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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Look Who We Found

A couple years ago we took a jeep trip out of North Ranch with Al, Kelly, Jim, Bev, Simon and Sandy to Crown King—it was a fantastic trip and we’ve stayed in touch with Jim and Bev who have moved to Idaho near McCall .  Since we were so close Bev arranged a gathering in Riggins, Idaho (yep, we went back over that big hill again but with just the trucks, no RVs).  The town of Riggins is small and sits in a narrow river valley alongside the Salmon River bringing in lots of tourist traffic floating the fast moving waters—today Riggins was having a car show.

It was so good to see Jim and Bev plus they invited another couple to lunch who ATV this area—we picked their brains for ideas!  We enjoyed a great meal at the River Rock Cafe and spent lots of time catching up before heading out to visit the car show.

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Back to Grangeville we went in search of ice cream—oh, no—the ice cream shop is closed!  Cathy and Mike to the rescue—they went to the grocery store, purchased ice cream and we sat outside the rigs eating ice cream and enjoying the cool temps and warm sunshine. 

More ATVing adventures to come!—we have a slow internet signal here using our booster—it’s better than none!

Friday, July 22, 2016

An Error In Judgment!

Usually the cowboy and I research our destinations a touch better (a lot better) than we did Thursday’s location of the Hell’s Canyon area, just over the mountain from Grangeville.  While the rest of the country is sweltering, since we arrived in Idaho we’ve been enjoying very reasonable summer temps up until yesterday.  And then we made an error in judgment by going to a BLM recreation area called Hammer Creek on the lower Salmon River—people, avoid this place like the plague in July and August—maybe even avoid it in June and September!!!

There is a seven mile stretch of 7% downhill grade as the highway drops into the canyon.  The landscape changed dramatically going from forested hills to dry high desert.

IMG_5524We left the campground at about 11:30am on the ATVs and the day became more and more miserable in spite of the gorgeous scenery. 

IMG_5529IMG_5537When we arrived at the campground about 3pm, it was 102 degrees outside and 102 degrees inside the truck camper.  We knew before leaving Montana our little 2000watt Honda generator would not pull the air conditioner load—so we cooked/roasted.  I went and sat in the river, we spent some time at Larry and Geri’s and waited for the sun to go down.  While we were roasting/baking we made a decision—early Friday morning we were heading for the hills and cooler temps.  By 10pm we were at 84 degrees in the camper and went to bed—and sweated the night away—it was still 70 degrees when we got up at 5am!

Fortunately the rest of the gang felt the same way we did and followed us back up the 7% grade hill and into the mountains above Grangeville where the elevation is over 4000 feet and it never got above about 74 degrees today—much, much better!!  We enjoyed a fabulous ride today and tonight are going to enjoy some of the blackberry cobbler/tart I made with blackberries the whole gang picked yesterday while we were frying!  The berries were just starting to get ripe—I would love to have a bunch more!

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We will stay here a few days—we have a fabulous boondocking site and more trails to ride.  Larry and Geri have some stuff to do—oil change, mail delivery, etc.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Sunday Through Wednesday

It’s been great to have internet and a cell phone signal!  We’ve been busy since arriving in Grangeville, Idaho on Tuesday afternoon.  It was a 200 mile trip from our spot southeast of St. Maries and we are in a full service campground right on HWY 95—noisy but we’ve enjoyed the hookups, unlimited water and being able to do two weeks worth of laundry.  And Emmi got a bath!

Wednesday we all (without Mike and Cathy) went into town early for breakfast then went our separate ways for errands.  We made a stop at the local USFS office for maps and boondocking information, dropped a whole lot of money at the local laundromat with $3 washers, shopped for groceries and I got a haircut.  Yep, I was brave and let a stranger cut my hair—I think she did a good job—she also cut Geri’s hair. 

Thursday we head south only about 20 miles to a new boondocking/ATVing location—probably no internet.

IMG_5495Picking huckleberries which we all enjoyed with ice cream Monday evening.

