Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Bees and then Rain

Sunset at the bee camp.
What better time and day to leave to go camping then 11:11 AM on a Sunday afternoon.  The plan was that every weekender would pack up camp by about 1:00 PM and head back to get ready for their work week. The Bennetts, on the other hand, were ready to get out and freeze their little butts off.

Our destination for this week was the old Coeur d’Alene River.  We had not camped up the river all summer and we felt that with the colder weather we would get a chance to see some of the early fall colors. We didn’t have an actual camp area picked out, we were just going to drive and see what was available.

Checking where we went and where we are going.
Camp turned out to be the one we call “the rock beach” camp.  It was the camp that we were staying at when we locked our keys in the truck and had to call Rayelle and Mike Anderson to drive up and rescue us. The camp was open to the sun which would provide warmth for our souls as well as solar power for the camper.

Set up was quick and as we established camp we noticed one thing. Yellow Jackets!  We were there and our gear was set so we decided to get in the Jeep and take a drive.  It was early afternoon and our plan was to be out long enough so that it got cold and the bees would go in their hive.
Books and tea by the morning fire.
We jumped in Stinky Jeep and drove upriver to Flat Creek where we followed road #400 up into the back country.  #400 was a good road; it wound around and curled up over Flat Creek Saddle and then dropped down to Steamboat Creek.

Now I make it sound like we knew where we were all the time, but actually we had forgot the map back at camp and were driving blind. We knew that we would eventually come upon a directional sign or a map. Eventually we did just that!
 We ended up following Steamboat Creek down where we met the old Coeur d’Alene River Road located on the opposite side of the river that we had traveled up on.  We drove downriver and were able to cross over to the regular road at the bridge leading up the Little North Fork in the direction of Bumblebee Campground.
This put us about 33 miles downriver.  If you were to look at a map, you would see that the river made a big V with the main river road following it. We had cut straight across from the top of one arm of the V, directly to the top of the other arm by way of several ridges.  We figured all this out when we got back to camp and looked at the map.

Pbbbt... Hunting season starts next week!
The trip in the Jeep worked to keep us out of the bugs and when we returned the sun set and we had our dinner.  We heated up leftovers and played cards until we couldn’t keep our eyes open. It was a cold night but our bed was warm and comfortable.
 The next morning the valley was fogged in. We built a fire and warmed up with coffee and muffins.  As soon as we got ready we were in the Jeep again. This time we had a map, food, and water.We drove down to Teddy Creek and followed road #802 up along the ridge tops.  We stopped several times and looked for game, but found none.  We did however find a real nice stack of firewood which we loaded into Stinky.  The road wound around and then dropped down to the main river road at Venus Creek.  We really liked this road; it was very smooth and had some great views of the mountains around us.
Hot baked goods and coffee!

Back at camp all hell broke loose.  The Yellow Jackets were out with vengeance in their eyes.  They were everywhere and relentless.  Linda and I made the decision to get the heck out of there so we packed up and fled.  We ended up down river at Juniper Creek camp.  It was just off the river road, but provided a spectacular view upriver.  We spent the evening watching the water flow and the leaves change color; happy that we made the move.
The rain came in just before sunset and continued through out the night.  We broke on of our rules and let Kobi in the camper. It was just to wet and cold for him to be out side and it would be a real long night if we stuck him in the truck.  He enjoyed being with us, but when the thunder came through, he climbed under the camper table.
How would you like looking at this every morning?
The rain continued and we went to bed.  The next morning we awoke to more rain.  For breakfast I baked orange rolls in the oven.  We sat and drank coffee eating hot rolls. Linda was looking up river when she spotted a cow Elk walking down river on the far bank.  We had taken two drives over the past two days.  Our goal was to spot some game and we saw nothing.  All it took was a couple of hot drinks and some fresh baked goods and the game just paraded in front of us.
By 11:00 AM the rain had not let up so we decided to pack it up and come home.  We could have stayed and kept warm and dry in the camper, but we'll have plenty of days ahead to do that.

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