Adventure

Visiting Redoubt Mountain Lodge

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There is only one parcel of private property located on Crescent Lake deep in the heart of Lake Clark National Park. (If you have not read about Lake Clark National Park you might want to read the previous blog post before reading this post.) Located on this five acre parcel of property is Redoubt Mountain Lodge. We found the lodge on the internet while searching for bear viewing opportunities early last spring. After reading about it we contacted them to make reservations. They had one opening for the 2016 season. We booked the last cabin for the two days that it was available. We wanted to stay at least four days, but at least we were able to get two days. We called and emailed several times hoping for cancellations, but it did not happen. Read More...

Becoming an Outdoors Woman

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Several years ago we saw a BOW flyer posted on a bulletin board in a West Virginia Forest Ranger's office. BOW - Becoming an Outdoors Woman, is a weekend workshop for women. The program offers classes on all kinds of outdoor skills. Since that time, I have checked in every state we have stayed in for any length of time to see if they have a BOW program. Alaska offers BOW through Alaska Fish and Game. I signed up for the program and was accepted. Read More...

Wrangell-St Elias Adventures

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While visiting the town of McCarthy is an adventure in itself, we had a few adventures planned for our time there. One day, Mary went pack-rafting with a guide. They hiked several miles up McCarthy Creek Trail carrying pack-rafts. A pack-raft is a lightweight inflatable boat that is designed for using in places that you can't drive to. Mary and the guide hiked up for several hours, put on dry-suits (a necessity in the cold water), blew up the pack-rafts and floated back to town on McCarthy Creek in about thirty minutes. Read More...

Visiting McCarthy, AK

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McCarthy, Alaska is located across the river at the end of a sixty mile dirt road (known as the worst road in Alaska) in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. A foot bridge provides access to McCarthy. There are two ways for outsiders to get to McCarthy - fly or walk across the footbridge. If you have not read the previous blog post, End of the Road, you might want to do so before reading this post since it provides some background information about McCarthy. Read More...

The End of the Road

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Wrangell-St Elias is the largest national park in the United States with 13.2 million acres. It rises from the ocean all the way up to Mount St. Elias with an elevation of 18,008 feet The park has multiple glaciers, volcanos and peaks along with rivers, creeks and natural springs. The park is six times the size of Yellowstone. It has four major mountain ranges which included nine of the sixteen highest peaks in the United States. There are glaciers larger than Rhode Island. Flowing from the glaciers are silt filled rivers. Read More...

The Reindeer Farm

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Alaska doesn't have a DisneyWorld or a SixFlags, but it does have the Reindeer Farm. I have discovered that some people think reindeers are imaginary, but I am here to tell you that they are indeed real. Reindeer are domesticated caribou. Alaska and Canada have caribou herds and people also raise caribou - which makes them domesticated and therefore reindeer. Read More...

Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

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Mary had three and a half days off this week and we decided to see if we could book some last minute travel. We were able to find a full-day kayaking trip among icebergs, a four-hour horseback ride, and a half-day fishing trip on the Kenai Peninsula. Finding lodging was not quite as easy. We finally found a place with over priced space available (everything in Alaska is expensive and although this place had less expensive rooms advertised, they said they were not available). We booked the room and the activities regardless of price - when will we be back to Alaska? Maybe never better take advantage now. Read More...

Cheryl's Visit

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Earlier this year Cheryl (my younger sister) said she was going to visit us if we went to Alaska. Lots of people say they are going to visit us but fewer than half actually do visit. Cheryl hates being cold and the last place in the United States that I would expect her to visit us is in Alaska. However, Cheryl arrived from Charlotte, NC on June 9th. Even though it is summer, we made sure that her bed had an electric mattress pad on it so she would be warm. I also pulled out my winter clothes and jackets so she would have extra clothing if she got cold. She did not arrive until 10:00 PM (which was 2:00 AM in Cheryl's time zone). When we got to the RV I showed her how to operate the electric mattress pad and to turn on the fireplace if she got cold under the down comforter and fleece blankets on her bed. Read More...

Anchorage

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No one would ever describe our lives as boring, but occasionally things get a little more exciting than we like. Today was one of those days. We got up this morning anxious to start finding our way around Anchorage. I wanted to go by the school we will be baby-sitting for the summer (through the Camper Host program) and Mary wanted to go by REI and check-in. Read More...

Tok, AK to Anchorage, AK

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I wish I could say the road conditions from Tok to Anchorage were good, but they were not. It was another day filled with frost heaves, potholes, long gravel sections, and road construction. The scenery on the drive was beautiful and we saw several moose and trumpeter swans. I'm not sure any of that makes up for the road conditions. The good news is that on our way back to the lower 48 we will get the worst driving days over at the beginning of the trip. Read More...

Day Four & Five on the Alaska Highway

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We decided to take a rest day in Whitehorse, YT. Whitehorse is quite the city. Mary says it a town because of it's population (about 28,000) but I say it is a city because everything is relative. The population of the entire Yukon is about 37,000. Whitehorse has a Walmart, public transportation, a prison, an airport (you can get to Whitehorse from anywhere), multiple fast food establishments, government buildings, paved roads, parking meters and lots of things that make it a city instead of a town. Besides that it is all relative and in the Yukon Territories, Whitehorse is the one and only city. Read More...

Day Three on the Alaska Highway

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Moxie and I got up about 5:30 this morning so we could go for a walk around the lake. We were on the trail by 6:00. Moxie loves her morning walks. The first half of the walk was between the lake and the back of businesses along the highway. About a fourth of the way into the hike we entered into a wooded area which continued throughout the remainder of the hike. The hike was a couple of miles long and at one point I wondered about wild animals in the area - especially since we were out early and that is when the wild animals like to eat their breakfast. Read More...

Day Two on the Alaska Highway

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Today was probably the very best day we have ever had on the road. It started with breakfast at the Triple G Getaway in Fort Nelson. We were seated at the bar on stools made from horse saddles. Mary was taking pictures and one of the staff told her that to take pictures she had to have a hat and a beer in her hand. We were the first customers of the 2016 season and before we left we knew everyone who worked at the place and had agreed to come back.

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Day One on the Alaska Highway

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The next morning, we took some time to clean out our sewage tanks (since we had not been able to do that since we left West Yellowstone. One thing I am picky about is keeping those tanks clean - I know it drives Mary crazy that I am so picky about it, but we do not have any issues with odors or clogs that so many RVer have. We met some people from Knoxville, TN in the RV park that were also heading to Alaska. The were searched at the Canadian border.
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Milepost 0 - The Alaska Highway

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We left Jasper and headed to Grande Prairie, Alberta. In Jasper all the deciduous trees had leaves on them. By the time we got to Grand Prairie the trees were just starting to bud out. The road between Jasper and Grand Prairie is a logging road and The Milepost (a book published each year for people driving to Alaska) did not recommend it, however, we talked to some people from Grande Prairie who were pulling an RV larger than ours and they said the road was fine. Taking the road shortened our travel by several hours. Read More...

Jasper, Alberta

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Jasper has certainly put its best foot forward for us. We have met friendly locals who happily recommend restaurants, bike trails and hikes to us. The weather has been outstanding - warm sunny days. While Jasper National Park's winter RV campground could use some updating at least it is open and provides electricity.

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Creature Comforts

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Since we left Boise on April 17th, we have slowly been giving up creature comforts. We have not had TV since we left Boise. On April 21st, we crossed the border into Canada and lost wifi (the wifi we have for the RV is only good in the US). At the campground in Banff, there was a faucet so we could fill our water tank when we arrived and a dump station where we could empty our tanks when we left. This means we had running water in the RV. While there was no water or sewage at our campsite and getting water and emptying our tanks took a bit of effort, we did have a working water system in the RV. Read More...

Icefields Parkway

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Mary got up early this morning and we were on the road by 8:30. The elk were waiting at the campground exit to tell us goodbye. They were in the road and on both sides of the road. I thought Mary had gotten up early because was excited about driving Icefields Parkway, but I was wrong. Between Banff and the start of Icefields Parkway is a bakery that Mary loves. She suggested we stop there for breakfast. We had breakfast at the bakery and Mary left with a L-A-R-G-E bag of assorted pastries. Read More...

