In Motion

I know a physical therapist who told me that they preach “rest makes rust” and “motion is lotion”. Well that works for us because we like to be in motion, trying & seeing new things. It’s good for what ails you. It’s been a bit of a blur but we arrived in Florida a few days ago after an uneventful pilgrimage from Boise. I felt really fortunate to score a window seat until I opened the shade to see the jet engine obliterating the view! Funny.

Not quite the window I was hoping for but a window nonetheless!

A few weeks ago, Jon & I did a great backpack trip in the White Cloud Wilderness near to Stanley, ID. I’d read about it last year and wanted to do it but it never fit in so this summer we made it work out. It’s a 27 mile loop and covers some really beautiful scenery and because it’s wilderness, there are no crowds, permits or hassles. The only difficult part is that there’s a small section that has no official trail which has earned it some bad press. It’s because you have to climb over a steep, scree covered pass called the Devil’s Staircase.We found it to be fine although we got 3 thunderstorms that morning, the last one right as we were crossing the saddle. Just as the hail was starting to hurt my head it blew over and the sun came back out. I love crossing passes because it usually means the landscape transforms to something completely different. You say goodbye to one world and walk into another.

Pointing at The Devil’s Staircase

The second night we camped at a gorgeous lake and had the whole place to ourselves. We just love that kind of scenery, the swimming was great and we enjoyed all the wildflowers. We awoke the next morning to smoke however and we couldn’t tell if it was a new fire from the lightning we’d had or a distant one. Now that we don’t worry about the boat sinking anymore, we worry about the truck burning up. People have told us that they want to get out and backpack the best areas before they are all on fire and now we realize what they mean. The west is burning up a little more each year. Many of the beautiful places. We hiked up to a high pass and could see a smudge on the horizon which was a relief because it meant it wasn’t a nearby fire. Here are a few pics of the trip.

All for us!
Residual hail from the thunderstorm

Then we headed to McCall to start hanging out with Mark & Anne. Mark made a perfect spot for us to park up for our time away visiting family and it feels good to have our truck in good hands rather than leaving it in a marina or random boatyard. We spent our time kayaking, hiking and biking together. We did calm, shallow and white water kayaking and we’re really happy with how the kayaks work in the rapids. The nearby town of Cascade has a white water park so we could practice sluicing down the river. We wanted to do more of it but ran out of time. One thing we really enjoyed was using it as a snorkeling platform in tropical water.

We got to visit with Mark’s sister Kris too

It was good to catch up with a few cruising friends that have dug in the anchor in McCall and summer is so nice for BBQs and time out on the deck. The local ice cream stand scoops up humongous portions of great ice cream and you can sit by the lake and overeat.

Jon & I made a trip to Boise to catch up on health maintenance and brought our intertubes to float the Boise river because we’d heard it was good. You can float for 6 miles between two parks and ride a shuttle back to your vehicle. There are several water features that make it fun. We ended up doing it again with Mark & Anne the day before we flew out. It’s a simple past time for a couple of hours and it makes you relax and cool off. I had thought Boise was really hot at over 100 until I walked off the plane in Melbourne a fewdays ago and felt the wall of humidity! It is really true, that dry heat thing.

After a hike one day, the four of us stopped at Brundage Mtn ski area to sit on the deck and have a cool drink. Not only was there a wedding to keep us entertained (the bride & groom ride down the ski lift to the reception) but we could see the mountain bikes on the chair lift and the paths headed down the mountain which got us wanting to try it. A few days later we were back with day passes to try downhill mountain biking. We loved it and managed to stay out of the ER too. It really isn’t the safest activity, to be barreling down a mountain on rough trails, but what a rush. We decided that upgrading to multisport helmets for white water and downhill biking might make sense to spare us from a brain injury.

Bikes headed up the mountain

We’ve had a great few weeks of summer in McCall and quite like it because there’s so much to do. We love hanging out with Mark & Anne sharing dinners and lots of exercise together. Cricket comes with us on most outings and is good company. Nearly every day we did something fun together. But we did get a few projects done too including unexpectedly replacing the trucks’ alternator, again. It started acting up when we were in Boise and we cut that trip short on account of that. It is a lot of work for an alternator to charge the house bank and run the truck’s AC in summer heat so Jon installed a new higher output alternator that’s hopefully tougher and from now on, we’ll carry a back-up too. Jon gave the motorbike a little overhaul, did some fix-it projects like replacing the front marker lights and headlights (nothing seems to last anymore) and we got the truck ready to both go this Fall when we return from back east and also be safely stored while we’re away. We’ll really miss it.

We decided to bring our old bikes back in suitcases and keep them in Florida for future visits. This required the dreaded trips to Goodwill to buy old suitcases to pack them. Then Mark & Anne graciously drove us down to Boise the day before our flight with all of our crap loaded in the back. We get to the airport the next morning and of course the bags are overweight because apparently the suitcases alone weigh close to 10 pounds all by themselves. We’d weighed them before and didn’t believe the scale. So we start cutting away any extra fittings or unnecessary pieces to get the weight down. Haven’t missed this schlepping of stuff! But it all worked out and they got there in one piece.

It’s good to see Jon’s mom and now we’re driving together up the eastern seaboard to Vermont to see my parents and some friends. Our midway stop is to visit with Brad & Trish, Jon’s brother & sister in law. We’ll spend a few weeks in Vermont and then do a 180 to get back to Florida. Well that’s all for now!

McCall has it’s own herd of resident deer and they like Anne’s bird bath!

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