The plan Monday was that I would come home and do a second coat of paint in the bedrooms. After I worked an hour and a half of overtime that didn’t sound very good to me so I talked Forrest into taking a quad ride to investigate how high we could get.
The answer to how high, was higher than last week but not high enough (our cabin is JUST over the ridge…). BUT we did spot a doe and her two tiny, tiny fawns. They must have only been a day or two old!
P.S. Sprocket was awesome! We’ve been trying to teach him to sit when he sees a deer/elk/animal so he won’t scare them away or get hurt. He stopped when the quad stopped, sat when we told him to, and loaded up on the quad so we could pass by without disturbing them too much. Momma Doe was angry enough to see us without Sprocket getting close!
It’s northern Idaho. This means that Memorial Day does not necessarily equate to warm temperatures and BBQs. (I suppose my obsession with melting snow, visiting Lookout Pass Snotel every hour, may qualify as the beginning of summer but I’m not sure.) In any case, we celebrated the holiday weekend by heading out into the snow. Continue reading “Memorial Day”
Sprocket and I spent last weekend in Wallace, Idaho for a weekend of fun. After getting off of work on Friday I rushed home to pick up Sprocket. We headed west and arrived in Wallace at 6PM (Pacific Time). After talking Sprocket for a little walk, I went to the Smokehouse (6th and Bank Street) for a beer. I tried Wallace Brewing‘s IPA again. After having not been impressed last time, it was much better this go around!
I headed over to the Elks to listen to Rocky Barker (author of Scorched Earth) talk about the date of August 20th in fire history. The talk wasn’t that great and could have used some more organization. The talk was followed by George Sibley’s documentary “Ordeal By Fire.” It was decidedly low budget but really recapped the story of the fire well. It used lots of great historic photographs.
Really tired after the lectures, I headed over to the Brooks Hotel and was delighted to find that their restaurant was open until 10 (we’re talking about Wallace here). It was such a classic cafe–only had one calendar but I think William Least Heat Moon would have been proud. After my chicken and huckleberry crisp, Sprocket and I headed up Placer Creek and went to bed.
I woke up bright and early to a licking dog, brushed my teeth and dressed for the Huckleberry 5K. I drove back down into town and registered for the run. Sprocket and I walked all over town to warm up. I decided not to run with him because he starts to slow down around the mile and a quarter mark and I didn’t really want to drag him along. He went into the Jeep and pouted. I didn’t exactly burn up the course but I did run the 3.2 miles in something like 28:15. I took 3rd in my age group (although there probably weren’t that many people in the group) and got a medal.
I was STARVING after the run and was so so happy to cash in my ticket for huckleberry pancakes. They were so yummy. It was a great way to finish off my run. I headed to the car and gave myself a baby wipe bath and changed. Sprocket and I walked around some more before returning to the car to get my chair. I was super impressed with how well behaved Mr. Sprocket was during the parade. It wasn’t quite the 100 pieces of apparatus they were hoping for but the wild land firefighters, Coeur D’Alene Fire Department Pipe & Drum corps, and the USFS Northern Region pack train were great additions.
Sprocket and I followed the parade over to the visitors center for the dedication. There was a little beagle who really wanted to play with Sprocket (his owner kept forgetting her dog as she was talking to people) which kind of made things difficult, but he put up with the heat and the wait pretty well. The dedication hit all the right notes. Everyone kept their remarks pretty short. The governor’s speech was so politician but I found it pretty inspiring–let’s get to work on biomass in Shoshone County!!! My particularly favorite moment was when Tim Egan told the governor that he needed to stay for his talk. The water drop demonstration was pretty sweet too.
I felt really bad for Sprocket and ran him up 9 Mile Creek Road and let him play in the creek. He was a very happy boy. We explored the area a bit but decided to wait for Forrest–there’s lot to see. We went back to town where Sprocket was kind enough to hang out in the car while I checked out the shops in town (it’s not very often they’re all open at the same time). I was delighted to find that there’s a store that sells wine (with free tastings!), enjoyed poking around the antique stores, looked into the mining museum, and walked all over town.
Starving, I treated myself to a steak at the Jameson Saloon. They have immaculately restored the building to 1890s status, it’s beautiful! My steak was pretty good too. Over at the Elks I was so excited for Tim Egan’s talk. He was such a good speaker. He references all sorts of books and events that have captured his imagination (I have a whole list of things to read more about now) and he’s funny! I had brought my copy of The Big Burn but I left it in the car…and decided to go get it. I waited did wait in line to have him sign it before heading up 9 Mile Creek Road to camp for the night.
Sunday morning, Sprocket and I played our way home over Mullan Pass and checking out Taft Summit. It was a busy, busy weekend in Wallace!
Forrest and I (and Sprocket!) are in the midst of planning our next big adventure! The idea is to head for points east on April 15th visiting Moab, Texas, the Deep South, Florida, the Appalachians, and New England before heading west again (hopefully with a job offer!).
I ran all over Corvallis this morning getting a sense for the range of plastic storage container sizes so we can start finalizing plans for the sleeping platform. Now I just need to finish my classes and my defense before I go too far down the rabbit hole!
