Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Finally, A Long Weekend!

Our camper was stuffed to the brim by Tuesday night. I believe we have enough food for a two week trip, but I could be exaggerating a bit. Our long weekend plans led us south to Freeman Creek Campground on Dworshak State Park. Darren and Marcy Upchurch drove down earlier in the day while Linda and I had to work a half day before leaving. The drive down was pretty uneventful; we took the route through Moscow, Troy and Kendrick and then jumped onto the Cavendish Highway (P1) leading through Cameron and Southwick. We geared way down as we dropped to the reservoir. There are four amazing switchbacks and a few normal switchbacks on

the long steep road into Freeman Creek. We had the Ipod on and were singing along as we navigated the turns. I think the music kept Linda's mind off the crazy roads.

We pulled into our weekend quarters, #15, about 3.5 hours after we left Coeur d'Alene. The Upchurch's were all set up and sitting outside their coach. Linda directed me back into our spot, we made a couple of adjustments and we were level so I shut her down. It was probably the easiest set up we have ever had. The set up has gotten very routine once we are level. Each of us has our little jobs and we can get the entire place ready in about fifteen minutes.

Freeman Creek was very quiet at this point. We counted about six rigs camped in the 94 or so available spots. The quiet will not last much past Friday morning, the Memorial Day weekend traditionally marks the start of the family camping season and most areas are packed with people on every weekend from here on out. I think this is one of the few times we have camped at a state park on the big weekend. We chose this area based upon on our last visit. We knew that all the camp spots in the non-hookup area were larger and spread farther apart then most other campgrounds.

We sat and talked with Darren and Marcy while the sun set.

Thursday morning we got up and ate breakfast, and then hung out at our camp. It was quiet and just resting in the sun was the best. Dinner was on the Upchurche's. Darren and Marcy mixed up a great Dutch oven chicken pot pie. We all dug in and had a wonderful meal. After dinner I tossed the Chuck-it for Kobi. Kobi will chase the ball for ever. When the sun set I put the ball away and we went to bed.

Morning coffee and tea opened our eyes to a beautiful day. We all gathered over at our camper and bathed in the sun. We munched on some breakfast and played toss with Kobi. As we watched the rest of the camp start to fill we looked over our shoulder and spotted the smiling face of Mike Wassmuth. Mike drove down with his boat and planned to stay until Sunday. Once he got settled the two of us took his boat and went fishing. We were out all day but we only caught five fish. We fished south of the boat launch.

When we returned I made our group meal. I had planned our meal and guess what I had planned? Right, chicken pot pie! Two nights in a row! Both were constructed a bit differently, but basically the same. Once again the meal was great. As we started the meal John and Loretta Sutherland arrived and as we ate they set up their camper. After dinner we all sat around and talked as the campground came alive. The noise level increased as the campers around us got into the weekend and the brews. At about 9:30 PM everyone started to go to bed, too bad the rest of the Freeman Creek gang didn't go to bed as early.

On Saturday the boys loaded up their boats and the three of us headed out. The day was clear and hot, but the fishing was lukewarm at best. Mike landed the Triple Crown by catching a Rainbow Trout, a Kokanee and a few Small Mouth Bass. John was skunked for the day but had a good time in his boat. I caught a bunch of Small Mouth, and ended the day with the most caught and released. Sometime during the day when we were close to shore and I took a picture of the foam that had built up there. The foam came from waves and then was pushed together up on the shoreline.

Back at camp we all put our resources together and had a great BBQ dinner. Camp wasn't as loud as Friday night but we had fun watching all the happenings around the area. It was great to talk to everyone around the campfire; I know that this is one of the best things about the summer camping season.

Sunday, Mike packed up and took off to visit his parents in Grangeville. I really enjoyed fishing and visiting with him this weekend, Linda mentioned the same thing as we drove back home Monday. John and I loaded up and went fishing again. At one point in the day we spotted a bat swimming toward the shore, we stopped to watch and take some pictures, it was real strange. It as another hard day and we earned the three fish we caught. Now everyday that I fished, Linda and the rest of the gang went on hikes and walks around the camp area.

Monday we packed up and drove back via Deary and Potlatch. It was nice to see different country side as we traveled. The weekend was one of the best we have had in a long time. Our friends were great to be with, we enjoyed their company immensely.

Guess What This Is?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Clark Fork River Rafting

As part of the end of the year program for ASNIC we loaded up the vans and cursed over to the Clark Fork River. I left about three hours before the rest of the group so that I could secure a campsite at the Forest Grove Fishing access. I arrived and parked in the site we wanted, set up the camper, and sat out in the sun looking at the river.

I had a wonderfully quiet two hour wait for the vans to arrive and I really took advantage of the time to sleep and wander about the camping area.

When everyone arrived they set up the tents and then immediately started playing Bolo Toss. I cooked dinner; we had barbecue chicken and all the fixings. By the end of dinner it was late and everyone sat around the fire telling stories and playing games. I went to bed about 10:30PM, I don't know when all the student crawled into their sleeping bags.

The next morning we ate breakfast and packed up to hit the river. The video shows the river trip, and the ride home was uneventful. Traditionally we burn up a raft after a Clark Fork Trip, but this year we just drove home.