Banff & Lake Louise

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We like the Banff / Lake Louise area. We expected the towns to be pretty deserted this time of year since it is after ski season and not yet tourist season. We were wrong. There are quite a few people in town and in the campground. We were also wrong in our thinking that the trails would be muddy and possibly snow covered. It looked like the trails have been snow free for quite a while - they are dry. Our thinking was based on what we had read about the area in early spring (April & May) we were pleased to find that we could hike and bike on the trails and that areas that are generally closed because of impassable roads are open. Read More...

On to Alberta, Canada

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Leaving Yellowstone did not start out too well. The truck developed some odd electrical issue while sitting in West Yellowstone - it had no lights and the fuel gauge read zero (Mary was sure it had 3/4 tank of fuel). When the truck has no lights, the RV has no lights. We figured it must be a fuse issue so we got out the manual, found the fuse box and realized that there were way to many fuses for us to start messing with and according to the manual you had to disconnect the battery to check some of the fuses. Read More...

Yellowstone National Park

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We arrived in West Yellowstone, MT early afternoon. The town appeared to be deserted - nothing was open, there were very few cars. The RV park (the only one open) was vacant except for two RVs (one appeared to have been unoccupied for a long time). The owner of the RV park asked if we planned to eat out and warned us there weren't many places open. We parked the RV and got it set up before heading to Yellowstone National Park. Read More...

Banff, AB Canada

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We took the scenic route (Bow Valley Parkway) from Lake Louise to Banff hoping to see some wildlife. So far we have seen two big horn sheep and few deer and quite a few elk. The scenic route, while beautiful, did not have any wildlife hanging around. We would like to see moose, caribou and bears, The number of wildlife in this area of Canada is dropping. The moose population was reduced by a parasite. The bears are moving elsewhere.
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Lake Louise, AB Canada

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Like all the other places we have been on this trip, Lake Louise included hikes to see beautiful lakes, rivers and mountains. Lake Louise has two tea houses that can only be reached by foot or on horseback. The tea houses are too far for Mary to walk with her injured leg/foot. Timberline Tours offers horseback rides to both tea houses, we selected the five hour Plain of Six Glaciers via Highline Trail ride. Read More...

Jasper, AB, Canada & the Icefields

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The road from Lake Louise, AB, Canada to Jasper, AB, Canada is called the Icefields Parkway. The route is through the Canadian Rockies and passes pristine mountain lakes, ancient glaciers, waterfalls and gorgeous rivers. Driving Icefields Parkway takes about three hours if you don't stop along the way. It took us much longer because we stopped to hike and take pictures. Unfortunately we did not have great weather for the drive so our photos are nowhere near as spectacular as what we actually saw. We have never seen as many tour buses and rental RVs as what we saw on Icefields Parkway and in Jasper. Read More...

Rain, Rain Go Away

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We woke up to rain again this morning. Not only was there rain, there were low clouds, fog and cold air to go with it. We really want to camp at Takakkaw Falls. We decided to hang out in our cozy room at Emerald Lake for a while. I built a fire in the fireplace and we sat by the fire drinking tea and coffee discussing our options. (This photo of Takakkaw Falls is not one we took - I found it online.) Read More...

Yoho National Park, Canada

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While breakfast was being prepared at the B&B, we watched a doe and her two fawns in the backyard. The two fawns were running around chasing each other and playing like puppies play. Breakfast was delicious and it was very enjoyable to talked with our fellow guests from Europe, Canada, and the US. Read More...

Golden, British Columbia, Canada

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We left Missoula around 8:00 AM yesterday and headed north. After two stops for coffee & chai we finally arrived at the United States / Canada border. Although there was a line, it moved quickly. Shortly after crossing into Canada Mary decided she was starving and wanted lunch. We found a restaurant and had lunch. Read More...

Family & Friends

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We returned to Missoula on Friday. Friday evening we went to dinner with Corrine. On Saturday morning, I headed to Flathead Lake to spend some time with my cousins. Kelly and Sandy have a place on Finley Point. My cousins Leslie, Pam, Kelly & Sandy were/are there visiting. I arrived in time to spend a few minutes with Leslie before she headed home. Sandy, Pam and I hung out at Finley Point for a few days before Pam and I headed to Glacier National Park. Read More...

Video by Mary

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Mary compiled a video of some of the photos and video shot on the Middle Fork of the Salmon. Click on the "read more" link to see the video. Enjoy….





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Last Day on the Middle Fork of the Salmon

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Zach (one of the guides) woke us up this morning by walking past our tents playing his guitar and singing a song. While it was overcast, rain was not falling. Today was our last day on the river and we were scheduled to be at the takeout at 1:00 so we had to get up earlier than usual. Breakfast was ready when we got up. Following breakfast we packed up quickly. Read More...

Middle Fork of the Salmon Day 4 & 5

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In keeping with the rest of the trip, today started out cold. The sun was peeking out before we got onto the river. Today was the longest day on the river and there were several large rapids. While the air was cool, the sun was shinning so I was comfortable on the raft. Mary was in her kayak, her drain plug was open (which means water was pouring into the kayak) so she was very cold. Before lunch we ran one of the biggest rapids on the river, Tappen Falls. Read More...

Middle Fork of the Salmon Day 2 & 3

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We woke to partly cloudy skies. Before breakfast (french toast, bacon & fruit) the sun had broken through the clouds. We would be dressed in wet clothes, but it looked like we would have sunshine which would help us stay warm. On river trips we pretty much take two outfits - one for the day (river clothes) and one for camp. Both mine and Mary's river clothes are wet. Read More...

Middle Fork of the Salmon Day 1

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The alarm went off at 6:15. I jumped out of bed and looked out the window hoping to see the sun. The fog was so thick I could not see the mountains or the sky. I jumped in the shower, woke Mary and opened the hotel room door - not good, not good, not good - thick fog and very cold air.... Mary fussed at me about being negative until she stepped outside and saw and felt the conditions.
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Missoula to Stanley, ID

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We dropped Moxie off at Reggie and Fred's house before 9:00 and headed down Highway 93 through the Bitterroot Valley. Before we crossed the border into Idaho the skies had become heavy with grey clouds and the temperature had dropped into the sixties. The scenery was beautiful, but I was continually distracted by the increasing grey clouds and the dropping temperature. We were heading to Stanley, ID for a week-long trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Read More...

Happiness

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I am probably the most fortunate person alive. I live the life I want to live. I play when I want to play, work when I want to work and rest when I want to rest. When it comes to family and friends, I simply have the best. No matter what the situation, things have always seemed to turnout in my favor. What more could anyone ask for? There are times when I wonder why I am so fortunate when there seems to be so many people who are not happy / lucky / fortunate / etc. as I am. Why is there such a discrepancy in happiness? Read More...

All Play and No Work...

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If it is possible to have too much fun, then I believe I have managed to achieve this lofty goal. I have neglected work and pursued fun for at least a month. Today I made a tough decision to turn down an opportunity to kayak this afternoon because I really needed to do laundry, clean the RV, go to the grocery, brush Moxie, etc, etc, etc. Read More...

Fun with Friends

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We are so fortunate to have such wonderful friends. Recently Bill, Dolly, Ching, Jerud and Peggy all showed up in Missoula, MT. Bill & Dolly are from Asheville, NC. Ching & Jerud are full-time RVers. Peggy is from Bend, OR. Technology (Facebook, our blog, cell phones) allows our friends to know where are and all know they have an open invitation to visit. The more we travel, the more people we meet and our circle of friends continues to grow. Read More...

The MisAdventures of Mary

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Mary has a lot of good qualities. Assessing her physical limitations and being safety conscious are not among them. As has happened many times since I have known Mary, these two qualities ended up getting her in trouble. In addition to lacking these two qualities, Mary does not from her mistakes. Read More...

I Need a Rest Day

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The retirement lifestyle is making me tired. I am going to have to take a rest day. This week I kept finding more and more things I wanted to do and so I did them. I found a women's mountain bike group called "Older than Dirt Girls" and made the assumption that these ladies were probably my age and I would be able to keep up with them. Read More...

Daylight Hours

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One thing I like about Missoula is how long the days are in summer. Right now it gets light at 5:13 AM and stays light until 9:53 PM. That is sixteen hours and forty minutes of daylight! In a month, there will be seventeen hours and fifteen minutes of daylight. I love the long days, but they sure do mess with my internal body clock. My body seems to be very controlled by daylight and darkness. The birds start singing about an hour before daylight (around 4:15 AM). I hear them and my body starts telling me it is time to get up or I am going to miss part of the day. Read More...

