Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Up against the abrupt edge of reality

Let's just say going back to work Monday after 10 days off was difficult on my being. Today was smoother. Which is a little frightening.

Our trip to southern Idaho was good and happy and mostly uneventful in the catastrophe sense, which is how we judge the success of most of our undertakings.

 Lazlo having a roll while we decide what's next

The dogs were willing participants at first. And Mia is pretty much always game for whatever we're doing since she doesn't want to be left behind. But Lazlo balked pretty much every time we asked him to Load Up.

I can imagine it's not first class riding down the bumpy back roads of  Idaho in the back of a Ranger stuffed with camping gear...no drink service on this route! But they're dogs! (We couldn't get away with that kind of treatment re: children. Probably.)

I mean, a big part of our goal for the trip was to make sure everyone had a good time. So we made frequent pit stops when we were driving, tried to camp a couple nights in each spot without driving much, and camped (all except one night) where they could be off-leash. That's a recipe for dog vacation. Plus carrots and biscuits.

Moseying down the highway, as that's the only speed at which our truck moves forward, I pointed my camera out the window and hoped for the best. I won't bore you with a play-by-play. I hope to post only the best over the next couple of weeks as I work through the nearly 1,000 digital files and 3+ rolls of film, once I get them developed. Keith estimates we traveled over 1,000 miles.

 the first night - just outside Pine

Much like any adventure we take on (and our life in general, I suppose), we didn't have a concrete plan when we left, only a sketch. It's more fun that way. We camped in free campgrounds (thanks to Ray's Guide) every night but one which we spent at Ponderosa State Park in McCall. The cheaper campground was still snowed in so it cost us $25 to camp that night. Ouch! That supposedly included showers in the communal "bath houses" but it was cold and rainy and the one I tested only produced lukewarm water.

sunrise at Pine

firewood for sale by the honor system, fundraiser for a QuinceaƱera  - oustide Lowman

sheep drive, Friday morning - outside Pine (and soon after was a cattle drive)

defunct art deco radio station - outside Weiser (my dad said his aunt Zelda worked here in the 50s)

We only had one mechanical fiasco (during which Keith changed 3 tires with a lousy jack and a round of firewood and learned our spare only fit on the back axle, ahem) and no health problems, so we are happy to have made the trip and back in 4 pieces. We have to try to plant the garden this week. (I know!) And we're moving forward on bathroom plans...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Waiting to go

We're very much counting down to our 10 year anniversary camping trip---one more week. (Don't think of robbing us while we're gone, like these guys, since my parents will be home. And my dad has guns. And poor eyesight.) Tomorrow we're going through all our gear, with a list of minimum comforts, and we'll see how long it takes to get it down to a size we're okay rearranging and repacking for 10 days. We always take too much. I'd like to make an effort at taking too little.

I decided I'm going to have to practice a little more at my Out-the-Side-Window shots since I'm sure there will be more scenes to capture on the way than Keith is willing to stop for. I've made a list in a moleskine about possible photo ops along the way including a cool old radio station where my great aunt Zelda worked.

house on a hill outside of Grangeville

I checked out Roadside Geology of Idaho and also Roadside History of Idaho which is immensely informative. Definitely one we'll have to buy a copy of for keeps. I had a great Sam Shepard book to finish, but wanted to skim it, the history one, last night and made some notes in the moleskine about Idaho City which isn't too far from our destination. We'll probably try to hit it on the way back. Looks like an interesting place!

South Fork of the Clearwater and Highway 14 outside of Grangeville

One benefit to the endless rain is that everything is still green. Southern Idaho is usually pretty dry and brown in the summer, but I think we'll have some good scenery this year.

I kicked Keith's ass at cribbage last night, but we only played one game so there was no opportunity for "recession toward the mean" (from last night's Radiolab podcast on cosmic habituation). He's still way ahead in our long-term count.