Friday, April 24, 2015

Motocaching the Grand Canyon State - Days 1 & 2

After months of planning, the date for the start of my journey had arrived.  Milo’s son, Mason, was selected by his school to receive the Mayor’s Award in Boise April 22nd so I needed to plan my departure the 10th in order to be back for the trip to Boise, or else postpone it until afterwards. I left around 7:00 am on the 10th and made it about a mile before remembering I had forgotten my phone.  So I had to return and do a restart.  I knew I’d be dealing with extreme variances in temperature on this trip.  It was 42 degrees when I left and dropped to 38 when I reached the Camas Prairie at the top of the Culdesac grade. I had on 6 layers of clothing above the waist and 4 below.  As the temperature rose I would peel off layers.

My destination for the first day was Gooding, ID, to spend the evening with son, Clint.  I stopped on highway 95 and got a geocache by a beautiful little waterfall on the roadside.  I tried a different route through Boise in order to avoid construction projects on the Interstate.  I left the Interstate at Caldwell and went through Middleton, Star and Eagle ending up on highway 44 which turns into State Street.  I don’t know that I saved any time because there were numerous stop lights.

I left the Interstate at Bliss and got on old Highway 26 over to Gooding.  I picked up one interesting cache along the way featuring an old Stinker Station roadside sign.  Years ago when Stinker Stations (owned by Fearless Farris) were widespread in the southern part of the state they put comical signs along the highway similar to the old Burma Shave signs of yesteryear.  This was one of the few left.

I arrived at Clint’s around 4:30 having traveled 421 miles.  Clint and Elisha had burritos prepared which were delicious.  To top it off Elisha had whipped up an ice cream dish that hit the spot.

I departed Gooding Saturday at 7:30 MST with the temperature again in the low 40’s.  Normally when I leave Clint’s going east in the morning the sun is directly in my eyes until I turn south.  There was just enough overcast this morning to lessen the blinding effect and there was negligible wind as well.  About the time I turned south at Twin Falls the sun was in full force but the wind had also picked up.
I was soon in Nevada and picked up a geocache every chance I got to get a break from the wind and monotony. I’ve included a couple of pictures of some of the desolate areas where I logged caches.  The most outstanding by far was the Cathedral Gulch State Park near Panaca.  It reminded me very much of a cache Yancey and I did in Wyoming three years called “Planet P” which was the location used in the movie Starship Troopers (1997). I wish I had had time to hike some of the trails.  

I think it was nearly 7:30 before I arrived at brother-in-law Chuck’s place in Ivins, Utah, having covered 511 miles.  Ivins is in the very southwest corner of the state near St. George.  Chuck and Joanne have a beautiful place and they also hosted Yancey and me when we did the Utah counties two years ago. I had a delicious chicken dinner, got my caches for the day posted on the computer and got a good night’s sleep. [To be continued] M/W

Thursday, April 23, 2015


Mike and I traveled to Boise yesterday (Wednesday, April 22) to attend the 21st Annual Mayors’ Awards to Youth Ceremony which was held last night at Boise State University. Grandson Mason, 14, was one of 72 students to receive this award.

As explained in the program: “The Mayors of Ada County (Boise, Eagle, Garden City, Kuna, Meridian, and Star) invite teachers to nominate students who have shown strength of character by overcoming hardships and obstacles, demonstrating compassion and serving their communities. These students day after day make good decisions, support their peers and overcome challenges. This award recognizes the inspiring efforts of these youth.”

We’re very proud of Mason for the contributions he has made to his school. KW

Monday, April 20, 2015


(This post is about Saturday. Evidently I’ve confused my family by being a day or so behind. Mike is home and well.)

It’s time for the master to return. Bess does as she pleases, ignores me, usurps my leadership, and stays well ahead of me on the walks. I probably shouldn’t think like this, but if something happened to Mike, I would have to keep Nellie for the rest of her days, but as much as I love Bess, I’d have to find her a good home. She needs more than I can give.

After the morning walk – a turn around the neighborhood determined by Bess – I went to Walmart for groceries and supplies, then set about my Saturday chores. I also vacuumed my little studio and returned the sewing machine to its regular spot.

The dogs began to beg for the afternoon walk about 1:00, but I suggested we wait until Mike got home. It’s always fun to see their reaction when he comes in, but it was not to be. By 3:00 they were insistent.

“Don’t you want to wait for Mike?” I asked.
“Mike Who?” they responded in unison.

So we headed for our customary afternoon walk, Bess leading the way and refusing to come when called. (But she is kinda cute as she sashays hurriedly on her way, and that’s how we spoil kids and dogs.)

As we returned and were in sight of the house, Bess spied Mike walking toward us – so fun to watch.
First she saw him – “Who is that?”
Tail began to wag slowly – “Maybe it’s Mike.”
Tail wags faster -- “I think it’s Mike.”
Whole body wriggles – “It is! It IS Mike!”
And she took off to greet him enthusiastically. And that’s why people have dogs.

And Nellie? Nellie tends to dawdle along, sniffing the ground, and Mike’s presence didn’t capture her attention until some moments later. Once she saw him, she hurried to say hello, more sedately than Bess.

Then the work commenced. I had to laugh because in Friday night’s conversation, Mike told me he was so tired that he would put off cleaning his bike until Sunday. “No you won’t,” I said to myself. And sure enough, once he had unpacked, he said, “Well, it’s only 5:00. I just as well clean my bike.”

Of course, supper was really late. I fixed chukar cacciatore in the new Instant Pot, and being unfamiliar with the process, it took longer than I expected. Nevertheless, it was ready when Mike had finished his work and taken his shower.

