Thursday, October 18, 2018

Meanwhile, Back at Pine Bar

First, you untangle the fishing lines.
Then you bring it to the boat.
Mike's birthday steelhead, it was a keeper!
While we were fishing Linda enjoyed the sun!
Telling tall tales around the campfire.
Look, deer!
Night shrouds Pine Bar.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Riding the Rails

The website says that we would be on, ”a four seated, pedal powered, railroad bicycle along the beautiful, scenic Pend Oreille River in Ione, WA. … ride south through scenic pastureland then north, up to the impressive Box Canyon Trestle. A round trip of 12 miles.” How could you not want to hit the rails and explore the path of the old Iron Horse!

We loaded into our neighbor’s car at about 6:45 AM and followed Hwy. 41 up through Rathdrum to Newport, WA where we veered left and found our way up to Ione, WA. In Ione we followed the signs to the Lions Rail Riders depot, checked in, got a stamp (which we all hid under our gloves), and proceeded to our assigned Rail Rider, good old #10.

Several very nice Lions Club members helped to adjust the seats on the Rail Rider and then explained the rules of the rails. The first thing I noticed is that if you are going to be a Lions Club Rail Rider, it is mandatory that you are no more than five feet tall. Anyone over five feet would not fit in the Rail Rider comfortably and so they could not be a true Rail Rider. 

Steve and I adjusted the seats as far back as possible. When we peddled, our knees brushed our noses. With no other options, we tightened our seatbelts and waited patiently for the nine Rail Riders in front of us to ready their troops and heed the signal to move out!

The disconnected train slowly moved forward. Suddenly an arm went up from the lead Rail Rider followed by a rising of an arm in all nine cars in front of us. This meant we were stopping and the brake team of Linda and Jodi applied the brakes.  Nothing happened and we bumped into the car in front of us. Lesson learned! We have no brakes or very little braking ability. Jodi and Linda assessed the situation and soon, whenever we saw the domino of stop arms, they would hit the brakes and start warning the car in front of us that we were going to bump them and to be prepared.

This on-the-job training took place several times within the first quarter mile of the trip and soon we had our shouts of “watch out for the bump” down pat. After the first half mile, things started working out and we were peddling a bit faster. Steve and my knees moved past our nose at an increasing rate, touches came about every other stroke. This worked well to catch the small drops of snot that appeared on the tips of our noses, due to the extreme cold of the morning air. As speed picked up, the wind chill grew. We could look down the tracks and see that our path entered the sun and we might soon be warm again. The domino hands went up and we bumped to a stop just before the rails crossed the highway.

There was a bit of action at the front of our pack. One of the Rail Rider teams was pulling out of the ride. Lions Club members lifted the Rail Rider off the tracks and the four stokers walked slowly and rather painfully to a parked car. Our theory was that, because of their height, they probably had pummeled their noses and had to tap out.

The highway crossing lights started flashing and we received the signal to continue. We pumped our way across the pavement and were once again on our way.
For the next twenty minutes, we moved like a well-oiled machine. The team had learned to keep a significant distance between the Rail Rider in front of us and this was just fine since we were on Rider #10 and no one was behind us. Both Steve and I took advantage of being the tail of the train by stopping and using a nearby tree as a rest area.

Back on the seats and speeding down the rails we looked ahead and spotted raised hands ahead. A Rail Rider had jumped the rails. Everything was ok, and the riders pulled off the side and allowed everyone to pass. They then rearranged the three peddlers so that two riders were in the front seats and one in the rear seat. This seemed to do the trick and everyone rode on.

At about three miles the Rail Riders all stopped at the Box Canyon Dam overlook. Each Rider was spun around and headed back along the tracks. The pack started moving and we sped back along the rails. Linda’s sports watch said we were moving at a seven-minute mile which calculates out to be about eight miles an hour. We were flying!

Back at the depot we dismounted our machine and climbed into our car. Our workout was over (weirdly enough, the ride was only a total of 6 miles rather than 12) and so we drove to Metaline Falls where we enjoyed a great brunch at Cathy’s Café.

Steve drove us to a rest area where there was a hiking trail that led up Sweet Creek. On this hike, we were able to see two very pretty waterfalls. We hiked up and back, loaded into the car and beat-feet back home. It was a great adventure, the weather was near perfect (except for the 15-minute cloudburst while we drove home) and we now have scratched our itch to ride the rails.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018


View down river from our spot on the drifter.
Spent the last five days down at Pine Bar fishing for steelhead. It was great weather and we got a few hits but caught nothing. Steve Nelson put up with me, I guess it is his neighbor duty.

Days were spent sitting on the boat waiting for a strike. Evenings were spent playing cribbage.

Looking up the river at our campsite from the boat.
We did take an afternoon drive up the road up Rice Creek. There were some great views and at the top, we were rewarded with cell coverage! I called Linda. I sure miss her when we are apart!

On Monday Mike Wassmuth and Lori Maider dropped down and joined us on the water for a little fishing. We fished until 10 AM and then rowed back across to camp and packed things up. We drove back home and were unpacked by 5 PM.

A view looking south on our Rice Creek drive.
Looking toward Cottonwood, you can see the Salmon below.

Deer visitors at our camp.

Lots of Deer butts.

Monday, October 01, 2018

Keep Looking Up!

On Friday night we met up with Linda’s sister and her family. Al Dee played co-pilot to Kenyon who drove Alayna, Diane, Linda and I to Red Robbin where we had dinner. It was fun being a passenger to our nephew who, to us, was just learning to ride his bike not so long ago. They grow up so fast.

The focus of this gathering was not only a visit, but we all were attending the Oregon International Air Show, an annual event at the Hillsboro Airport in Hillsboro, Oregon. This would be our first air show and we were both excited.

Saturday morning we loaded up and Al Dee drove us to the Hillsboro Airport. We had packed chairs, but other than that our only extras were our cameras. The past week the weather in Sunriver had been spectacular with highs in the 80’s and bluebird skies. Today it was a bit different, the weathermen predicted highs in the 70’s. Of course, Linda and I failed to plan for a weather change. We both had shorts and long-sleeved shirts on, but that was it.

The air show was very fun. There were tons of people in attendance. We wandered all over the place looking at the vendor booths, food carts and, of course, all the aviation groupies. Kenyon and Alayna collected swag as they visited each vendor.

As the show began the skies grew a bit cloudy. This weather made it necessary for the planes and parachutists to perform lower than usual. This brought things close to the ground, but the clouds made taking photos harder. All backgrounds were grey and the light was dull. I took a bunch of photos, but only a few turned out very well.
Linda and Alayna near the vendor booths.

The air show, however, was amazing. We loved the stunt planes and the historic plane fly-overs. The fighter jets and the performing jets were the most amazing. We had fly-overs from an F-15C and a U.S. Air Force F-16, a U.S. Air Force A-10 Warthog and then a performance by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds.

There was something happening in the sky all day! Yes, that included some rain. (Note to Dean and Linda: Bring rain gear to events held outdoors in Oregon. If nothing else at least bring a jacket!) Linda and I both ended up buying something to add warmth to our clothing. Good thing there was cheap swag everywhere; we both spent $5 on throwaway warmth.

U.S. Air Force C-17 flyby.
Canadian Forces Snowbirds

Smoke-n-Thunder Jet Truck.

U.S. Air Force A-10 Warthog