Donkey Sitting

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Ten years ago when I was thinking about going to Montana I posted on both Missoula and Bozeman women's Yahoo Groups that I was thinking about going to Missoula or Bozeman for a year and ask why their town would be my best choice. Several people responded. One person who responded and I emailed back and forth for several months. NS (initials used to protect the innocent) lived in New Hampshire half the year and Missoula the other half. She wrote in great detail why Missoula was a better choice than Bozeman. Read More...

Spring is Springing

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We have been busy! Mary went to the physical therapist for the first time following her Achilles tendon surgery. He was very pleased with the mobility and strength of her ankle. He told her she did not have to wear her brace as long as she used a cane or trekking pole and did not walk on uneven surfaces (such as large rocks, roots, etc.). She was thrilled with the report. Read More...

Good Times

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Spring seems to have arrived in Missoula. We have not been below freezing since last Thursday and the sun has been shining every day. The hills / lower mountains are starting to turn green and there is still snow on the higher mountains. The blue skies, green grass,white clouds and snow make for a beautiful day. My and Moxie's sunrise hikes are getting warmer. Read More...

Out and About

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Mary has worked at the Missoula REI for three days and likes the store, managers and other employees. She is pleased that she is selling lots of bicycles and REI memberships.

After having the RV repaired on Saturday, we discovered that the shower door still leaked Sunday morning. I decided to try to fix it myself with lots of caulk. It seems to have worked. I am always pleased when I am able to fix something - sometimes it seems like I mess up more than I fix when I try to fix things. It's nice to have the microwave/convection oven working, Moxie was really missing her evening popcorn. Read More...

Visiting Family & Making Repairs

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Yesterday was a fun day. We drove up to Flathead Lake to visit my cousin Kelly and his wife, Sandy, at their place on the lake. On the way we drove past the beautiful Mission Mountain Range and the National Bison Range. The place on the lake is an old farm house that has been redone to some degree - the farm house charm still remains. There is also a large building that has been added to provide garage storage and sleeping quarters for guests. Read More...

Sunshine and Warm Temps

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Although it is still getting below freezing at night, the last few days have been warm. The RV, truck and car all got a bath yesterday. All the dirt collected driving over 2500 miles has been washed away. I suspect all vehicles weight a few pounds less. Read More...

Maiden Voyage

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The Cedar Creek had been sitting in storage long enough. Mary nor I had anything pressing on our calendar for the next three days. We started weighing the issues with taking the RV for a mini trip. It is winterized - the hot water tank is empty, all water lines have been blown out, there is antifreeze in all the traps, all storage tanks are empty. If we take it out we either will not have any water or we will have to de-winterize it and then re-winterize it when the mini-trip is over. Read More...

Cozumel, Mexico

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Last year Shelley and Dave asked if we would be interested in accompanying them to Cozumel, Mexico to watch Keenan while they went scuba diving. Since they wanted to go in winter and we were going to be in North Carolina anyway, we decided to go. Shelley and Dave both told us that the place we were staying was not fancy, but was one of their favorite places to go. The plan was to fly out early on December 27. Read More...

Watoga State Park, West Virginia

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After a few weeks at home working on projects we decided to take the RV to Watoga State Park in West Virginia. Our friends Dickey and Emily decided to join us in their RV. Wattage State Park was one of the very first trips we took with the RV. I had forgotten how long it took to get there and how curvy and hilly the last hour of the trip was. Read More...

Arizona Adventures

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Mary has had several days off work lately and we have been spending theses days going on adventures. Northern Arizona has plenty of places to explore and things to do outdoors. We have hiked, mountain biked, road biked and driven around looking for adventure.
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Secret Canyon

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Secret Canyon is not really a secret. It is a slot canyon on the Navajo Reservation outside of Page, AZ. Mary had never been inside a slot canyon so we signed up for a tour of Secret Canyon.

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Havasu Falls & Supai Village

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Deep in the Grand Canyon is the small Native American village of Supai. Supai Village looks more like a village one would find in a third world country than a village one would find in the United States. There are no roads or sidewalks. There are no cars. Mail and other supplies are delivered by mule. There is a K-8 school, a store, a clinic, a restaurant of sorts, a tourist office, a motel and a campground (two miles out of town). Read More...

Grand Canyon National Park

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Moxie and I got up and went for our usual morning walk. We are still trying to find our way around the maze of national forest trails behind the RV park. We generally walk about a mile and a half or two miles exploring before trying to find our way back home. Finding our way is pretty easy. Mt. Elden is to our west, the sunrise and RV park is east, the Grand Canyon is north and Flagstaff south. Read More...

Hot Day in Death Valley

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Ninety-five degrees in the desert is really hot. Thankfully we were able to get an RV site with hookups so we can have air conditioning and a shower. We also have a few trees, a swimming pool and a general store with ice cream, so we really can’t complain. However, none of that helps when hiking. Read More...

Exploring Death Valley

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We have gone from winter to summer - on Wednesday we were hiking in six inches of snow. Today the temperature in Death Valley was eighty-eight degrees with the sun beating down. This morning we headed to Golden Canyon for a hike. About a mile and a half into the hike, Mary looked terrible. Mary has been having trouble with vertigo. Read More...

GPS Knows Best????

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Before going to bed last night, Mary and I were looking at our computer software program that routes the RV for us when we are traveling. The software considers the size of our RV and maps out the best way for us to go places. The gps in the truck and car lead us along that route to our next destination. We generally just accept that the route the software and gps select for the RV is best. We got the gps and software after getting ourselves in to difficult situations involving very narrow roads and low bridges so we tend not to question the wisdom of the gps. Read More...

Final Weeks in Bend, Oregon

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Our time in Bend is coming down to the wire. We are to the point where every minute with friends is precious and everything we do is spectacular. In addition to playing and spending time with friends, we are also packing and getting the RV ready to go to Flagstaff. Getting the RV ready to go is a little more complex than usual because of the extra things we did to keep the RV warm and water flowing in below zero temperatures. Read More...

Park City, UT

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We spent the past two weeks on vacation. Our life is pretty much a full-time vacation, but this was a vacation from our regular vacation lifestyle. We left Bend, OR and drove to Boise, ID. We dropped off Moxie at The Dog Ranch for her vacation. Jennifer, the owner of The Dog Ranch is wonderful and Moxie really likes staying with her and the other dogs. That evening we had dinner with friends and the next morning we had breakfast with another friend. From Bend we drove to Park City, UT where we spent the next eleven days skiing and snowboarding. Read More...

Winter in Central Oregon

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According to historical weather data December and January are the coldest months of the year in Central Oregon. Average high temperatures are around forty and lows are around twenty. This year winter began with an Arctic Blast that resulted in high temperatures in the single digits and lows as cold as -27 for over a week.


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Paula's Last Day in Oregon

P9161066Today we headed to Smith Rock State Park. Smith Rock looks more like a place in Utah than in Oregon. Smith Rock is an internationally nationally known rock climbing and highlining. Unknown to us, there was a highlining event going on - we saw a whole lot of highliners.

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McKenzie-Santiam Scenic Byway

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Our original plan was that I would pick Mary and Paula up at McKenzie Pass on Saturday and we would drive and see the sights along the McKenzie-Santiam Scenic Byway. We changed the plan only in that I would not pick up Mary and Paula - we would all go together. This morning Mary decided she was not going. Paula and I continued with the plan. Read More...

Backpacking - Part Two

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Rescuing Mary from herself seems to be becoming a way of life. Mary does not seem to understand that she is no longer thirty years old and needs to adjust her activities accordingly. Nor does she seem to get that her refusal to do this impacts her playmates and their willingness to play with her. Read More...

Backpacking - Part One

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I dropped Mary and Paula off at the Pacific Crest Trailhead at Willamette Pass (elevation 5128 feet) around 9:00 AM on Saturday, September 7. The plan was that Mary and Paula would hike over eighty miles to McKenzie Pass where I would pick them up on Saturday, September 14. The halfway point of the hike is near Elk Lake Resort where I will meet Paula & Mary with food and supplies for the second half of the hike. Sounds like a fine plan, but sometimes things just don’t go as planned. Read More...