There will be a blog of this trip, faithfully updated, I promise. I just need to think of a name… Eight legs, four wheels? One Wag at a Time? Sprocket Does the USA? Sprocket’s Red Rocket?
On Saturday Forrest, Ezra and I and headed up to Timberline for a bit of research for our Mt. Hood climb and a conditioning hike. We climbed from Timberline lodge (elevation 5,924 ft) to the top of the Palmer Ski Lift (elevation 8,540 ft). We covered the mile and a half of hiking in a little over three hours and slid down the ski slopes in about twenty minutes!
I was pretty happy with my fitness level headed up the hill but I need to do some hiking up “Cell Tower Hill” in Philomath with some weight to make sure I’m ready for the summit push next month!
Today we took Sprocket on a little ride up into the woods. He got to run all over the place and smell all sorts of wonderful smells. We also shot the .22 pistol a couple of times and he didn’t seem to mind at all. He’s loving his life!
Forrest’s friend Daniel stopped by to visit yesterday and we decided to hit up some wineries. Sadly it’s January and there aren’t too many wineries that are open. In the end, the only new winery I got to see was Pfeiffer Vineyards.
This was one of the most hysterical vineyard experiences I’ve ever had. The couple that owns Pfeiffer was very into their wine cave and I think that they believe that they’re in Napa Valley somewhere. They had the gall to charge $20 a tasting. We went along with it because we really wanted to taste some wine. Fortunately that $20 bought you tastes of five white wines, a “pinot noir tasting clinic” of three pinots with the winery owner (HYSTERICAL but a little painful to sit and look at the yummy wine in front of me while he lectured me on the nose of the wine), and finally a merlot. And they threw in a Riedel wine glass to boot…Forrest is trying to do away with it but I’m going to try to hold on to it. 🙂 We finished off the day with some wine at the Wine Vault in Philomath.
The next time I head out I’m going to have to check out some of the wineries west of Eugene. Who’s in with me?!
We finally found a date to head south and climb Mt. Thielsen! This time we were joined not only by Ezra but by Dan, a friend Forrest made when he worked the HP auction, who was back for another go-round in Oregon.
We had an absolutely beautiful day for a climb. The trail was really well constructed and the hike up the the PCT junction seemed like a breeze! (Dan for one might argue with me a bit on this.) When I got my first good view of the mountain I couldn’t help but notice its similarities to Mt. Crumpet (of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas fame). The scramble up the summit block was so much fun! Forrest scared himself a little bit when he decided to take an alternate (read: poor choice) route up but eventually we all found ourselves standing at 9,182 ft! (9.8 miles round trip, 3782 feet elevation gain)
The view was beautiful. We could see Bachelor, South Sister, Diamond Peak, and Mt. McLaughlin, not to mention Diamond Lake and Mt. Bailey. We headed down the mountain ready to go find a place to camp and grab some dinner.
Finding a place to camp turned out to be a little harder than we’d expected as all the campgrounds on Diamond Lake were closed for the season. We wound up camping on a Forest Service Road that took off for lakes to the north…we were near the much less scenic dumping grounds for Diamond Lake Resort. We found some wood for a fire, cooked dinner, drank a couple of beers and all promptly passed out. I spent most of the night shivering in my pathetic excuse for a sleeping bag (fabulous for light summer hiking and 40 degree nights…not so great for the fall 25 degree ones) but eventually Forrest took pity on me and shared a bit of his amazing old Coleman bag.
The next morning we headed to the Diamond Lake lodge for some coffee. It was fun to sit by the huge old (1920s?) fireplace and talk to the resort workers about the resort and the area but it was soon time to head south to Crater Lake.
I’d never seen the lake and it was pretty amazing. I do have to admit that I was more enamored with the view of the super fun mountain I’d climbed the day before across the lake. We hung out in the lobby of Crater Lake lodge while eating our breakfast of bagels and checked out the display of the lodge’s history. It was a little sad to see how much it would cost to stay and eat at that beautiful place…out of this world expensive! We checked out the small visitors center, took some pictures, and decided against doing the whole rim drive to head out along the Rouge River instead.
This ended up being a fabulous idea! We got to see the pretty falls near the headwaters as well as the place where the river actually runs underground through some lava tubes (Forrest and I stood on top of it!). Just on a whim we stopped to see Mill Creek Falls and instead found ourselves at the Avenue of the Boulders. We all had a blast scrambling around the big rocks to see where we could get ourselves. Eventually we found the falls but they weren’t near as exciting as the boulders had been.
After that we headed back to Corvallis–but what an awesome October weekend!
7 National Forests#
_____________ #Siskiyou, Six Rivers, Eldorado, Tahoe, Plumas, Lassen, and Shasta National Forests
*Benton, Linn, Lane, Douglas, Josephine, and Jackson counties Oregon; Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Sonoma, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano, Napa, Yolo, Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer, Nevada, Sierra, Plumas, Tehama, Shasta, Siskiyou counties California)