Sunday, July 27, 2014

St Joe Birthday

Happy birthday to you,
happy birthday to you,
happy birthday dear Linda,
happy birthday to you!

Linda's birthday breakfast.
July 24th is the most important day of the year and this year we spent that day up on the St. Joe River camping with friends at Huckelbery Campground. We caravaned up to the campground with Bill and Teri Burch and grabbed two camp spots.  The place was packed!  Our sites were next to each other and very nice.  We had a great evening of sitting around the campfire and just resting.

The next day Ryan, Holly, Zane and Anica Edwards drove up and camped with us.  Ryan's dad Russ joined us and spent a night around the fire.  Ryan and I went fly fishing and we really had a good time. Back at the campground the kids went swimming and had a lot of fun.

Fudge brownies after birthday dinner.
On Linda's birthday we were joined by Rayelle, Mike and Julia Anderson and we celebrated Linda's big day all together.  We had a great trip, I got to fish and Kobi was kept real busy by the kids.

On the way home we were lucky and Linda spotted a big old cow moose eating in one of the marshes next to the road.  If I am not mistaken this is the eleventh moose I have been able to see this year.

Campfire fun.
Blowing bubbles.
Breakfast of champions!
Look at this photo.
Then look at this one. Coincidence? Hummm...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Great Moose Hunt & Family Visit

FSR 202 Moose
When Linda's sister and family visit we have to fill almost every moment with a hike or some other activity, that is just the way it is, no exceptions. Well at least that's they way it always feels, there is so little time and so much to do that we have to keep moving to get it all done!

 This visit I was called on by the family to do one thing and one thing only. I was asked to take them out and show them a live moose in the wild.  The moose is Kenyon's, my nephew, favorite animal and he had never seen one in the wild.  Most of their family had never spotted a wild moose before so this was my job for their visit, find a moose. 

Three days prior to their visit I posted to Facebook requesting that if anyone were to spot a moose over the next few days that they let me know where and when  this happened.  I had many suggestions and quite a few of my friends spotted moose during that time frame. I also decided to drive up one of the local roads where folks say they had spotted moose. Forest Service Road 202 goes from the Wolf Lodge area up and over the mountains to the area leading to the Coeur d'Alene River from Fernan saddle. As I drove this road a cow moose jumped out in front of me and ran down the road.  I nearly hit her!

I now had many options for the day that we were to hunt for the moose and this told me that on this day every moose in North Idaho would be on vacation over in Montana and we would not see a track during our hunt!

On Tuesday of their visit we loaded all six of us into their van and left Coeur d'Alene city limits at 5 AM. Our destination was Big Hank Campground on the Coeur d'Alene River.  I figured that if we could not find a moose up in that area by this campground then I would know they were all Big Sky bound.

We drove up the river road and Linda and I told stories of seeing moose, coyotes, elk, and deer all along our path.  We drove slowly and as we came around a corner there they were, a cow moose and her calf! We had found the moose!  The two of them ran along the road as we slowly followed.  The bank was steep on each side of this area so they trotted on along river side.  Finally we were able to coax them across the road and up into the woods.  This happened just about 30 seconds before a large truck came speeding around a corner.  We were glad they ducked across when they did.

Driving on, just before Big Hank, we were moving slowly along the bogs off the right side of the road when I heard the splashing of a bull moose in the thick brush down below.  We stopped and were able to spot the young bull before he crossed away and disappeared into the woods.

Three moose in one morning!  My work was done and everyone was happy.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hot on the Salmon

The Fuhrman's, as they are referred to, have an annual Lower Salmon float so Linda and I invited our selves along this year. We put on at Hammer Creek located near Whitebird, Idaho. For a Saturday put-on there were very few boats launching so things went real smooth.  Our group consisted of the Fuhrman's; which included Jim and his wife Leann, Mike Fuhrman, and Conor and his wife Mica. Steve and Julie Fitzgerald, Sharon and Greg Perry and finally the Bennett's rounded out the flotilla. We floated down about six miles and set up our first camp.  The weather was hot during the entire trip and once on the beach we hunkered down under our umbrellas at the waters edge.

The second day we made our way down to White House Bar and set up our cam there.  Note to self, this beach may seem nice but the sun goes down late and then it comes up early so if it is hot you spend a lot of time hunkered down.  We had rain this night so Linda and I had to scramble and set up our tent in the middle of a great sleep.

We floated down to just above Wapshilla and stayed the night.  The next morning everyone except for the Fitzgeralds and our boat went on down the river and we spent a layover day under our umbrellas.


Every time I went to the John this guy talked to me.

The Fuhrman's left on Tuesday and that left the Fitzgearld's and our boat on the beach for a lay-over day.

The Chinese miners who worked the area lived here.

The white layer is said to be ash from the Crater Lake eruption.


Little snake in the pool behind our camp.

We floated out and down past the confluence of the Snake River and the Salmon on Wednesday. When we reached Heller Bar, the take out, the truck temperature gauge said it was 110 degrees out. Now keep in mind that the trucks were sitting in the sun. Fitz had to use gloves to drive his rig because the steering wheel was to hot. In Lewiston we got a reading on a bank of 106 degrees and our truck read 105 so I'm going with that.

Akbar, our Snake River boatman moves us down river.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Morning Hikes

We loaded up the Jeep and headed south to the Hyalite Drainage to do a couple of day hikes. Kobi in the middle, Linda navigating and yours truly behind the wheel. Our first hike came after we had driven about twelve miles up some curvy forest roads.  Most of the drive was on pavement so we had no excitement in old Stinky Jeep.

We parked in a well used parking lot and followed the paved trail up to Palisade Falls. Linda noted that the falls were beautiful and majestic but would not be considered spectacular. The falls drop 80 feet along the face of a basalt cliff.  We took some pictures and let Kobi splash in the water a bit then we hiked back to the Jeep and followed our original path back down the mountain road to a new trailhead.

This trail is a 10.2 mile loop that passes by History Rock. Our plan was to hike to the rock and back and that is exactly what we did.  The trail was well used and led through two nice meadows and up a valley. We probably hiked about two miles and came to History Rock. The rock is a sandstone rock face sticking out of the mountain side right next to the trail.  People have scratched, drilled, hammered, sawed and cut their names and date they were there all over the faces of the rock. It was a bit disappointing and looked more like a big sad defaced rock then anything else.  We looked for old dates but only found 1972 as the oldest. I read a post by someone on the web that said they found a name and date from the 40's, but we didn't see any- thing like that. I felt that instead of calling it History Rock they should just call it Carved Up Rock. Linda did find that a person put in a lot of effort to apologize for defacing nature by carving the words "I'm sorry". You can see it in the photo.

We drove back to our camper and snoozed the afternoon away preparing for the big evening festivities and the reason we were here. (For the wedding write-up see the previous post.)

We can't really accept this apology.
Guess it's ok to deface this rock!

Cool mountain water is all I need.