Axle Deep in 2014

F and I closed out 2013 with a campfire and finger food buffet with friends in the Slabs as well as listening to the music at The Range.

We’d decided to head back out to Red Island for a couple of days. Instead of hanging out in the camp area, we drove out to a boat launch near the mouth of the Alamo River. As he gazed out towards the Sea, F asked, “I wonder how soft it is out there?” and gently guided the truck off the hardpacked road.

As luck would have it, the sand was soft. F looked at me and asked me to air down the rear tires to see if we could back out. I did but when we tried to move, they dug further into the sand burying the truck past the axle.

Truck and camper stuck in sand

…On the plus side, it was really easy to get in the camper…

Stuck truck

What we didn’t know was the sand is only a foot deep underlain with soft sticky mud! Fortunately, after taking turns digging we were able to drag some old carpet from the boat launch area. We also aired down the tires to 4 PSI and we were able to drive right out!

Tire ruts

Sitting nice and low with 4 psi in the tires!

5psi, aired down

Later, long after we were unstuck, we were treated to a pretty sunset over the Salton Sea:

Sunset on the Salton Sea

Sunset on the Chocolate Mountains

Slab City: Salvation Mountain Sunset

Having experimented with Salvation Mountain photos at sunrise, this time I headed out at sunset to make some photos of the landmark.

Salvation Mountain

The low angled rays shining directly on the front of the “mountain” really light up the colors in cool ways:

Salvation Mountain

Love

Salvation Mountain

I chatted with this group from San Francisco for awhile as the sun sank below the mountain horizon. They’d driven all the way down to watch sunset here!

Salvation Mountain

Salton Sea

My favorite part, though, was looking out to see Red Island (right) and Red Hill (left) that we’d climbed earlier in the day!

Red Hill and Red Island

Sunset From Stevens Peak

Despite living directly below Stevens Peak for a year and a half, I’d never been to the summit (F hadn’t been either until just a couple weeks ago). Last Wednesday, after our Pulaski Tunnel hike, we took the jeep out for a ride.

The road wound up the ridge just to the west of the peak and popped out in the beautiful subalpine meadow. (I’m so glad we have peaks just high enough to have these meadows. They’re so pretty!) The road ended just below the summit and the three of us headed up to watch the sunset.

We’re not surrounded by the glorious mountain peaks that exist elsewhere in the west but we could glimpse the Cabinets and the Scotchmans off in the distance as well as look down at Stevens Lakes and Lone Lake. The sunset to the west was gorgeous and the full moon rising to our east wasn’t half bad either! (The mosquitos on the other hand were horrid.)

Lovely ending to a Wednesday, don’t you think?

Shhh…It might be spring…

Saturday morning we headed for the cabin. The weather was absolutely beautiful. It was one of the first days that really felt like spring around here.

Because this is what spring looks like in North Idaho

I was in no hurry to get up to the cabin (other than the fact I was thirsty because I left my water bottle on the seat of the jeep…) because the sunshine felt so so good. I was hiking in a tshirt and UnderArmor! It was 50 degrees!

A glance at the cabin indicates the crazy amount of melting we need to happen before we can drive to the cabin. I’m accepting bets on when we’ll be able to