Sunday, May 29, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Anyway, I have these lovely pictures of Orofino taken from Gilbert Grade last Saturday and wanted to post them before they become totally outdated. Here you see the little town nestled in the valley where Orofino Creek runs into the Clearwater River. And the back country just seems to run on forever.
We have stopped several times at this spot near the top of the grade because Mike was looking for a geocache (what else?). This time he found it. At first he tied onto the Dakota in order to look in a stump downhill, but you know, most people just don't hide caches where it's steep and dangerous. Still -- you never know and if you're an adventurer at heart, you might just take a look-see anyway. Mike said that's where the "cords" took him.
"Why don't you try this stump," I said. "Seems more logical." (See photo right)
"Okay, but that's way off," Mike said, "but here it is."
This picture left shows the Clearwater above Orofino. I love this view.
On Monday I read that the flood watch on the Clearwater had been renewed by the National Weather Service out of Missoula until further notice. Both the Snake and the Clearwater are high. But -- it's still cold. This morning at Gilbert the low was 37, so it froze in the mountains and that slows the run-off. Here's a picture I took yesterday of mountains to the south of the farm -- the snowy peaks glistening in the afternoon sun. The sun would be warm this time of year -- but the air is cold. KW
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
While Nellie's curiosity led her here and there -- and her legs got filthy -- I watched for scenic vistas.
A strong wind was blowing making it difficult to hold the camera steady. You can see snow on the mountains in the photo to the left.
We hadn't gone far when young Farmer Kyle came along in his big pick-up. He was taking pictures, he said, of spots like this one -- wet places in the field. He said he has to submit them to the Soil Conservation office. "They" need proof, he said, that the fields are too wet to work. He said he doesn't think he'll be able to work the fields until fall. If that proves true, there will be no harvest here this year. However, he did remark that wind could dry the fields quickly.
This is not a pond but standing water on "June's place." I walked across the field without getting my feet muddy, but it's still too wet to work the soil. KW
Monday, May 16, 2011
As we parked the pick-up at the bottom of the hill, Mike remarked that there was a geocache at that spot -- one he had tried repeatedly to find. Although we weren't geocaching per se, he suggested I help him look. "Oh no, it's a clever hide," he said, as I looked in obvious spots on a chain link fence. "People who have found it have called the owner for hints." Then he dropped to his haunches and picked up something just inside the fence, and it proved to be the cache. Here's a picture of him -- all smiles.
By the time we crossed the road, a county worker was placing a "closed" sign on the levee pathway. "That just means bikes," said Mike; "it surely couldn't mean us." The worker pointed out that the levee was underwater "over there," pointing in one direction, and "over there," pointing in the other, meaning the path was unusable.
We checked it out anyway -- to the left -- then to the right.
But since we could only go so far, we got back in the pick-up and drove south toward Asotin, probably a quarter of a mile. We could see the levee was under water that whole distance.
Again, a sign indicated the path was closed, but we ignored it and continued to explore. The river was very high, very swift. We couldn't go far to the north. Nellie waded in and discovering the water to be a bit deep, simply gave up and swam. She seemed to find the whole experience rather exciting and enjoyed poking around in the rocks and bushes as well as sniffing the river. Seeing that there was an open stretch of path to the south, we headed off toward Asotin.
Here's a view across the Snake River to Hells Gate State Park on the Idaho side. You can see the beach is completely under water.
The river was obviously still rising. And although we did "walk on water," so to speak, in several spots, when we reached this point (photo right), we agreed there was no point in going farther. We could see another long stretch of path was under water. KW
Saturday, May 14, 2011
I belong to a group of old codgers that meet at Mac’s Cycle the first Saturday of every month and we plan occasional rides. The first one was May 4th over to Connell for lunch. We left from Clarkston about 9:00 am. As it happens Kittitas County is the only one in the state that I didn’t have a Geocaching route planned. So I took the ride with the group of six over to Connell but after lunch I continued northwest past Vantage which is in Kittitas County and logged a cache. It was a neat cache just off an old highway hidden in some boulders. The cache container was a life sized and realistic looking skull. I had a great ride and arrived home about 7:00 pm having traveled 365 miles and logging caches in six counties.
My first planned trip began Tuesday, the 10th, as we finally had a forecast of two successive nice days. This was my North Central loop. I left home at 7:00 am and headed north to Coeur d’Alene. It was 44 degrees and I had to stop about 60 miles out at the Potlatch junction to warm my hands. I stopped for gas in Coeur d’Alene and took a little break before heading northwest. I went through Rathdrum and Spirit Lake before actually entering Washington in Pend Oreille County. This was rolling forested terrain along side the beautiful Pend Oreille River. At Tiger I turned southwest toward Colville which is in Stevens County. It had begun to get warm so when I stopped for a cache in Colville I peeled off an undershirt.
Crossing the Kettle River at Kettle Falls I entered Ferry County. The terrain begins to rise here as you approach Sherman Pass. I took my lunch break at the Crystal Falls cache which is a beautiful and peaceful spot. I had targeted three caches in each county but there was so much snow pack in Ferry County that the Crystal Falls was the only one I was able to get. I might add that all this travel had been great motorcycling with plenty of curves, hills and beautiful countryside on a sunny pleasant day.
The other side of Republic I entered Okanogan County and was surprised at the scenic but different terrain. It was similar to some of the county in southeast Idaho or parts of Colorado. There were a lot of craggy rock formations with sparse stands of timber with much of my southward route along the Okanogan River.
It was after 7:30 pm when I arrived at my motel in Chelan. I had dinner at a café across the street and didn’t have any trouble sleeping that night. It had been long and fun but tiring day.
I was up by 6:00 the next morning and toured the town of Chelan logging several caches in the area before checking out of my motel. Lake Entiat is the body of water that is the result of a dam backing up the Columbia River running southward by Chelan. I followed this lake south to Orondo where I turned east pulling out of the valley. It was a twisty and fun climb up to the high desert floor where the fun pretty much ceased. From then until late afternoon when I hit Highway 195 at Steptoe I was fighting a stiff headwind traveling across desolate desert on an overcast day. I did make a detour up to Coulee Dam at Kathy’s suggestion. According to the sign it was built the year I was born and was then and still is the largest man made structure in the country. I arrived home a little before 6:00 pm having logged 23 geocaches and 835 miles. Don't I have fun! M/W