Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Wedding Weekend - Day of...

The evening before the big event was a big picnic dinner were everyone got to know one another.
OP crew cooks up a feast.

The future Mr. & Mrs. Bennett look very relaxed!
The day of the wedding we all loaded into vans and they drove us up to the wedding site.

Heather and Mike, waiting for the wedding to start.

Alex and Emily enjoy the Selway River.

Linda looked beautiful as usual. (smile)

Jon Totten keeps the wedding party together just prior to the start.

Introducing Jessica and Mathew Bennett!

The hug almost got a smile.

Family stories at the reception.

Torren and his bubble gang.

Dutch oven wedding cake are of Jacob and Trevor.

The Wedding Weekend - 2 Days Prior

The one weekend that we have planned the entire summer around arrived. We called it the “wedding weekend” whenever we spoke to our friends. We would say “nope, we can’t do the river then, that’s the wedding weekend, Jess and Matt are getting married and we’ll be on the Selway.”
A falls across the Selway River.

At 6:00 AM the Wednesday of “wedding weekend” we drove down I-95 through Moscow, past stinky hot Lewiston, up the Clearwater River to Lowell, Idaho. July 24th, was not only three days prior to the wedding, it more importantly was Linda’s birthday.  We had two camp goals when we left on our trip, one was to camp on the Selway, accomplishing Linda’s annual requirement of being  on a river for her birthday. The other was to see Selway Falls during our adventure.  Just past Lowell we turned right and crossed the river on a bridge that spans the Lochsaw River. This bridge is located just above where the Selway joins the Lochsaw on its journey to the sea.  This area is called Three Rivers. The Lochsaw and Selway come together and form the Middle Fork of the Clearwater River which then flows down to Lewiston Idaho and on down to form the Columbia River.
Our camp sight for the three days.
Slowly we made our way up the Selway River checking out possible camp sites.  Most sites on the river are small and very close to the road.  Close to the road means dust, but fortunately there was very few vehicles traveling about.  We also noticed that a lot of the sites were trashed by the previous users. Most all had large amounts of garbage in the fire pits or around the picnic tables.  It is a shame that people don’t respect such a beautiful place.

We drove up to Selway Falls and checked it our briefly. The river was flowing low which made the falls look a lot less intimidating then saw on my past visits.  We drove on and checked out the camp sites at Selway Falls Campground, turned the truck around and headed back down river.  Our upriver scout had provide us two choices for camping, 25 Mile Camp and Boyd Camp.  We chose Boyd campsite #1 because of the access road into the site.  It was farther away from the river, but the site had shade most all day and was far enough off the road to let the dust dissipate before it hit us. The site has a concrete slab that overlooks the river. It was level and easy to set up on.
It was hot, just ask Kobi.
Once we were set up and ready for our stay we went down to the river and swam.  There was a great little beach that allowed us to enter the river via sand and there was a big eddy which gave Kobi a great place to fetch sticks.

On Thursday we ate breakfast and went for a bike ride up river.  Kobi ran along beside us and we let him go down to the river to lie in the cool water whenever he wanted. He was not allowed to go into any culverts along the way. This was a big point of contention between the humans and the dog.  The humans won, sort of.
Big guy, big bike.
When we returned Linda took the dog and went down to the swimming beach.  I joined her later and brought my fishing rod.  I goofed around fishing up river using several different flies.  I caught a couple whitefish but the nice cutthroat evaded me.  I returned to where Linda and Kobi were sunning and made one final change of flies.  I put on a grasshopper pattern with a San Juan worm dropper.  I tossed this combination into the area where the stream that entered the river merged and boom I had a cutthroat on the worm. It was nice sized but nothing to write home about, I released it and walked over near Linda.

Our beach at Boyd Camp.
 I stood on the beach and cast right on the edge of the stream mouth. BOOM, another nice cutthroat hit the grasshopper.  Linda had just picked up the camera so she got ready to get a picture of the fish if I got it in to shore.  I worked it in but it ran several times. The sound of it taking out line drew Kobi’s attention and as I landed it he moved in.  What a mess!  I was working the fish to get it released, Linda was trying to take pictures, and Kobi wanted to jump on the fish!  You can see by the series of photos that it didn’t go well from there. I had to quickly grab the fish as Kobi was moving in to also grab the fish. Photo one is of me holding the fish to get the hook out. Note Kobi’s nose entering the picture. Next he lunged at the fish and I turned to get it under control to release it. The final shot is of me extracting the San Juan worm hook out of my hand. The fish released its self when Kobi made his move. The fish kept the grasshopper, I kept the San Juan worm and Kobi was in the dog house.  I learned a big lesson about fishing with Kobi, DON’T.   

Fish - Before Kobi.
No fish, Hand HOOKED. - After Kobi.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Up the Joe Past Avery

It was one of those trips where we knew that we wanted to get out and camp, but we didn't exactly know where we were heading.  The original plan was to be on the Lower Salmon River floating with some friends, but they couldn't go at the last minute so we opted to load up the camper and go exploring.  I had been up on he St. Joe fishing recently and had caught some good fish, so that area called out to me.