Crater Lake & Odell Lake

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Moxie got up early this morning. She and I headed to Kindred Spirits Pet Care where she will spend the next two days with her friends. Moxie seems to really like Kindred Spirits which says a lot because Moxie does not care much for people or other dogs. Read More...

Person #28

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Paula arrived at the Redmond airport around noon. Paula is the twenty-eighth friend or family member that has come to Oregon since we have been here. Friends from Paula’s home in Florida had told her to be sure and check out the Bend Ale Trail. Paula is a hiker and gets excited about any new trail so I decided we would jump right on the Ale Trail. Read More...

Karin & Steve

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My phone rang while I was driving down from the top of Paulina Peak. I had just dropped Mary off to mountain bike from the top of the Peak to the lake below. Cat who works at REI and happened to have my phone number in her phone said there was a man named Steve White at REI asking for Mary’s phone number. I told her that we knew Steve and asked that she give him my phone number.

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House Sitting

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Deb and Perrin got my name and phone number from someone who knows me and suggested that I might be willing to farm sit while they went out of town. When Deb told me they had horses I agreed to go by and check things out. Read More...

Always Wonderful World

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We are still loving Bend. Seems like there is always wonderful options for things to do and the weather is always beautiful. We have settled into life here. Mary generally works four days a week. I spend a lot of time volunteering. We both spend a lot of time playing. Bend continues to be overcrowded with tourist. Read More...

Around Town

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After our Rogue River trip, Dickey and Emily came to Bend. We mountain biked and visited breweries most of the days they were here. Since then we have been mountain biking and hiking. Mary has been working and I have been going to the goat farm. Read More...

Rogue River - Day 5

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The last day on a group vacation is always a little melancholy and that holds true for river trips. This morning started as all the other morning on the trip have started except that this morning we had a flock of Mergansers running upstream and floating back down the river while we ate breakfast. There was also a mama bear and a cub across the river from out campsite. The bears upped our total bear sightings for the trip to twenty-three.

We only had a few miles to float today so we made a couple of extra stops. The first was at a rock where JR launched the kayakers in to the river from a rock about ten feet above the river (called a seal launch). The second stop was a waterfall where we hiked in for a group photo.

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The raft guides must have been tired because they turned the rafts over to the guest. At one point our guide even dove off the side of the raft and swam to another raft and climbed on board. At lunch JR decided to entertain us with an impromptu concert. Michael had made a special dressing and brought it from home for our salad. We arrived at the take-out around 2:00.

Vans met us at the take out. After we unloaded all personal belongings from the rafts and changed clothes, our belongings were loaded into a trailer and we took a two-and-a-half hour ride along the very narrow (often single lane) curvy
Galice-Hellgate Back Country Byway back to the resort. I can’t tell you anything about the ride other than I was sitting next to Emily because I slept the whole way.

Back at the river house, we unpacked our dry bags and took showers. Pat doctored those with injuries from the trip (always nice to have a doctor in the group) and then we headed down to the resort for dinner.

Saturday night is a big night in the unincorporated town of Galice, OR. The resort had a band and the restaurant and deck were packed with happy people. We all packed ourselves around one table and at the bar behind the table. Getting food took about forty minutes, but we were not in a hurry. After everyone was full, we started dancing and we danced and danced. I wish I had the camera with me, but I did not. (That might be a good thing now that I think about it.) Everyone had a great time. About half of us returned to the river house before too late, the others closed down the party at the resort.

As always with this group, we had a great week. I would have never guessed that a group of old people could have so much fun, but we sure do manage to have a good time year after year. I’m anxious to know where we are going next year.

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Rogue River - Day 4

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Dicky, Michael, Jim, David and I were up early this morning. Dickey made coffee and heated water for tea. A few more bears were spotted. This morning was like all other mornings on the river except for one thing. Normally a “speeder” takes off in a raft right after breakfast so that we are assured of having the best campsites on the river for the evening. That did not happen this morning. This morning all four rafts remained with the group because of the difficulty of the first two rapids we would encounter. Read More...

Rogue River - Day 3

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I woke up early this morning. The campsite was littered with sleeping bodies, musical instruments, bottles, cans, cups, camping and river gear. Dickie was making coffee and heating water for tea. I searched through the cups that were left from last night to find the cleanest dirty cup for tea. Once the guides wake up the cups will be washed, but I wanted tea right away. Read More...

Rogue River - Day 2

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Apparently I sleep warm. I have a fifty-degree sleeping bag on this trip. Mary brought a fifty-degree and a forty-degree bag (couldn’t decide which one she would need). I was plenty warm all night. When I woke up this morning, Mary was in both the fifty and forty degree bags that she brought.
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Rogue River - Day 1

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Everyone was up early this morning. We had muffins and cereal available in the house for breakfast. In addition, the restaurant at the “resort” (I use the term loosely) had a full breakfast. We were to meet our river guide at 9:00. We would be given instructions for packing our gear into dry bags and taken to the put-in.
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Galice Resort

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Mary thought it would be great to have a house for people to stay in the night before our Rogue River trip. Since the trip starts from the Galice Resort that was the logical place for us to stay. It just so happened that the Resort had a house that sleeps up to sixteen guests. Read More...

Dee Wright Observatory

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Dee Wright Observatory is located at the top of McKenzie Pass. It was built from lava rock during the Great Depression and is surrounded by a large lava flow. The structure is built so that each opening in the wall showcases one of the surrounding mountains. McKenzie Pass follows an 1860 wagon road. The route was cut through the sixty-five square mile lava flow. Read More...

"You Did it Again"

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Mary had the day off and wanted to go kayaking and mountain biking. I found what looked like the perfect place. There were more than ten miles of mountain bike trails and the Deschutes River with a put-in and take-out close enough together that we could bike the shuttle. Adding to that, it was a place we had never been.

Mary got up before me (a rare event) and we started packing up bike and kayak gear before nine o’clock. Mary generally does not do anything but sleep and grumble before nine o’clock so I knew she was anxious to get started playing. We did not get very far packing up before our neighbor (a seventy year old single woman) came over and asked if we knew how to empty an RV holding tank. I told Mickey that I would help her. I went over to check things out and discovered that her RV has two separate sewage setups. Her gray water holding tank was hooked up and working. Her black tank did not even have a sewage hose connected to it. Most RVs have a common hookup for the two types of tanks. We carry an extra sewer hose so I went back to our RV and got it to hook to Mickey’s black tank. That is when I discovered that Mickey had pulled the release to dump the tank and the sewage was already in the dump hookup pipe. If I removed the cap to hook up the hose, I was going to be covered with sewage as was the area around the pipe. I told her I could not do it. She would need to find someone with experience along those lines and some kind of container to catch the sewage that was already in the pipe - several gallons from the look of the setup.

I returned to help Mary load bike and boats. Our neighbors across the street came out to talk so we stopped and chatted with them for a while before continuing to pack up. Then our neighbors on the other side of us came over to talk and we stopped to talk with them. It ended up taking us about an hour longer than it should have to get gear loaded, but that’s ok - the days are long and we have plenty of hours of sunshine left. After loading everything we had breakfast - goat sausage and eggs from the goat farm and headed for LaPine State Park.

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We arrived at LaPine without issue, unloaded the bikes and rode about six miles on several trails. The trails were in good shape and the biking was excellent. After a few hours of riding and checking out the state park, we returned to the truck to take the boats to the put-in so we could kayak.

I had found this put in using a map of the Deschutes River and longitude and latitude coordinates. Once you have longitude and latitude coordinates, you can put them in a vehicle GPS and the GPS will direct you to the location of the coordinates. Sounds like a great system doesn’t it? This is not the first time I have found remote locations using longitude and latitude coordinates nor is it the first time that things didn’t work out as planned. In the past, I have gotten us in some bad situations and a few terrible situations doing just this sort of thing. This was another one of those times.

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We drove out of the park and immediately turned onto a dirt road, then we turned onto a narrower dirt road, then onto a third - I hesitate to call it a road - perhaps sandy trail is a better description. The trail was not very wide nor in very good condition. As we drove on (actually Mary was driving as always seems to be the case when I get us into these messes), the trail narrowed to the point that it was not as wide as the truck. By this time Mary is fussing that I “did it again,” meaning that I got us into a bad situation using navigational aids. She went on and on about how she always is the one driving when I get us in to these “situations.” We came to an open area (not our destination) and Mary said she was turning around because there was no way she was going to bike in this sand or drive the road again (both of which are required to run a boat shuttle). I got out to direct the forty point turn it took to turn the truck around in the tight space. After we got turned around, Mary got out to see how badly the truck had been scratched from the trees and bushes along the road - it was not good.

