A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Taylor Canyon Trail

Where we are camped is a side road up to the Taylor Canyon Trail. 

It gets a fair amount of cars going up and back stirring up the dirt and dust as they do so.  I walked up and it was not quite a half mile to the trail head.  Seeing this I saved the hike for a weekday.

An information sign before you start.

Brush off your boots and then go.

The day I went to hike it I got up there fairly early.  The canyon was still in shade and my hands were cold.   A local woman had just pulled in and parked.  After I mentioned how I wish I had my gloves she agreed out of kindness I suspect for she was wearing really short hiking shorts and a tank top.   She said that she'll do it in reverse to be in the sun more.  Great! I'll follow her for I had no idea where the end of the trail came out.  She turned to me and made a comment as to how nice the sounds of summer were and that was the last time I saw her within speaking distance. 
The trail immediately went up and up and up.

I don't know what I was thinking when I took these pictures.

This went on for a complete mile with no level parts.  Climb, climb, up and up.  The trail starts at 6,393' and tops out at 7504'.  It wasn't so much the climb but the altitude.  I am used to one tenth of those figures.  I was grumbling, sniveling, whining, wheezing and thinking about heart attacks.  Each time I stopped to take a picture, look at the view, get a drink I'd look up ahead and there she was a tiny little figure way way up there and still climbing.  "Oh Lord! Is there no end to this?"  Once I slowed my pace down from my usual 3 miles per hour I was doing better...sort of.

Finally it leveled out and I was fully recovered back to my normal self motoring along when all of a sudden an explosion of birds occurred out from the brush above me.  Scared the bejesus out of me.  I had spooked this grouse hen who burst out from the bushes scaring all the little birds around her in the process.

The goofy bird kept leading the way instead of going back to her nest.

Eventually the trail began to descend and I was glad I went the way I did.   Going the correct way the climb would have been more gradual but there would be that very steep downhill for the last mile and that would have taken a toll on my knees.  Length of trail was 3.82 miles.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Lake Creek

Where we are is called Lake Creek. 
 One day I rode my bike three miles up the road and discovered why the name.

What a pretty setting for a camp, only room for one and 
yes, maybe I could get the Little House on the Highway up here.

But it is a single lane dirt road, a bit rough at this end 
and if I met someone coming up when we were going out
there would be a problem.

I was surprised to see such an elaborate long drop for just one campsite but the reality of it is if the Forest Service didn't have this here people would be doing their business everywhere imaginable and just think how awful this area would be then not to mention fouling the waters that flow down pass where I and a few others are camped.

I walked over to the structure and saw this.  Someone used a 9mm on the door. 
 I found the empty shell casings around in the lot.   I'll not say anymore.

Okay, I am.  Hopefully one of the bullets ricocheted and hit the pinhead.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A Perfect Camp

I was driving down the dirt road at our new camp location looking for a small cleared area of sagebrush off to the side to pull on to.  Up ahead a guy in a pickup with camper shell was throwing a ball for his dog.   He appeared to be getting ready to leave so I pulled to a stop, rolled down the window and yes, he was leaving.   Cool!  I waved goodbye, pulled in, turned off the motor and stepped outside.  It was a broad wide open valley, peaceful and quiet, a small rushing stream off in the distance...yes, I like this place.  After picking up dog poop he left behind I let Beans out and set up camp which amounts to pushing the slide-out open about 4 inches.  Done.

Looking straight out from camp at a rushing stream that is just the right distance away.

I sat in my chair enjoying the scene and it slowly came to me why I was feeling so at peace here compared to camps in the past few weeks.  I like wide open spaces.   I like to be able to see for miles all around.   I like the sun and big unobstructed sky and seeing stars at night.  In the forests I was feeling confined, closed in.  Although the shade may be nice and cool some of the places were plain dark and gloomy.   I usually could see no further than I could throw a rock, that's if I didn't hit a tree first.  Finally, and you'll think I am really off after reading this, being camped right next to a rushing stream isn't all that romantic as I thought it to be.  The first night I couldn't get back to sleep from the noise and had to put in ear plugs.  Then the next day I found myself shutting the door just for some quiet as the constant noise was getting to me.

This brings up another point that came up while talking with my neighbors at the previous camp.  The lady said how the following weekend was a four day long holiday weekend (4th of July, Independence Day) and everywhere will be packed.  I had no idea this date was approaching.  I just don't think of holidays anymore and this one would have blindsided me.  I kind of panicked wondering what am I going to do and where are we going to go to escape the madness?

The mountain in the distance with the cleared strips running down it 
is the popular winter ski area of Sun Valley, Idaho.

Now I admit there are times I am a bit slow on the uptake and this is one of them. 
 It has taken up to now for me to realize why I have been having such an abnormal time on the road these past two months.  Sinbad and I always did our traveling in the fall or spring. 
 We never ventured out during the summer months when school was out and families are all over the park lands like a swarm of ants. 
Here Beans and I are right in the thick of "vacation time" dealing with this all these weeks.
 And with that revelation I felt just a little bit better about myself.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Mountain Meadows, Mountain Goats and DIRT

I went for a ride on my bike up some Forest Service roads 
and through some pretty meadows full of flowers.

A sign along the road said there are mountain goats to be see in these mountains and lower foothills but I never saw them.  But then how could one possibly see a tiny speck of white way up on a mountainside so far away, even with the aid of binoculars or Hubble Space Telescope?