IMG_5507Everyone in the phone booth on top of the ridge, even the cowboy.

DSCN2753Canola fields on the way to Grangeville.

Stay tuned for more ATVing adventures!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Boondocking At Its Finest

UPDATE:  Once again we are back in the land of cell phones and internet—thank goodness!  I am posting two blogs today.

Thursday morning we left our boondocking spot under the huge trees and headed back toward I-90 and Kingston, ID where we all took advantage of the $5 charge for dumping tanks and filling with water at the local gas station.  Mike and Cathy headed to Coeur d’ Alene to await the arrival of parts for their RZR.  The rest of us—three rigs—headed southeast on Idaho Highway 3 to St. Maries, Idaho. 

It was a stunning drive and once reaching St. Maries we all visited the IGA grocery store leaving lots of money in the local economy!  Now—off to find a boondocking spot for four rigs in an area unfamiliar to all of us. We drove and drove alongside the St. Joe River—towering evergreens, beautiful river and full campgrounds/boondocking spots.  Every USFS campground—and there are many—was full as were any boondocking spots we found.  It wasn’t looking good!  Almost 65 miles from the town of St. Maries we hit the jackpot—a pull through dispersed camping spot with our own private outhouse!Winking smile  There was plenty of room for four rigs right beside the St. Joe River.  Lucky, lucky—smiles all around!!

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DSCN2738Michael took a ride up river to find firewood--DSCN2740

DSCN2747And once again we are eating well—Rollie, I tried your rib cooking method Thursday night and they were delicious—thanks Geri and Henrietta for providing the ribs!

Early Friday morning Larry and Geri made a 20 mile run back to Avery where there is a pay phone so we could let Mike and Cathy know where to meet us today—how long has it been since you used a pay phone???—cell service/internet is non-existent again.  Once they returned we packed lunches and took off on the RZRs.  Breathtakingly beautiful country—towering evergreens, clear, fast moving creeks and an abundance of wildflowers.

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Mike and Cathy pulled in about 5:30pm Friday afternoon—the gang is all here again and ready for some more riding. 

Drowned Rats

UPDATE:  Tuesday, July 19, we are finally back in the land of internet and cellphones in Grangeville, Idaho.  I am posting two blogs today.

Saturday under very cloudy skies we left our boondocking spot for more ATV riding—our goal was to have lunch in MontanaSmile.  It’s the middle of July and we were all dressed in multiple layers against the damp, chilly air.  Geri has worked so hard to map out these rides, obtaining USFS maps and using an app on her new smartphone—Avenza—we appreciate her! 

IMG_5426IMG_5431Once again, the scenery was gorgeous but dang it was cold!  We did have a brief sunny respite while we enjoyed lunch high on a ridge looking over into Montana.  It’s funny to see all of us grab our cellphones when we stop on a high ridge—we’ve been without internet or cell phone for almost two weeks and I for one am having withdrawal symptoms!  Watching the clouds we decided to head down off the mountain—we hadn’t gone far when the skies opened—UGH—now it’s both cold and wet.  We all have rain gear but it’s still miserable riding an ATV in the rain!  This truck camper has two awnings and we’ve been parking the RZR under the larger side awning—we had just unloaded the RZR, hung our wet clothing to dry and gotten inside the camper when the skies really dumped—it poured!  So glad we at least made it home before that deluge—we would have been drowned rats!

Sunday we took a spectacular ride under mostly sunny skies and managed to go through a whole day without donning rain gear!  But as I type this blog Sunday evening, it is raining, hard!

IMG_5436Larry having equipment envy!  Lots of logging operations in this part of Idaho and it is mind boggling how these companies are logging hillsides too steep for goats to climb!

IMG_5446Michael and I spotted this guy but others in our party saw a herd of elk—I only saw one elk butt in the heavy undergrowth!

IMG_5453IMG_5459Beautiful waterfall and steep mountains.

IMG_5463IMG_5469A fire tower look out being manned by a very, very unfriendly/crabby person! 