Even though the road today was in poor condition and the truck got scratched, this was by no means the worst situation I have gotten us into using my map reading and navigational skills. We got out of the situation pretty quick and still had time left to play afterwards. Mary has learned that it is a risk she takes when agreeing to try to drive to a location I have found.

As we made our way back to civilization we discussed other options for kayaking and where we might find lunch. We found lunch at a wine bar in Northwest Crossing and then headed up to an area we were familiar with to kayak.

We unloaded the boats about half way between Benham Falls and Dillion Falls on the Deschutes River. Mary biked the shuttle while I played around in the river. When Mary returned we floated down the river. It was a perfect day to be on the water and once again everything was right in our world.

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Mary Bites the Dust

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Much of the “dirt” in Central Oregon is actually volcanic dust. Mary got a taste of it when she was having too much fun on a bike trail aptly named “Whoops”. Mary called me from the trail, “I had a wreck.” Mary has had many bike wrecks and has never called to tell me about them, she just comes home battered up. I wondering why she is calling then she says, “I don’t think I can drive. Can you come get me?” She gave me directions to a dirt road that was near where she wrecked. There were people with her and they were going to try to get her to the road so I could pick her up. Read More...

Busy Week

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We are becoming Bendites. We are wearing shorts & tee shirts when the temperature is in the 50’s and the sun is shining. We are hiking, biking or both several days a week. We are attending events (there are more events in Bend than any two people can attend) and enjoying the summer weather (if you call lows in the upper 30’s and highs in the 60’s summer weather). Read More...

McKenzie River Day Three

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Woke up around 6:00 this morning. Sleeping by a river sure makes for a great night’s sleep. Moxie was slow getting up - she looked and moved like zombie dog - tired from two days of activity. It was cloudy and cold, so I got to work starting a fire. While working on the fire I felt rain. We head home today. I decided to start packing up what I could while Mary was still asleep in case the rain intensified. Read More...

McKenzie River Day Two

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I’m glad we brought our twenty-degree sleeping bags. I slept warm and cozy. Moxie and I got up and built a fire - it was cool and cloudy. Next on the agenda was hot water for chai and coffee. By the time I had a hot cup of chai and my iPad to read my book Mary stumbled out of the tent. Read More...

McKenzie River Day One

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Mary has a new position at REI. I’m not sure what the title is, but it has something to do with being a customer service specialist. The good news is that Mary is excited about it because it is a position with some extra responsibility & opportunities but is not designed to put the individual on a management track Read More...

Sparks Lake

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Our friends Cheryl & Patty invited us to join them kayaking Sparks Lake (one of the many alpine lakes in the Cascade Mountains). In general, high alpine lakes are beautiful. While Mary nor I particularly enjoy flat water paddling, I do enjoy seeing beautiful lakes.

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Back in the Saddle

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My day started in what is becoming my usual pattern… a hike with Moxie (about a mile and a half) followed by about an hour and a half or two hours of chores at the goat farm. The goat farm is really growing on me. I love the way it smells and the way all the animals are quite when chores have been finished (they are very loud before and while we are feeding them). Read More...

Bend Don't Brake

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Today I volunteered for the Bend Don’t Brake bicycle race. My job was to stand at an intersection and stop traffic when bikers were coming. I had a fluorescent green vest, a hand held stop sign and a two-way radio. Read More...

Winter Again

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The wind was howling and snow was flying when Moxie and I went for our morning walk. We did not go as far as usual because my ears were freezing. Moxie seemed to enjoy the cold and was not ready to go home when I headed back to the RV. Perhaps she is adjusting to our new climate better than I am. Read More...

Goat, It's What's for Dinner

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Here are a few of the female goats and their guardian llama having breakfast at one of the many hay feeders I filled this morning. Mary is off work today. She went to the goat farm with me this morning. Mary helped feed the baby goats and helped Pat while I did other things on the farm. Well, that may not be accurate, perhaps I should say Mary hung out with Pat while I did other things on the farm. Pat, one of the owners whom I would describe as the business manager, was in charge of getting all the chores done this morning. Read More...

Meet Max

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This is Max. Max is one of four Livestock Guardian Dogs on the goat farm. Max protects the mama and baby goats. He is very gentle with the goats. This morning he was introduced to the two newest members of his herd - a sixteen pound baby boy and his thirteen pound sister. Read More...

Pole, Pedal, Paddle

P5190213Yesterday morning and this morning I worked at the goat farm. There were baby goats born Wednesday night. I am getting better at knowing how and what to feed the goats, lamas, chickens and dogs. I enjoy being around the goats and learning new things.

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Hiking in the Rain

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Mary did not work today. We initially planned to go mountain biking, but Mary decided that mountain biking might not be good with rain predicted (trails tend to get slick when wet). So our back up plan was hiking. I had read somewhere that the Metolius River is an aquamarine color and has a trail along it. Read More...

Get Your Goat

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I got up at 6:00 this morning and took Moxie for her morning run. She returned to the RV to finish sleeping since I work her over an hour earlier than what she likes to get up. I found a pair of gloves and a hat (chilly this morning) and headed to the goat farm. I had a good time on the farm yesterday and an even better time today. I am sure the more I learn about what needs done and how to do it the more fun I will have. I am invited back to help again tomorrow morning. Read More...

Tumalo Falls

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Tumalo Falls plunges eighty-nine feet into Tumalo Creek. It is an impressive waterfall and one of the most popular outdoor destinations around Bend. Today’s adventure was a visit to Tumalo Falls. Mary loaded her bike onto the car and we drove to the Skyliner Trailhead where Mary planned to get on her bike and ride to the falls. Moxie and I dropped off Mary and drove to the Tumalo Falls parking lot. Read More...

Exploring

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Mary did not work today so we decided to go exploring. We put Mary’s kayak & bike in the truck along with fishing gear and Moxie. A friend told Mary about a two-mile kayak run with one class II rapid and a few class I rapids. With a little more investigating, we discovered that the Deschutes River Trail runs along the river from the put-in to the take-out. Read More...

High Desert Museum

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Yesterday Moxie and I went to Meadow Camp. I don’t know why Meadow Camp is called Meadow Camp. I did not see a meadow nor a place to camp. Meadow Camp is not far outside of Bend and is located along the Deschutes River. We went there because someone said it was a place where dogs could swim. Moxie loves to swim. Read More...

Pilot Butte

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Pilot Butte is an extinct volcano in Bend. Bend is one of four US cities with a volcano. This morning I decided to hike up Pilot Butte. The hike is not long or difficult. You can drive to the top if you like, but based on today, many more people walk than drive. I think the hike up is about a mile (same length down). Read More...

Cinco de Mayo

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We celebrated Cinco de Mayo with a bike ride. Once it warmed up enough to ride, we headed into town to ride along The River Trail. The River Trail is apparently what the people in Bend call their Greenbelt / Greenway. I thought Greenbelt / Greenway were pretty generic names for paved walk/bike ways in town, but perhaps that is not the case. Bend has lots of sculpture type art around town. Much of it is in the roundabouts (which Bend has more of than anywhere I have been), but there is also some along The River Trail. Read More...

Medical Report & Smith Rock

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Today started with Mary going to physical therapy (for her shoulder) and me going to the doctor for my foliow-up. I told the doctor I was there for a follow-up from a bike accident and wanted to get cleared to start biking, kayaking, driving, etc. The doctor quickly looked through the info from the hospital in Boise and told me I was very lucky and was obviously doing very well. I said something about biking and she said she was not going to talk about that until she did a complete neurological exam. Read More...

May Day

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On May first we woke up to seventeen degrees. It warmed up to fifty-eight, but it was well below freezing this morning. The lawn watering system must have come on sometime really early this morning, because when I took Moxie out this morning, the lawn was coated with ice - much was in the form of drops. We got a small space heater for in the living area of the RV so that we do not keep the furnace on all day. Read More...

Shevlin Park

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Mary got home from work around 3:00 today. We decided to go check out Shevlin Park - one of the many city parks in Bend. Shevlin is a large park with hiking and biking trails, a lake and a creek. Trails connect it to other hiking and mountain biking trails around town. The linked article (click on the blue words above) tell about the park and has lots of photos. Read More...