Back at camp I went over to say hello to my only camp neighbors.  They were an older couple (older than I...I think) locals from Idaho and the discussion ended up as to how things have changed in camping and being in the great outdoors compared to 30 or 40 years back.  They were commenting on how people are today and I could only agree with them for they were bringing up points that I was beginning to think is it just me and some bad attitude towards people I've nurtured as I've grown older?  I thought more on our visit afterwards and about how some people are just  Disrespectful,  Inconsiderate, Rude Tourists, and so will be referred to as DIRT from now on.  And with that, later in the day some DIRT moved in and I just had to leave the next morning.
It turned out to be good thing as I found a better place that even has strong cell signal,
something I haven't had in days and was able to update and post onto the blog my grumbling.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Prairie Campground

I found this free campground that was high in altitude (not hot), had shade (not hot),

next to the confluence of two rushing mountain streams (drowns out nearby highway noise),

no other campers nearby (nothing need be said on that point) and best of all no
mosquitoes!  How can that be?  The only thing missing was a cell signal so
I couldn't post to the blog.

Once I parked I let Beans out on her camp lead and she immediately caught
a bird under the RV.  The scuffle moved out to where I could see that she
had a fledgling robin.  The poor bird never had a chance.  I got them
separated and the robin half flew and half hopped away.  I put Beans
inside and then went and caught the bird and relocated it some distance
away.  It had one feather out of alignment but otherwise was okay.  The
next morning I saw the bird again near camp (dumb bird!) and it flew off up into
the tree so it seems to be getting this flying thing down.

Nearby there was this bridge which I didn't think was safe to even just
walk across.  There are large logs beneath all the plywood but I think the
logs and bridge have just about had it and the locals are trying to
salvage it in some countrified manner.  No thanks!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Should I or Should I Not?

We were driving through some pretty remote areas, places that have towns many many miles in between them.   My dilemma was whether to get fuel in the only small town in a 50 mile radius and pay high prices or take a chance on making to the next big town 67 miles away.  I felt I could make it but not knowing how much climbing there was ahead of us, I made the decision (a good one for a change) and got fuel in the little town.  I didn't need any added excitement in my day like watching the fuel gauge rapidly fall.  The price was around 30 or 40 cents more per gallon.  I paid for not planning ahead.  When we arrived I learned the power was out in the entire valley so we all just stood around for an hour.   Fine if you are not in a hurry to be anywhere and I am not.

Back on our way I stopped for a scenic view.

Then I noticed along the fence line what appeared to be an apology that didn't go well.

Looks like she through the flowers out the window and drove away even madder.

Further on another scenic turnout.

Good thing I filled up when I did for it was a long hard pull up this grade
and I would be in a nervous sweat at the River of No Return.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Battle Won

In the afternoon I finally screwed up the courage to take Beans for a walk and give this new mosquito repellent I bought a test.  I don't particularly care for the smell or feel of products with DEET in them and saw some good reviews for Sawyer's Picaridin online so I picked up a can.  With hat, long pants and a long sleeve white shirt on we stepped outside.  The swarm came instantly.  It took me a minute to overcome my natural repulsion of them flying around my face but when I realized they were not landing on my skin I relaxed some.  This stuff really works!  It is so nice to buy a product these days that actually does what it's makers claim it will do.  Poor Beans though, they were flying all around her head and she kept twitching her ears but I don't think any got through her thick coat.  So I am very happy with this Picaridin stuff and will now be able to enjoy the outdoors a little more than before.  Oh, and no smell or icky feel to it either.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Decisions Need to be Made

This may be the last post for awhile unless I can make a decision as where to go. 

  One place got pretty warm and poor Beans spent most of her time up on the top of the slide-out
which is bare metal.  That is her moving blanket that she usually lies on.

We had to leave this area as it was too warm.
So cute! 

I try to find cool places to camp which means going up in altitude.
If I kind find shade to camp in that helps, 
if not then later in the day when the sun goes down she wants to go outside.

I've learned she does not like to be in the direct sun as she gets pretty hot with her dark fur.
On the other hand, I watched a ground squirrel come right directly towards me in camp not knowing Beans was lying right there in the shade, she was so well camouflaged with the pattern of her fur.
The squirrel had no idea and barely escaped her attack.

At another camp I woke in the morning seeing this chicory making repeated trips to and fro from the RV.  Look what the little varmint did in the engine compartment!

He or she had got into the hood sound proofing, pulled it out and had stashed it all on top of the window washer tank and from there was transferring it out to his of her house in repeated trips.  
I stuffed it back in, taped up all the possible entry points and moved away from that camp.

If it isn't the heat or the raiding rodents then there is always the mosquitoes I can count on to make conditions undesirable.  Where we are as I write up this post I am virtually a prisoner inside the RV.  It is impossible to go outside without being attacked by a battalion of those little buggers in a matter of seconds.   Of course Beans doesn't understand why I won't take her for a walk.  Through the fog of mosquitoes at the window screen I can see another RV from Canada in the distance and no one has stepped outside in hours.  But it is cooler here and we have a bit of shade which I keep moving the RV around a tree to be in so we've got that going for us.

And when I say decisions I mean GOOD decisions.
I already have a long list of poor and bad decisions going.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Along the Lower Salmon River

Near us was an Osprey nest.  
She did not like for me to stand outside trying to get a photo

and would leave the nest circling out over the river

then back over her nest

which would agitate the blackbirds who constantly dive-bombed her while she flew around.

Finally she gave up and landed back in the nest. 
While eating dinner I missed the male mating with her.

Then about 15 feet from the side door there was a Killdeer nest in the grass. 

So between Beans and I we were pretty much making the local birds pretty nervous and we left early the next morning and had breakfast a couple miles up the road.
This sculpture was created from junk and trash collected downstream on the Salmon.

Too bad a busy background makes if difficult to see the details but I think you can see the fisherman.

I didn't catch the Indian with the bow until I started to walk away.