Thursday, July 11, 2019

Since I Last Posted

One of the obligations that a family incurs is taking care of each other when the need arises as we grow older. That is where we are at in our lives. Linda's parents are at the age where they need her help. Linda has been doing a great job of becoming a caregiver. She's trying very hard to find a balance with varying degrees of success. We learn new things every day. There is no class or book that helps with this particular time of life. You just have to do your best. She is. This has not been easy but has become very necessary. As we work to make the necessary changes and each of us finds their place in this new "normal", our adventures may be a little closer to home.

How does one have adventures when you cannot leave the area?  I started digging around and found some very old VCR tapes of several trips I took back in the day. I pulled them out and discovered that if I use an old VCR, some peripheral devices and our computer, I could capture segments of the tapes and create videos. Here is one of the first creations I attempted.

Back in 1994, I was presented with a chance to raft the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. This opportunity came up very fast and I had to make a decision to go within a two week period. My supervisor at North Idaho College, David Lindsay, was awesome and agreed that I should not miss this chance of a lifetime, so I committed to the trip and made the work arrangments. Unfortunately, Linda was unable to get that much time off from her teaching job. My next big decision was whether I should enjoy the trip as a passenger or take my Aire Puma (11’ 6” long) and row the big water myself. After a lot of negotiations, I was convinced by my friend, Steve Fitzgerald, that I could make the trip in my own boat. The arrangments being that if the water got too big for my Puma, we would fold it up and put the gear on Steve’s boat for the river miles that I could not complete. With the logistics complete, we loaded gear and drove to Flagstaff, Arizona and met up with the group of boaters. I had never met any of the people on the trip so I was taking another big step into the unknown. The trip had been named “A Journey Down Through Time” and we were totally committed. We put on at Lee’s Ferry on October 14th and took off on November 1st, 226 miles downriver at Diamond Creek, Arizona. I was able to row my boat 87.8 miles of the 226.  As we descended into the canyon, the white water got very large and on the day before Phantom Ranch, I flipped my boat or was ejected from my seat four times. My decision to fold up the boat came mostly due to the fact that every time I had to be pulled from the water, my rescue put all our boaters in danger. It was a hard decision. In the video note how Steve’s boat became loaded. His loaded boat was manageable, but you can see (watch the Crystal Rapid run) that we went through some holes that could have normally been avoided. I feel that due to the weight, we survived the run. In the video, we ran Badger Rapid, mile 7.8, House Rock Rapid, mile 17,  Hance Rapid, mile 76.5 (one of my ejection runs), and one other before my Phantom Ranch takeout at 87.8 miles. Notice the size of the water we ran. Also, know that this group was not into the beauty of the canyon as much as the river running itself. There were few vistas to add to the video or I would have done so. The VCR tapes that I found were not complete. The first tape recorded to a point and then went blank. If you enjoy this video and want to know the entire story of the trip, buy me a Dr. Pepper and I'll fill in all the gaps.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Mid Week Getaway

The Priest Lake Thoroughfare .
Our homes for this week.
The key to retirement camping is to leave your home on Monday and return on Thursday. That is the best camping prior to the end of public school. After school lets out for the summer, it is every RVer for themselves!

We packed up and drove north out Hwy 41, through Rathdrum and Priest River to the end of Priest Lake where we met Daren and Marcy at the Beaver Creek Campground. The camp was virtually empty and so we got a good double site with a lot of sunshine hitting it.
Once we were all set up Daren and I took a hike up the trail towards Upper Priest Lake. We hiked about three miles total, just enough to get good and loose.

No bears around here!
Dinners were created and eaten, and we sat out and talked of past adventures while slapping a mosquito once in a while. We turned in early and slept like logs.

On Tuesday we packed a lunch and all four of us hiked up the trail all the way to Plowboy Campground about a three-mile hike from our rigs.  On the way in we met a couple of hikers and they told us that they had come upon a bear earlier in the morning on the trail. The bear had run away and so they were not bothered. We kept an eye out but saw nothing.  Our hike up to Upper Priest was near perfect and we enjoyed our lunch at Plowboy. The return hike was as nice as the walk in, with no interruptions or visitors.
Phoebe Tip across Upper Priest.

We had a good late afternoon drink and appetizer session then ate dinner and then went off to bed.

Wednesday saw Daren, Marcy and I hiking down the Priest Lakeshore Trail and checking out some of the nice boat-in campgrounds. We hiked to Teacher Bay and I went a little further down the trail to try and get a picture of Chimney Rock. After about a quarter mile I came upon Bottle Bay Campground and decided that I would not get the picture I wanted so I returned to Teacher Bay. We hiked back up the trail and met two mountain bikers, other than that we saw nothing unusual

As we entered the campground it started to rain. We sat out around the fire until about 6:00 PM when the intermittent sprinkles turned into a downpour. By the time we fixed dinner, the rain had socked us in, so Linda and I played Cribbage and washed up a bit. We straightened up the inside of the camper, brushed our teeth and went to bed.
The reward for hiking to Plowboy.
Goblin Knob and the Wigwams.

Thursday, May 23, 2019


3272 miles, 24 nights, four national parks and a host of state campgrounds, what a trip! Both Linda and I agree that it is good to be back home, but we are already planning our next outing. This past one will be hard to beat.

As you know, I found a phone app called Polarsteps. All you do is download the app, create a login and then tell it the day you will leave and return from your trip, it basically does the rest. I would look at the app every night and then take a picture or use a picture I took during the day and that would mark our day of travel. You can see the results below. Very easy to use and in the entire trip there were only two times that something went wrong and the GPS goofed up. Oh, just another toy for me to goof with as we explore.