Yard Art????

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Today was warm and sunny. it was warm enough that I even thought about putting on a short-sleeve shirt. Thinking about it was as far as I got. I did open the Fantastic Fan in the RV to get some fresh air. Even though it is warm during the day, it is still going to be cold tonight. Read More...

Trader Joe's

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If you have a Trader Joe’s near you and you do not shop there, you are missing out. We bought some frozen almond croissants from Trader Joe’s because we both love almond croissants. We put them out to rise for several hours and then cooked them. They were delicious. You will not find the name brands that you see on TV at Trader Joe’s, nor will you find a huge store. Trader Joe’s carries a wide variety of products and everything we have gotten from Trader Joe’s has been great. Read More...

A River Runs Through It

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We woke up to sunshine this morning. Mary has been wanting to try out her fishing pole so we decided to take Moxie and go fishing. Before heading to the Crooked River - a National Wild and Scenic River, we went to Shari’s to get something to eat and then went to the Fish and Wildlife Agency to get fishing licenses. One of the young men that worked there is married to a girl who grew up in Hendersonville, NC. Read More...

Snow???

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We woke up to a nasty weather report. A high today in the low thirties, wind and snow showers. The day has lived up to it’s potential. We drove up to Mt. Bachelor and to Moxie’s delight we discovered that they had a special area for dogs to play in the snow. Moxie ran around and had a great time. I think the dog play area might be a small lake in the summer, but for now it was solid ice covered with lots of snow. Read More...

Not to be Trusted

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Sunday morning Mary and I went for what was going to be a short bike ride on the Boise Greenbelt. I remember getting on my bike beside the RV.  This is the last thing I remember for a while. About two miles into the ride. Mary said I hit a slick wet spot and my rear bike tire slid out from under the frame of the bike and I went flying off the bike. Mary was behind me. Read More...

Goodbye to Glacier National Park

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Glacier National Park is my favorite national park - at least it is my favorite of all the national parks I have visited.






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Glacier National Park - Day 22

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Today is our last full day in Glacier National Park. We hiked to Swiftcurrent Ridge Lake this morning. Mary selected the hike because she thought there might be bear on the trail.


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Glacier National Park - Day 21

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This morning we drove to Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada. Waterton Lakes is an extension of Glacier National Park. Waterton Lakes was very different from Glacier.

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Glacier National Park - Day 20

Today was a red letter day!!! The day started with us driving to Sunrift Gorge along Going to the Sun Road. Our plan was to catch a shuttle up to Siyeh Bend but we were lucky enough to hitch a ride with two women heading to Logan’s Pass (just like we don’t normally pick up hitchhikers, we don’t normally hitchhike, but in hiking and kayaking areas it works and is safe). We got on the trail at least forty-five minutes before we would have if we had to wait for a shuttle. Read More...

Glacier National Park - Day 19

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It is getting colder. The daytime temperature has not been above 64 in several days. Glacier National Park only has about a two and a half month tourist season from July to mid September. The Many Glacier area is still very crowded. Other areas of the park have openings in the lodges, motels and campgrounds, but the Many Glacier area is still full. Read More...

Glacier National Park - Day 18

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Last night I decided that today was going to be a rest day for me. Mary decided she is tired of hiking and wants to go home so she can bike and kayak. Mary has a difficult time enjoying the moment - things for her are always better in the past or the future. Mary also decided to hike to Grinnell Glacier with a ranger at 8:30 in the morning.

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Glacier National Park - Day 17

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We left the campground around eleven yesterday morning heading to Cracker Lake. The hike is a moderate six and a half mile hike. Mary was hoping to see grizzly bears. The last time I was at Cracker Lake, grizzly bears were foraging for berries on the mountain side above the campground. Read More...

Glacier National Park - Day 16

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Every morning at 7:00 a parade begins in Many Glacier Campground. The campground does not accept reservations. In order to get a campsite, people arrive at the campground and circle through hoping to find a site where the campers are packing up to leave. There are over a hundred campsites in the campground and very few are vacated on any given day. Read More...

Glacier National Park - Day 15

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It was thirty degrees this morning. Today’s plan was to do a 9.8 mile round-trip hike to Iceberg Lake. We did the 9.8 mile hike, but added a 5 mile hike to it. Our first stop was Ptarmigan Falls, another crystal clear waterfall with beautiful colored rocks lining the stream bed. Read More...

Glacier National Park - Day 14

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We really wanted to get a camping site in Many Glaciers Campground. Yesterday the camp host suggested that we try between 7:00 and 7:30 this morning. While the trip from St Mary’s to Many Glacier is only about twenty-two miles it take almost an hour to drive. We left the RV parked in St. Mary and drove the truck to Many Glacier. Read More...

Glacier National Park - Day 12

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Today is Mary’s sixty-first birthday. We had planned to do a long hike, but she decided she had rather go fishing,, go to Lake Bowman and stop by the Polebridge Mercantile for a few pastries. Bowman Lake is in the north western part of Glacier National Park. To get there, you either hike a really long way or driveto Polebridge and go down a nasty 4-wheel drive road for about eight miles.
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Glacier National Park - Day 11

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Today we got up early to catch the hiker’s shuttle to Logan’s Pass. Before we could leave our little guest from yesterday had to be disposed of - I don’t do anything with mice, even dead mice so Mary had to get rid of it (the mouse trap worked. Read More...

Glacier National Park - Day 10

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This morning, while fixing my breakfast, I discovered that we had a small visitor. A little grey field mouse ran across the counter top. We do not keep mice traps in the RV so the first thing on my agenda for the day became to locate a mouse trip. I am afraid of mice - fortunately not as afraid of little field mice from the woods as mice from the city or town. Read More...

Glacier National Park - Day 9

Today is Mary’s last night out backpacking. Readers should have a report from her tomorrow. I got up early this morning and headed to the McDonald Lake Coral for an all day horseback ride to Sperry Chalet. I had signed up for the ride about two months ago and was looking forward to it. Read More...

Glacier National Park - Day 8

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I slept late this morning. I generally wake up between six and six-thirty. Today I got up at eight-thirty. I fixed bacon, a couple of eggs and hot tea for breakfast. I wanted to hike today, but did not want to do anything to strenuous or remote. I decided on Avalanche Lake - it is on the shuttle route, it is a popular trail and it fairly easy and not too long. Read More...

Glacier National Park - Day 7

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It was so nice to have running water (hot and cold) last night and this morning. There are so many little things like running water that we take for granite until they are gone. Read More...

Glacier National Park - Day 6

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While I was being seen by the nurse at the Glacier Park Clinic, Mary called a truck repair place in Kalispell to see if they could fix our water pump. The gentleman she talked to told her to be there between nine and ten Friday morning. We arrived at the truck repair shop at 9:30. Read More...

Glacier National Park - Day 5

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It was twenty-four degrees when I got up this morning - the RV was a balmy forty-one. The sky was blue and appeared to have all the makings of a beautiful day. I went for a little walk out by the lake and fixed myself breakfast. Mary, the mighty outdoors woman, would not get up because it was too cold. I don’t know what she is going to do when we get to Canada. Read More...

Glacier National Park - Day 4

When Mary woke up this morning the first things she said was, “Thank you for not dying last night. I am taking you to the doctor today.” Read More...

Glacier National Park - Day 3

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Our plan was to hike to Cobalt Lake today. We got up, ate breakfast and had everything ready to go for the all day hike. I sat down on the couch to wait for Mary and when she came back into the living room she said, “You don’t look like you feel very good.” Read More...

Glacier National Park - Day 2

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Mary started the day trying to catch some fish (we have been told there are no sizable fish in Two Medicine Lake. I was so proud of myself this morning, because I loaded all photos from yesterday into the computer and named them. Read More...

Glacier National Park - Day 1

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I woke up about 6:00 this morning. Cows had joined us during the night and they were milling around. My plan was to try to get the water pump working before we got on the road. I discovered that the fuse for the water pump had blown and thought this is going to be a piece of cake. I popped in a new fuse and it immediately blew.
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Traveling Across Idaho and Montana

We pulled out of the RV park around noon. Our first stop was to have the tire pressure checked since the RV and truck had been sitting for quite a while. Once that was done we were on our way. We drove about 50 miles on the interstate before turning off onto two lane truck route roads. Read More...

