linda went for a run and I read my book. The wind came up and was blowing sand everywhere. Our boat was getting covered with the dust, so after Linda finished running we loaded up and ferried across the river into an eddy that was in the shade where we washed the boat off with our squirt gun. By the time we finished the group had arrived so we crossed back and lent a hand with the set up of boats and the stowing of gear. The group consisted of the Outdoor Pursuits staff, Paul, Jon and Rachel and employees of NIC. We were working to put together a paddle boat, a gear boat and two boats with gear and passengers. OP put the trip together as a team builder for the staff and everyone who signed up was very excited. The group consisted of Erna Rhinehart and Ron Cole; Tami Haft and Bob Grigg, Rolly and Jeannie Jurgens; Betsy and Todd Conery; Holly and Ryan Edwards; Ernie and Linda Michal-Hawks; Steve and Karen Ruppel; Chris and Carmen Compton. When we ferried across the river everyone had already been assigned duties and the boats and equipment were comming together. Once everything was stored we had a brief chat about river safety and off we went.
The plan was to float down to some where by Killer Goat Beach and camp. We made the miles in good time but the camps we were thinking of were taken so we pushed on and found a good one on river left at (45 58.301N 116 28.043W). We ate dinner, sat around and talked. Most folks were in bed by 9:30 PM that evening.
The morning brought coffee and breakfast. We didn't hurry to get on the river so we started floating about 11:00 AM. Ahead of us we had most of the bigger rapids. Entering the Green Canyon and Cougar Canyon we would face such rapids as Lorna's Lulu, the two Bunghole Rapids, Harm's Hole Rapid, Bodacious Bounce, Half and Half Rapid and then Snow Hole Rapid. Snow Hole is considered the "big one" on the Lower Salmon and our group scouted it from the left bank. Linda and I went down first and had a good run. The group did excellent and everyone made it through in style. I set up in the eddy located below the tooth rock on the right and took pictures. They are posted on our photo page and available as a dotPhoto slide show.
Lunch, shade, and cool drink followed the run through Snow Hole. Our camp for the night was somewhere down river below China Rapid. We continued down around the oxbow past Maloney Creek, the Northern most point on the Salmon River, and we came to China Rapids, a blind class III s-curve, that managed to part Steve Ruppel from his boat and crew. It was only a short separation, everyone was right there to help gather the floaters and help right the boat. Jon, Paul and Steve flipped it back upright with very little effort. Little gear was lost and nothing was hurt except for a little pride and some confidence. The second night camp was just across from a private cabin that has a landing strip. It was a great beach with lots of camp sites and some shade up in the Locus Trees. There were a few bees and a couple folks got stung but other then that it was a good camp. After dinner people sat around and talked until dark. Some when to bed and everyone listen to Erna as she laughed so hard she fell over in her chair. I was in bed, but the next day everyone was smiling about the noise.
The next morning we loaded and set off traveling through the Cottonwood Creek area. Linda and I were talking about a beach we liked that was located just at the end of the small rapid leading into the slow water before Wapshilla Rapid and entered the Black Canyon with Frog Beach set as a stopping point. Some of the group wanted to keep going, but the majority wanted to stay the night and do a day hike to the top of a small peak. Once again dinner was great and we turned in early so we could get on as soon as possible for the push down river to the takeout.
Making sure we have everything has become a game with Linda and I. Prior to leaving we ask about items that we may have forgotten and all the way down to the river one of us will suddenly say "did you put in the...?" There was nothing missing for our trip that we could find and I guess that is good. We got to the White bird Motel and Shuttle Service (208 839-2308) and talked to Carveth right on schedule. Smelled like old Carveth had been cooking cabbage in his place, but he was happy to see us and promised that our rig was safe with him.
We drove to the Hammer Creek put-in and it was hot! All we had to do there was fill our water jugs and back the trailer in and we were off. Of course the launch ramp was full. Full of TWO old farts putting together two cats! To the left were three spots open and ready for building boats. In the middle of the ram were the two cats, just the cats and gear, blocking all access. No they could not have set their gear and boats to the left side and put them together there. It all had to be in the middle of the ramp.
I backed down and one of the old farts grumbled and swore, but with my help, move the boat off the ramp to the right and within two minutes Linda and I were launched and off down river.
Our goal was to get down a few miles and set up our camp where we could stay for the next two days. The camp we found was on river left; just past the end of the road that provides access on the right bank. Our campsite was perfect. We had sand and a great place to swim. ( GPS Coords. 45 50.047N 116 18.040W) Our plan for a layover before meeting the rest of the NIC group was a good one. We lounged under the shade of the para-wing and unwound from the prior weeks of preparation. I backed down and one ot the old farts grumbled and swore, but with my help, we move the boat off the ramp to the right and within two minutes Linda and I were launched and off down river.
