Well, my yearly visit to Grampa Mikes in Idaho has come around again. As always, he has been keeping me busy and TIRED. This is my fifth day and we have already done so much. It is a wonder how Grampa plans these trips and always manages to top them every year. My flight arrived in Spokane, WA at about 11:00 PM local time, so I had very little time to chat with Grama and Grampa before I was in the car and fast asleep. When we arrived at the garage of the townhouse in Clarkston at about 1:30 AM, I heard Grama and Grampa debuting about leaving me in the car, so I got myself up, brought my pack to my room, and passed out on the bed. When I woke up at about 10:00, I went into the kitchen, ate some cereal, and talked with Grama before I got my clothes on. When Hallie and Nick got there, we finished some last minute details and headed out to the farm.
We unloaded all the cars at the farm and when we were finished, put the stuff we weren't taking on the backpacking trip into separate bags and loaded up our backpacks with the essentials. Not much else happened that day except for catching up, playing with Nellie, and working in the little details of the trip. I then slept pretty well after a couple WarnockBurgers and some TV.
Hallie, Nick, Grampa, Nellie, and I left the frog farm at like 8:00 AM the next morning for our backpacking trip to Stanley Hot Springs. We arrived at the trailhead at about 10:00 AM and hiked the five miles to the Boulder Creek crossing. Luckily, someone hat a rope stretched from a log to a good sized island in the middle of the frigid cold creek. After almost having a major Jaccident and falling halfway into the creek at the end of the rope, we put our shoes and socks back on and crossed a few logs to the other side of the creek. We hiked another half mile to the the 110 degree hot spring and set up camp not far from it. We heated up some water for our dehydrated dinners, put out the fire, and collapsed into our sleeping bags for a fitful night of sleep.
The next day, our plan was to hike a COUPLE of miles to this nice little lake to fish for our dinner. We hiked maybe three quarter miles when we came to this little Rock Creek where we had more trouble crossing. We climbed over the hill on the other side and navigated to where we found the trail. We hiked and stopped and hiked and stopped and hiked and stopped and hiked and stopped and kept on rapidly gaining elevation.
Every time we stopped, it seemed like the GPS said there were two more miles to go. There was deadfallen trees all over the trail, so we had to go under, over, and around more trees than you can imagine. Finally, the trail leveled out and we decided to bushwhack off and down to the trail that led to the lake. We got to the lake four hours, 3000 feet in elevation, and like SIX miles later. Nick was the only one with a pole, so he fished and Hallie and I filtered water while we waited about an hour and a half. Since we were getting tired, we decided to take the trail all the way from the lake back to the original trail. It took us a little under three hours to get back to camp. As soon as we got back, we stripped into our swim suits and relaxed in the hot spring for a while. We got dried off, ate dinner, roasted marshmallows, and slept.
The next morning, we got a later start than we had hoped and had gotten across Boulder Creek by 11:00 AM. We trucked back and only stopped to rest halfway and got back to the car in under two hours. On the way back to the farm, we stopped and ate burgers at this cafe-inn thing by the river. I slept in the car and woke up on the gravel road by the farm house. We got home in time for Grama Kathy's lasagna for dinner.
This morning, we ate breakfast around eight. We got ready for the day and finished fixing my shoe laces and put them back on when my shoes finished drying. We made Grampa get the ToteGote out which he hadn't gotten out and used in years.....it was so fun. After the .22 rifle and Grampa's pistol were loaded and ready, we went to the frog pond to do some frog hunting. Grampa missed a shot with his pistol, but my first shot with the rifle, I shot the frog's heat right through. Nick got one that we couldn't retrieve because it sank to the bottom so quickly. I missed a couple shots so I went to the other side of the lake, saw Nick get one, and proceeded to get two more. There were five in all, so Grampa and Nick started preparing the legs for lunch. While the frog legs were cooking, Hallie gave me some driving lessons in her car, so I drove along the wide, mostly deserted roads by the farms. We drove back, ate some legs, and set up the hammock before Hallie and Nick had to drive back to Seattle.
Sometime while we are here at the farm, Grampa and I will be shooting clay pigeons with the shotguns. Tomorrow, we set out to try to find a string of 21 Geocaches called the Dalmatian Run on the ATV. Thursday, we will try to find as many caches as we can on a string of 70 caches that make a geoart called Signal the Frog. I will be back with more as more happens. By Jackson Warnock