Off the Grid

This morning I am going to the Boise City Market with Sharla. Mary will prepare the RV for takeoff while I am gone. I am excited to be going to Glacier National Park, but I am sad about leaving Boise. Read More...

Boise River

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Last night at dinner we talked Sharla into going down the Boise River with us today. Mary wanted to kayak in her little kayak (the only kayak we have in Boise), however, the place that rents inflatable kayaks for going down the Boise River does not rent boats for one person. So our plan was to rent an inflatable and go down the river. Since Sharla was willing to go, Mary could go in her kayak and Sharla and I can go in an inflatable. Read More...

Roaring Springs

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This morning we did a few more RV chores and trip preparations. Mary is not much into doing chores are making trip preparations and I still am not feeling very good. Needless to say, we did not get much done. It too hot to work outside in the afternoon so we decided to go to Roaring Springs Water Park.
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Trip Planning

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It is still unbelievably hot. The high temperature has been over a hundred degrees for about two weeks and the heat index has been ranging from 114 to 119 each day. Read More...

Game Changer

We got a bit of a rain shower yesterday, but not enough to keep me from having to water plants today - in fact it was not even enough to get the ground wet under shrubs or trees. But any rain is better than no rain and it did drop the temperature into the 90’s rather than above 100 for a while. Read More...

Paula's Lodge

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Hi, this is Mary writing this blog entry (that is not me in the photo shooting at pigeons).







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The Turtle Whisperers

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Shelley and Dave left for Chicago today. Keenan is visiting with her other grandparents this weekend. We were left in charge of the house and the dogs. By 1:00 the yard crew and the insect sprayers had already come to the house and done their job leaving us with no more responsibilities for the day. Read More...

Hello Cousin

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A few months ago I realized that my cousin, Pam, lived near the Amtrak route that runs through Raleigh/Durham. It didn’t take too much talking to convince Cheryl (my sister) that we needed to take Amtrak and visit Pam. Our trip happened this weekend.



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The Haw River

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People who have spent much time outdoors with Mary knows that she loves doing “exploratory” hikes and bike rides. Lately she has taken to doing exploratory kayak trips. Today’s exploratory trip took place on the muddy Haw River. The section of the river she selected is rated class I/II+ which means it could be a bit difficult for me at normal/average flow (I am ok on most class II stuff - the class II+ looks scary to me). Mary thought the river was running low, but I thought it must be flooded based on the very muddy water.


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Roll Practice

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In order for kayakers to maintain some semblance of safety in water they must practice getting out of an upside down kayak (this is called a wet exit) or righting the upside down kayak while sitting in it (this is called rolling). We determined that the water in the pool was warm enough to practice wet exits and rolls today. Warm enough does not mean comfortably warm. My original plan was to just sit in my boat and rescue Mary if she was not able to roll successfully. I did not want to get wet (I do not like cold water). Read More...

Georgia on Mary's Mind

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Mary returned this afternoon from a five day play date in North Georgia, Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee. This was her second trip within a month. She went to mountain bike and kayak with some old friends (old as in “long term” and years on earth). Read More...

Dead Broke Farm - Day 2 & 3

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Dead Broke Farm doesn’t only have horses; there are also chickens, roosters, rabbits, dogs, gunnies, snakes and wild turkeys. There may be more animals, but I have not met them. I arrived at the farm around 7:15 Saturday morning. I was greeted by this rooster perched on the hitching post. He was making sure everyone knew it was time to get to work. Read More...

The Horse Whisper?

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Last week I decided to check around and see if anyone did horseback trail rides in this area. There are a lot of horses and large horse farms in the area. While looking online, I found a place called Dead Broke Farms. Dead Broke offers group trails rides for $60 an hour per person and is only about nine miles from the house. Read More...

Swansboro Day Two

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After breakfast we headed to the ferry landing at Hammocks Beach State Park. We caught the 9:30 ferry to Bear Island. Early in the 20th century a neurosurgeon in New York purchased Bear Island for his retirement. He intended to will the property to his longtime hunting guide and friend. His friend persuaded him to donate it to the North Carolina Teacher Association, an organization of African American teachers. Read More...

Swansboro Day One

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We arrived in Swansboro, NC around 11:00. The sun was shining, there was a slight breeze and the temperature was in the high sixties. Mary was having a tough time deciding if she wanted to walk on the beach or get fried clams first. I did not have a tough time - we walked on the beach. We saw dolphins along with the normal beach birds and found a few nice shells. Our walk was cut short by Mary’s stomach.
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Kayak Trip

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Mary decided on Tuesday that we should go to Carolina Beach to kayak on Friday & Saturday. Mary is great about coming up with places she would like to go and things she would like to do, however her greatness stops there. Mary announces what we she would like to do and hopes that someone else will work out the details. Read More...

Pullen Park

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At breakfast this morning Dave said, “It's going to be a nice day for Pullen Park.” Mary has been wanting to take Keenan to Pullen Park and she was not working today so…………

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Time to Update

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Mary has been on my back about not updating the blog - evidently Mary has forgotten that her fingers also work on a keyboard. Now that I am looking at the blog, it has been a long time since I have updated it. Read More...

The Ugly Eno

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Mary and I had planned to kayak a section of the Eno River with class II rapids today, but the river was too low. According to info we had read, the only section of the river that could be run below two and a half feet was a class I-I+. The river was running at about twenty inches. We packed up our kayaks and kayaking gear and headed to the takeout. Read More...

Bike n' Buggy Boogie

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Mary created a new extreme sport for geriatric infant caregivers. In order to do the Bike n’ Buggy Boogie you need, two or more geriatric caregivers, one or more infants, a stroller and one less bicycle than the total number of geriatric players. You will also need a safe loop walking/biking trail a few miles in length. Read More...

Heading East - Day Eight

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We started the day with a ride up the tram to have waffles for breakfast. Mary, Shelley, Gustavo and Dave were going to snowboard / ski down from the top. I didn’t even put on my ski boots or take my skis up because I had no intention of skiing down the black (expert) run from the top. Read More...

Heading East - Day Seven

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Today started early. Shelley arrived at our hotel around 7:15. We ate breakfast and headed about an hour north of Jackson where we would meet the dogs and mushers from Continental Divide Dog Sled Adventures. Read More...

Heading East - Day Five & Six

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We have spent the last two days skiing & snowboarding with Shelley, Dave and their dentist friends and families. The mornings have been very cold (as in below zero), but the afternoons have been tolerable and by three o’clock or so they are not too bad for sitting in the sun with our feet up. Read More...

Heading East - Day Four

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Shelley and Dave arrived in Jackson Hole around 11:30. We picked them up at the airport and took them to their hotel in Teton Village. When Shelley and Dave flew out of North Carolina it was sixty-five degrees. When we picked them up it was six below zero. Read More...

Heading East - Day Three

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We are not heading east very fast. We will be in Jackson Hole until February 9th.

The jacuzzi and ibuprofen did not fix my back. It is still pretty sore and I am having trouble moving from sitting to standing. Other than that, I feel pretty good. Considering my age, how hard I fell and how far I rolled down the mountain, I think that is pretty good.
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Heading East - Day Two

Today was interesting at best. We drove from Idaho Falls to Grand Targhee Ski Resort. Grand Targhee is known for great snow and fog as thick as pea soup. Today was a perfect example of both. We took the lift to the top of the mountain and skied the only green run from the top of the mountain to the bottom. Visibility was pretty good and we both were skiing / snowboarding well. Read More...

McCall Winter Carnival

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Jaimie, Meghan & I went to the McCall Winter Carnival today. We drove about 150 miles north - watching the temp drop to negative one as we drove along the Payette River. When we arrived in McCall, we put toe warmers in our boots and hand warmers in our gloves before getting out of the car. McCall is a small town located on a large lake. The lake, parking lots and sidewalks were all covered in ice. There were paths through the snow on the lake and the usual carnival / street fair vendors had set up shop along the lake. Read More...

Chukar for Dinner

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Like many people in Idaho, Brad, Mary’s supervisor, enjoys hunting. One of the animals Brad hunts is Chukar. A Chukar is a chubby game bird that prefers running to flying. Brad brought us some frozen Chukar. We have never eaten or cooked Chukar. Mary said she was going to cook the bird, but did nothing to make that happen except for bringing it home. Read More...