Our goal was to get down a few miles and set up our camp where we ould stay for the next two days. The camp we found was on river left, just past the end of the road that provides access on the right bank. Our campsite was perfict. We had sand and a great place to swim. ( GPS Coords. 45 50.047N 116 18.040W) Our plan for a layover before meeting the rest of the NIC group was a good one. We lounged under the shade of the para-wing and unwound from the prior weeks of preperation.
So the plan was to get into the camper and travel to Slate Creek by dropping down via the cut off on Moon Pass. We got all of our stuff loaded up (we thought) and took off at about 12:30 PM. No problems were encountered and we filled up at Wallace prior to heading up the pass.
The road over Moon Pass was real good, dusty but real smooth for this time of the year and we made good time. At the top Linda and I were talking and just drove on by the turn we wanted to take which would drop us down the valley into Slate Creek. On we drove down the road into the drainage leading us into the St. Joe via the road to Avery. This was not what we wanted to do but at that point we had decided that it would work out fine. This is the road that many take to the bottom or the Hiawatha Trail and it became busier as we drove. Camp sites were few and far between but we pushed on down to the St. Joe and turned east to see if we could find a camp spot.
No deal, I guess you can't get a spot unless you drive up on Wednesday or Thursday. There were a couple spots but they were close to the road and we didn't want to watch Baca that close. So on we drove.
At the top of the pass we took a tour out on the ridge to the west to a place at the base of Flat Top Mountain. The weather starting changing and the wind picked up so we turned around and backtracked to the main road. From there we drove to St. Regis and decided to eat dinner.
We chose Jaspers Restaurant at the west end of town. What a mistake! The place has to be the worst restaurant in the world. I mean it! The couple behind us was ignored so often that the guy got up and started serving water and other things to the folks around us. One couple actually thought he was a bus boy working there.
We ate, paid and got back on the road heading home. At the 10,000 Dollar Bar, I noticed a car next to us and the driver was waving. I immediately asked Linda if we had left the camper door open but she said no. I pulled over and low and behold it was the bus boy/waiter/customer from Jaspers. He was so excited that he was able to catch us. He told me he drove 90 mile and hour, but he knew he could do it. Linda had left her little purse with her drivers license and credit cards on the counter and when they noticed it he said he could catch us. They would not give him the cards to deliver, but that was ok, he knew he could catch us. So we thanked him profusely and headed back to St. Regis. We watched for his car back at the restaurant but he didn't return. We wanted to give him some cash for his effort, maybe buy him breakfast and someplace other then Jaspers.
The drive back was uneventful and we arrived in Post Falls about 11:00 PM. We drove about six hours and covered a lot of dirt roads. It was fun but it was exhausting so I went right to bed and slept hard. We plan to go back to the Slate Creek area by the end of the summer and I promise to pay attention at the top of the pass.
We awoke to a complete weather change. Rain and wind came in last night and it looked like it would stay. Our nights lodging was less then great, as we tried to get to sleep the people up stairs were letting their kids run back and forth bumping into the walls. Mike called their room and asked them to quiet down which did the trick.
Everyone met at a local cafe for breakfast. We had heard they had big pancakes and that was the clincher. As our morning advanced folks said their good byes and headed home. We loaded up and drove north.
At the top of the hill outside Lewiston we started feeling a vibration in the truck. We thought it was the road brought on by all the construction. So we stopped and checked the load but saw nothing. Just out side of Moscow we heard a whoosh and a thump and the vibration stopped. On the edge of Moscow we stopped for gas and as we were leaving Mike noticed that the tread on the trailer tire had come completely off. The tire was holding air but it definitely needed changing. Mike swapped it with the spare and then we drove around Moscow looking for Les Schwab. Once we found it we had Les check the air and chatted about why our tire came apart.
Everything went well and we made good time the rest of the way to Cd'A. It didn't take long to unload at the Beckwith’s, so we made it home early enough to put our equipment away and clean some of the cloths. It was a wonderful trip, both Linda and I were so glad we were able to go.
We woke up to another beautiful morning. Every night has been perfect and very restful. With only about eleven miles to travel to the take out we didn't have to rush to load. Everyone packed up and pushed off. Our rapid challenges for the day were Dried Meat Rapids, Chittam Rapids and Vinegar Creek Rapids. The Carey Creek Takeout (45 27.166N 115 56.829W 2001 ft. elev.) was a little busy when we arrived, but it didn't take long for our turn and the load up went smooth from there.