And that’s it. The week had highs and lows for both Mike and me, and I’m glad it’s over. This next week is scheduled – recovery and cleaning on Monday, P.E.O. luncheon on Tuesday, trip to Boise Wednesday and Thursday, new appliances on Friday. KW

Sunday, April 19, 2015


Nellie came right out of her house this morning and trotted up to the back door as if yesterday never happened. She even joined Bess in begging me to get dressed so we could go for the walk. It was good to see she felt better. We walked the gulley again, and then I left them for a while to visit a friend. (Sometimes I just have to talk to someone who speaks my native tongue.)

Did you know that dogs can tell time? Nellie and Bess can. About 2:00, as I was stitching at my machine, I could hear them stirring. It was decided that Bess should approach me to request the afternoon walk, which she did with some temerity. “Em-em-em-em-aroooo?” she asked softly, her eyes full of entreaty, as Nellie watched from the kitchen, her ears lifted.

“We can’t go now,” I said. “We have to wait for the bus to go by. And besides, I’m busy.” So, they settled back down to wait.

Of course, we did take that walk. It was warm -- 79 degrees. I remembered to wet them down, but Nellie suffered in the heat anyway. Bess wanted to walk further, but I told her we had to take Nellie home.

Two gifts were delivered today: Sewing Vintage Style (2003) by Mary Jo Hiney and Dozens of Ways to Repurpose a Tea Towel (2010) by Nathalie Mornu. Repurposing textiles is one of my favorite topics. It isn’t that I’ve done much of it, but I’d like to.

And then, my big reward – The Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker) – was delivered this afternoon. I admit to some trepidation as I read the manual, but I decided I had to face this before it buffaloed me. I gained courage by watching the online video and tried the pot with something simple – steaming sweet potatoes. Actually, it didn’t go well at first because the valve was in the vent position. There was no build-up of pressure, so it was easy enough to start over. The finished product was tender and moist.

After supper, I brushed the dogs’ teeth as usual. Then they just stood there and looked at me expectantly – both of them. What was up with that? I couldn’t think of anything I’d forgotten to do. So, I just turned out the light and went to watch t.v. There’s only so much one human can do.

And now, as Saturday approaches, Staycation Arizona 2015 draws to a close. It’s been fun – sort of – but I’m ready to move on. Brother Chuck reported at 7:30 this morning that Mike had left his house after breakfast. He made it to Gooding tonight and will be home tomorrow afternoon. I must shop, clean the kitchen, cook, and set the house to rights. KW

Friday, April 17, 2015


It was cold again this morning – 34 by my unofficial but pretty accurate thermometer. When I went out to get the dogs, Nellie stumbled from her house and wobbled out of the kennel. Her soft little whimpers broke my heart. Perhaps I erred in not turning on the light in her house last night. Or maybe the running she did yesterday was too much for her. (She lagged behind me and then ran to catch up.) At any rate she was stove up and hurting.

Due to Nellie’s condition, I decided a simple walk in the field behind the house would be enough, but as she moved around, she felt better. We walked slowly out to the street and up the hill. Then we retraced our steps to the house. Nellie slept most of the day. In fact, both dogs discovered that it can be darned pleasant to sleep in the sun beside the slider. They didn’t even mention the afternoon walk until they heard the school bus go by at 2:45. By that time Nellie was feeling much better and we took our usual afternoon walk.

Some storage units near the county shop have been converted to a garage for automotive work, and today Nellie took the opportunity to do one of her favorite things -- slip behind there and roll in the greasy dirt. Then she had to have a bath. She enjoyed that very much. Really! She enjoyed the bath and being toweled off. She didn’t eat much today, though – was definitely not quite herself. Fortunately, she can afford to miss a few meals.

No staycation gift in the mail today. I had to content myself again with reading the materials already received. Anyway, I was busy. I started quilting the Halloween quilt by machine, and as near as I could see, nothing bad happened with that. I might even embellish more of the center panel by hand.

During the supper hour, Ken came by to get Bess for a run at the local gulch with Pepper. Bess and Pepper mix it up pretty good, and Nellie likes to stay out of that. I prepared a tuna pasta salad for my supper, and Nellie enjoyed helping with the dishes without having to compete with Bess. KW

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Can you believe that Day 6 has come and gone already? Hopefully, just three more days to go.

We enjoyed a morning walk in the gulley. I stayed on the trail while Bess and Nell explored. Once we come out on the upper end, we’re about a block from our house. The day was sunny and bright but still cold, so upon returning from the walk, I lit a fire in the stove.

I decided I’d better accomplish a little housework, so I cleaned the kitchen utensil drawer. I only have four drawers in my kitchen, and they are barely deep enough to accommodate my stuff. Well, at least it’s clean now. Oh – and I washed a load of towels and ran the dishwasher. I was busy!

One of these bears is not like the others . . .
I finished the handwork on the Halloween quilt, so I’m as ready as I’ll ever be to begin quilting by machine – a simple stitch in the ditch. And I finished embroidering faces on all forty teddy bear squares. I’m so proud of myself for being systematic with this project. Can you guess the next step?

Bess loves this old soccer ball
Today’s gift was delivered – Sewing with Vintage Linens by Samantha McNesby. And I ordered the “Instant Pot” that Chris reviewed (see post here). My thinking was that I should order it today in order to have it Friday so that I can use it to cook Mike’s supper on Saturday.

Mike called this evening to report a rough day, but he and the motorcycle were fine. KW