Bluebird Day at Bogus Basin

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I took the dogs out this morning and saw stars. That is significant because it means that it could be a bluebird day at Bogus Basin. A bluebird skiing day is a day with fresh snow and a beautiful blue sky. Mary was not real excited about getting out of bed early to go skiing / snowboarding after yesterday’s horrible conditions, but I kept pushing and she finally got up. Read More...

Where are the Groomers

Groomers are ski slopes that have been machine groomed to be nice and smooth ergo - easy. Groomers are also the people who drive the machines that groom the slopes. We headed up to Bogus Basin despite the fact that it was raining in the valley and the clouds were so low that we couldn’t even see the mountains. When we got up to about 5,500 feet the rain changed to snow. Read More...

Beautiful Bogus

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Some days are just meant for skiing / snowboarding. Today was one of those days, the sky was a beautiful blue and the temperature was right around freezing. Mary even got out of bed in time to be on the mountain when the lifts opened. We picked up breakfast at McDonald’s drive thru and were on our way. Read More...

Bogus Basin

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This is a photo of the road to Bogus Basin. The dark thing in the bottom of the photo is the hood of the car. The photo was taken through the windshield. I headed to Bogus Basin armed with new ski boots, new goggles, new backpack, new apre ski boots, and skis that had to be refitted for my boots (the boots were too small for the bindings and messed up the geometry the skis - the techs at REI made everything work). Read More...

Parties at Dean's & Cathy's

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Last night we went to a party at Dean’s & Cathy’s. These parties are becoming a regular event. When we first went to Dean’s & Cathy’s party there were six of us present. The parties have continued to get larger and larger and last night there were at least thirty people. Its easy to understand why the parties have gotten larger and larger. Read More...

Sun Valley Resort

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There is no snow at our local ski area. Mary had a new snowboard & bindings. I had new ski boots and freshly waxed skis. Basically were all dressed with no place to go. After determining that nothing was going to happen with the RV and the Honda for a couple of days, we decided to drive to Sun Valley (about three and a half hours east) to ski / snowboard. Read More...

Michael Jackson

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This evening we went to see Michael Jackson the Immortal. The show was great. I wish we had better seats; ours were in the middle section, and we could see everything, but I feel like we missed a lot of detail because we were so high above the stage. Looking at the stage set up and the seating, I don’t think there were many great seats in the arena. Seats were either below the stage, far above the stage, or far away from the stage. A live band accompanied the performers and both the musicians and performers were amazing. The show was quite a tribute to Michael Jackson. Read More...

Dry Creek Plus

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Mary was off work today. It was going to be fifty degrees and partly sunny. We decided to do a hike/bike with the dogs. I had not been to Dry Creek and Mary wanted to try to find the connecting trail between Dry Creek Trail and Hard Guy Trail so we loaded Mary’s bike and the dogs into the truck and headed up Bogus Basin Road to Dry Creek Trailhead. Shadow and Moxie had obviously been there and were very excited when they realized where we were going. Read More...

Christmas Eve

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Here it is Christmas Eve and no snow. We should be spending the day skiing / snowboarding or snowshoeing, but there is no snow. We decided on a hike & bike with the dogs in the Polecat area. Hiking with the dogs is fun, but we should be snowshoeing with the dogs on Christmas Eve not hiking in a fleece instead of a heavy jacket. Read More...

New Video

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Mary has made a video from the party we went to on Sunday. You can see it by clicking on the Mary’s Videos tab at the top of this page.




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Yurting It

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For my sixtieth birthday, Mary planned a snowshoe trip to a yurt. Sue, one of our playmates and an experienced snowshoer and yurt visitor joined us. I have some snowshoeing experience and Mary had very limited experience. Shadow nor Moxie had any snowshoeing experience.

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Oops

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Mary is completing an application for “The Amazing Race” and made an iMovie as part of the application. Read More...

Mary's Bike Ride

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Mary claims that she does not like mountain biking in Idaho because of any or all of the following reasons:
  • It’s not Pisgah (a national forest in North Carolina);
  • It is not challenging enough;
  • It’s not Pisgah;
  • The trails are too steep;
  • It’s not Pisgah;
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Visiting Aunts

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My sister and I decided to go to Kentucky to visit two of our three maternal aunts. My mom died when I was 34 years old and her two older sisters live in Louisville and Lexington. I got up early Friday morning and hopped on an Amtrak train to Charlotte where my sister picked me up at the station. I jumped in the driver’s seat (my sister does not like to drive in the rain or on highways - we had seven and a half hours of both ahead of us) and we headed to KY. Read More...

Mary's Sawtooth Adventure

This entry was written by Mary and edited by Barbara:
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The Sawtooth Mountain Range is part of the Rocky Mountains, located near Stanley, Idaho. The mountains encompass and area of six hundred seventy-eight square miles. There are peaks over 10,000 feet high in the mountain range along with many alpine lakes. It is a backpacker’s paradise. The mountain range is called Sawtooth because of its appearance.
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Early Morning Paddle

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This morning I arrived at the Falls Lake put-in on Old Weaver Trail around 7:30. I had Shelley’s sit-on-top kayak with me along with a cup of Chai. There is something about slicing the paddle into the water and floating in and out of the morning shadows that is very relaxing. I saw a lot of egrets and blue herons, some jumping fish and a few other birds that I do not have names for. There were no other paddlers in the water or fisher people on the shore - just me, my chai and the birds. A great way to start the day. Read More...

Why is the Sheriff's Department Looking for Me?

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Some days just do not go according to plan. I got up, showered, ate breakfast and headed to Ann Morrison Park where I had volunteered to work at a festival. There were lots of volunteers and lots of work to be done before the festival opened at 11:00. I was working and meeting new people when I got a phone call from the manager of REI. He introduced himself and then said “I don’t mean to alarm you but………” Read More...

Middle Fork of the Salmon #4

DSC02152In my opinion, the rapids never got much easier than the first day. I spent most of my time in the oar raft with Dewi as my guide. Dewi told me all kings of tidbits about the river and got me safely to the take-out. I did spend a small amount of time in a duckie and a paddle raft. I hated being in the duckie, I was not able to control it at all. I liked the paddle raft, but was not able to take pictures and paddle at the same time. Mary spent at least half of the trip in her kayak along with a little time in a paddle raft and some time in an oar raft. Read More...

Middle Fork of the Salmon #3

DSC01735We awoke to the sound of “COFFEE”. The guides were already up preparing breakfast. Coffee, tea, chai & hot chocolate were ready and waiting for us. Since it was cool, the hot drinks were much appreciated. As the guides finished breakfast we packed up our gear.


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Middle Fork of the Salmon #2

DSC01469 After running several rapids, we stopped for lunch. Lunch was great. The guides sat up tables and put out chips, hummus, veggies & fruit along with juice and water. Before we could have anything to eat we had to wash our hands at the hand washing station (on the trip hands must be washed every time before you eat). The hand washing station is composed of two buckets, a bottle of soap, and a foot pump that pumps water from the clean water bucket through a small pipe in which you rinse your hands and the dirty water runs into the second bucket). As we snacked, the crew prepared our lunch. After lunch we refilled our water bottles and got back on the river. Read More...

Middle Fork of the Salmon #1

DSC01399I am finally rested up from our trip. We spent July 10th - July 17th on a rafting/kayak voyage down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. The river travels through the Frank Church Wilderness of No Return. The lower part of the river passes through the Impassible Canyon.
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Bucktail

IMG_8805We woke up to clouds this morning and decided it was a perfect morning for mountain biking. Mary loaded the bikes while I filled our packs with water and we were off. We headed to Military Reserve (one of the many biking areas about twenty minutes from our house). Military Reserve has tons of wildflowers which means I have trouble watching the trail and looking at the flowers at the same time. We road up to the top of one of the many ridges that overlook Boise then headed down Bucktail.
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Kayak Lesson

Mary has been struggling with the big waves and swirly water in the western rivers. Today she finally swallowed her pride and took a lesson. She is a great kayaker on eastern rivers, but the western rivers are different. She said her instructor really worked her hard and taught her some stuff that is real helpful. She even signed up for a second lesson tomorrow. Read More...

New Blog

DSC01348Besides having more to do than I have time for, I have been checking out new web/blog design software. Apple is phasing out iweb and their web publishing site. I have settled on RapidWeaver for design software. Read More...