Driving back on the curvy narrow road was an experience. The incoming drivers were crazy and they kept Mike on his toes. We arrived in Riggins and went directly to the motel. Oh, how a shower can feel so good after a trip!
We met at the Salmon River Inn for food; most of the group had pizza. While in the restaurant the wind had picked up signaling a definite change in the weather. We returned to the hotel and turned in for the night.
Day two on the water began at about 11:30 AM. No hurry because we had another short day of about 6 miles. The rapids we came upon this day were Lantz Rapid and Devil's Teeth, both were class II-III and we handled them with no problems. Blackadar Camp 45 28.012N 114 57.237W 2730 ft. elev. was our intended camp site and it was another good one. Jim and Clair cooked Chicken Cacciatore and provided all the Italian flair with the meal.
Bocce and cards we the games of choice for this evening and everyone enjoyed the camp and the telling of river stories.
Morning brought French toast and all the fixins' provided by the Fuhrmans. Jim and Clare arrived at about 10:00 AM and got their boat loaded. We met with the Forest Service employee and had a very abbreviated river talk. (She was hung over I guess.) and then we pushed off. Our goal for the day was Lantz Bar a whole six miles of river. Jim Clift had suggested this so that we could get some of the good camp sites later on, the only draw back was on one day we would have to do about 28 river miles to make up for the shorter days.
There were very few rapids of any consequence today so everything went smooth and we were at camp and stayed at Lance Bar 45 25181N 114 51.838W 2804 ft. elev. Dinner Crew as Terry Beckwith and Steve Kuhn who fixed a great meal of pork loin with all the sides.
The Bocce Ball tradition began with two rounds occuring before night set in.
We arrived at the Beckwith's at about 7:30 AM on Saturday July 1, 2005 to load the final items into the cooler and start our journey. Friday afternoon we had brought our boat and gear over and had completed almost all the loading by 5:00 PM. Saturday was more of a rendezvous with the Fuhrman's then anything else. Once we got them together we drove out to 4th of July Pass and met up with the Sutherland's and the Fitz/Julie/Sam Team. Everyone was on time so with the greetings under our belts we caravanned off to the river.
Each vehicle in our group had a different fuel capacity so by the time we hit Superior Montana the string of boats was split up and we were basically on our own. Mike decided to take the Petty Creek cut off to avoid the traffic of Missoula. The road was pretty good and we made good time. Of course we stopped at the Lumberjack Bar to have a beer and go to the restroom. It hasn't changed a bit. The young girl tending the bar was very nice and we talked population growth and how times are a changing.
Next stop was Lolo where we met up with the group that went through Missoula. We would have been quite a bit ahead of them if we hadn't stopped at the Lumberjack. With some gas in vehicles and everyone back on the same trail we moved on to Hamilton where the Beckwiths, Sutherlands and Bennetts stopped at SUBWAY for some food and again the restrooms.
Lunch was short and sweet and we were back on the road and in Northfork by about 3:30 PM. We stopped at the Lewis and Clark where we met up with everyone including Doren, our shuttle driver and long time friend of the Beckwith's and Clift's. We moved on down river and got to Corn Creek (45 22.177N 114 41.199W - 2256 ft. elev.) where we set up our boats and spent the night.
Dinner was provided by the trip leader, Jim Fuhrman and LeeAnn. The stew really hit the spot and by the end of dinner most everyone was ready for bed.
On Wednesday 29th at 5:00 PM the Bennett's were making arraignments to go camping for the holiday some where in Idaho beginning Thursday night. At 6:30 PM we had been plied with liquor and had our arms twisted, so we had agreed to head to Northfork Montana on Saturday to join the Fuhrman Main Salmon River Trip. The next two days were spent gathering our gear, purchasing food and drinks, and assuring Linda that this trip is going to be just fine.
Last weekdend (06/12/05) Linda participated in the Post Falls Duathlon. If you are interested in the results Click Here! I have listed her personal results below:
4 02:01:10.00 46 H21 108 BENNETT, Linda R Post Falls ID --SPLITS--> LEG 1: 00:25:21.00 LEG 2: 01:09:35.00 LEG 3: 00:26:14.00
Notes: She was 4th our of 10 in her age group. She finished 1 minute behind 3rd place. (That was with cramps!) She took 12 minutes off her time from last year. Her bike split time was faster than the overall women's champ!