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It was a beautiful day—a 360 degree view from the fire tower location—wildflowers everywhere.

IMG_5481IMG_5486Lake Dismal—wonder where it got that name??  It was a beautiful spot—not dismal at all!

One more day of riding here then on to another spot in Idaho—Grangeville—sure hope there is enough signal for internet!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Riding and Rain

On Monday we moved northeast of Coeur d’ Alene to a boondocking spot in the middle of nowhere!  And it continued to rain up until Wednesday—best day we’ve had since arriving in Idaho a week ago!

Monday afternoon friends from Manitoba joined us—Elmer and Henrietta making us a gang of eight people, two dogs and five ATVs.  Tuesday we got a little damp—at our lunch spot the skies opened and dumped—not nice!Sad smileBut, we all have rain gear and stayed mostly dry.  Geri, Larry, Henrietta and Elmer saw a moose on the trail—exciting—Geri even got a photo which I will borrow when we once again have internet.  It rained most of Tuesday night but Wednesday dawned with blue skies and warmer temps—by afternoon we were shedding all those coats/jackets we had been wearing.

Mike and Cathy’s pooch Jasmine is prone to car sickness and has never gone on ATV rides with us—rather than leave her in an unattended motorhome in a campsite in the middle of nowhere, Jasmine got to go—they’ve created a monster just like our Emmi—every time the rig starts, Jasmine thinks it’s time to go!  And so far—no car sickness!

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We’ve ridden some beautiful trails—tall trees, lush green undergrowth and vivid wildflowers.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen Indian paintbrush in colors so bright!

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Today we are moving south to the St. Joe river area—new country for all of us.  Mike and Cathy are heading into Coeur d’ Alene to await the arrival of a part for their RZR then will re-join us on Friday.  Chores are waiting—dumping of tanks, laundry, grocery store—and posting the blog. 

IMG_5380IMG_5387The only wildlife we saw on Wednesday!Smile

I would think no one living in this neck of the woods needs a cell phone—service just doesn’t exist!  We spent time yesterday afternoon trying to gain enough elevation so we would have a cell signal—Mike W. needed to contact a RZR dealer to order his part and I needed to touch base with the family—Mr. Chuck has taken a small step backward and has been sent to a hospital from the rehab unit.  It’s a common thing when recovering from an insult as great as the one Chuck had—hopefully it’s a short lived hospital stay and he will be back to taking forward steps!

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Monday, July 11, 2016

There’s A Reason the Trees Are Tall

Rain and more rain makes for tall trees I am thinking!  We’ve forgotten how the sun looks and judging from my mood, I must surely have a slight touch of seasonal affect disorder!  The rain stopped on Saturday but the skies are still grey, grey and it is chilly, very chilly! 

Friday while it was raining we all drove into Coeur d’ Alene to have breakfast and run some errands—Geri and Larry needed some business papers signed and faxed—Staples was a one shop stop for that business.  Back at the RVs we called our Spokane friend Mary who drove to our camping spot for a visit—we used to compete in Cowboy Action Shooting with Mary and her late husband Gene.  We’ve enjoyed good, good times with them—it was so good to see Mary. 

While we were out and about on the ATVs Thursday we found lots and lots of huckleberries—no bears, just berries!  Saturday we found the bear, up in a tree and when he saw us, flying down the tree so fast that bear was a black blur!

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Saturday evening our friends Mike and Cathy arrived with pooch Jasmine.  Sunday in spite of the low clouds and chilly temps we all headed out for Harrison, ID—a small Coeur d’ Alene Lake community with a marina and good restaurant.  Both dogs were with us and the restaurant was extremely accomodating allowing us to bring the dogs through the dining area out onto their lakeside patio area.

 IMG_5328IMG_5331As you can tell from our attire, outside dining was a little chilly but it worked!

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We’ve shared our boondocking spot with hikers, bikers and horseback riders--

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But it’s time to more on--today we are moving a little east and north to see some new country—sure hope it has sunshine!

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