Turner Flats sits on the St. Joe about eight miles east or Avery.  There are 10 campsites, all but one has great shade, which proved to be a great point as the days heated up.  

Our daily schedule included reading in the shade, fishing and taking a few small hikes.  Our friends the Upchurch's joined us for two days.  They drove up in their car and set up a tent camp at our site. Hot days and cool nights were the predominant weather, the cool nights were very welcome.

One of the days we took a hike up trail 17 about 2.5 miles.  We hiked until we hit the south facing slope and were stopped by the sun.  Looking at maps this trail leads to the Three Sisters area, a group of peaks south of the river.  The trail would have taken us to the middle sister. As we hiked up the trail Darren spotted a big Yellow Jacket nest right on the trail.  We marked it because, sure as shooting, Kobi, would run back through it and all hell would break out.

Reading a Jack Reacher paperback.
Fish jumping!

Bridge to Trail 17.
Yellow Jackets on the side of the trail!

Looking up at the ridge around the Three Sisters,

Wild flowers.

Name the bird?

Two in the bush.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Cataldo Mission Visit

Could have been a good picture if we removed the vehicles from the background.

Kenyon at the archery range.

Liked this one because of the elk sneaking his head in.

Catniss Everdeen?

Goofin' with an elk!

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

River Camping

Spent the weekend up at Huckleberry Campground on the St. Joe with Marcy and Darren.  Only took one photo.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Long Time, No See...

It's been about three months since Linda and I packed up and went on an adventure. We have been swept up in the end of a career and all the pomp and circumstances involved.  Linda finished out her year and we celebrated her unofficial retirement.  It's an unofficial-ness comes with the fact that her contract continues on through the summer and ends August 31.  That date will be the official date, and she will actually feel the emotion of getting up and not having to worry about being prepared for work. With all the good bye parties and other set gatherings we have stayed close to home the past few months.

The weather had been a bit funky the past couple months, mostly warm but punctuated with cold snaps shrouded with rain.  As we prepared for our trip we watched the Salmon River water levels and the weather. Our itinerary looked to include a launch on June 30th with a take out on the 5th of July.  Three days prior to those dates we were in cold rain and the river was fluctuating up and down hovering just below the no-go level.  Our list making and packing continued undaunted as we kept and eye on the future and from what we could see, the future was looking amazing.

It only takes the Bennett's a few hours to get everything loaded once they finish the four days of list making and provision gathering.  Our announced time of departure was 9 AM on June 30th, we hit the road at 9:23 AM!  As we drove down highway 95 we talked through our lists and discovered we had only left two very small items home, both nonessential.

Our TXT to Fatima about items we forgot to tell her concerning Kobi was very minimal, basically Linda's chance to make sure she took care of her Kob's. Kobi is a wonderful companion, but has more fears than any dog we have ever met. Loud noises, sudden movements, hiccups, items falling, anything unexpected sends him scurrying to his crate. We have tried everything, but his fear must have been imbedded deeply when he was a pup and we weren't around.  Fatima had the duty to watch him over his least favorite holiday, 4th of July.  We provided her with a supply of doggie downers and gave her all the tips we could remember for the safe keeping of a psycho dog during Armageddon.

As we left Coeur d'Alene we contacted the Sutherland's and Breeden's and found we were all departing within fifteen minutes of each other.  The fact that we all left so close together was amazing! Linda and I took a couple stops on the way down, one was at the fields of yellow flowers for pictures. All three parties hopscotched down to the put-in at Hammer Creek and everyone was available to assist each other with the final preparations. We departed on our adventure at 3:45 PM, five days of blue skies and very hot weather ahead.

Our first night was spent on a beach three miles down river from the put-in.  It was a beautiful spot.  It was our night for dinner so we fixed a batch of fajitas and we all ate like kings.

The next day we floated down to Killer Goat Beach and made camp.  The item of note for this day was the massive discoloration of the water. We woke up and noticed that some where up stream a flash flood had washed the river full of chocolate.  It was so thick that if you put your hand in the water you only got six inches of visibility before the hand was lost.  The water stayed dirty until the 4th of July and then it started clearing.

We had another great meal and sat talking until everyone had to hit the sack.

The next day we ran all the larger rapids with few problems, John had a little incident in Snow Hole, but everything turned out OK. We mad camp at a beach below Skeleton Creek and mad the decision to lay over at this location for the next two days.  It was very hot, in fact we recorded on a digital thermometer that it was 114 degrees in the shade. OUCH!  That is way hot!

Samurai grill man!

Blue cheese burgers coming up! 

Iced marguritas, coming up!

A finger equals fifteen minutes, sundown in 45.  Yeah right!

An exceptional river dog poses.

Say "good by" to mean old Mr. Sun!

Sunsets in the canyons are always amazing.

Posing in her domain, the kitchen!

The heat takes its toll on man and his exceptional companion!

Everyone enjoying the morning shade.

These clouds were amazing.

Dan handling his Johnson.

Seeing where we have been.