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Am headed south on I-5 to California for Christmas. One would thing that winter weather when driving in the winter would not come as a surprise, but today . . . did. For one thing, it was weird.

Usually if there is anything to worry about, it’s over Mount Ashland, but that was dry. No, things got intense south of Weed. First rain, then a little snow mixed with the rain, but nothing to worry about. But a few more miles, and it looked like this.

You can’t see it, but more snow than rain was hitting the windshield at that point.

The temperature dropped as we got lower (DROPPED! THAT IS WEIRD!) and the visibility got worse as the precipitation increased. All this exacerbated by traffic–trucks can throw up a LOT of water spray. I didn’t get too worried until there was slush in the traffic lanes, though.

It never go to the point where snow or even slush accumulated where tires go, though, and eventually the snow stopped, though the rain and winds intensified, with visibility dropping further because of fog (low flying clouds). I did slow down for most of this, though probably not below 40 mph. I pulled off at the rest area at Lakehead to gather my wits and breathe a bit.

Had decided to head for a new CG, and Army Corps CG that Allstays claimed is open all year. It’s not. Got here just after three, to closed and locked gates. I should have known better and checked beforehand, because I’ve run into this at other AC CGs. I need to send feedback to Allstays and prompt them to update their info.

Anyway, I was tired, and it gets dark early at this time of year (winter solstice and all), and there is a nice pullout to park in, so . . . here we are. So far, three other vehicles have come out, but turned around and left (it’s a dead end) without saying boo to me, so I think I’m ok for the night. One of those times when it’s particularly nice to be self-contained.

All three of us–E, J, and me–have memories of being taken to Glacier National Park when we were kids, and it had been on our planned itinerary from the start. We were able to keep it in our revised itinerary, so we headed east on Highway 2 toward Kalispell, where we spent two nights so we could do a day trip in Glacier. The drive over was beautiful, enhanced by seeing blue sky for the first time since Saturday, but I didn’t stop to take pictures.

I stayed in a private CG along the Flathead river that was quite nice. Continue Reading »

(A friend called the big stick that Scamp tackled back at the Clearwater river “The One That Got Away”.)

This is the best stick that Scamp has found since we got back from Idaho. It was at one of our usual walking places–it wasn’t there when we did this walk yesterday. Part of what made it a good stick for her was its size.

She was delighted, and I was delighted with her delight.. She loves big sticks.

She often carries smaller sticks by one end, letting the other drag along the ground. She tried that with this one, but often found the balance point and carried it that way.

I chose to walk out in the road instead of the path bordering the pond, figuring that would make carrying the stick easier for her. With limited success.

She carried is at least a couple hundred yards before letting it go. And then picked it up again on the way back.

She often shakes her sticks–it’s an instinctual movement for killing prey once it’s caught, an instinct that CJ didn’t have. It’s been bed out of retrievers and setters–that’s one reason I always thought CJ had some setter blood in her. Anyway, Scamp tried from time to time to shake this one, but it was big enough it was more like the stick was shaking her. I tried to capture the effect, but am not sure I was successful.

Eventually she again abandoned it, but it had greatly enhanced our afternoon walk. Maybe it will be there again when we go out.

Farragut is a large park, much of it an a natural or at least unimproved state. It would bear another visit, but at a carefully chosen date–there is much evidence of heavy use, because of its proximity to Spokane I assume, and as large as it is, I would prefer to be there along with fewer people. There were a couple of disappointments: while there are extensive trails, they are virtually unmarked, and the park doesn’t have a good map of them for visitors; and they don’t allow dogs down by the water. This seems to be an Idaho thing–dogs were not permitted by the water at Ponderosa either. So no swimming after sticks for Scamp there.

Continue Reading »

Not exactly a snappy title, and reveals how the trip is fading into the past, but I shall persist because I have discovered I like going back and reading old posts about former trips.

Once descended from Hells Canyon, I set out heading north with only vague plans for the next few days. One of my half-brothers and his wife retired a few years ago and moved to Grangeville. He’s the sibling I know the least, but I’ve always enjoyed visits with them*, and was curious about their new place, so that was my first goal. I was also curious to see Grangeville; I hadn’t been there for decades. Suffice it to say it has changed enough that I didn’t recognize a single thing about it.

I eventually managed to find Mike and Debbie’s place. Continue Reading »

I’m trying to get my inner brain out of the notion that if blogging doesn’t happen within a day or two of the events to be blogged, it’s not worth doing. So here goes.

When I left, Sept. 2, heat was the biggest barrier to trip enjoyment. Hard to related to today, as I look out at a wet gray day, but there it is. I had spent hours poring over Allstays (the app I rely on for 90%+ of my camping planning) and weather apps, and had a plan for getting across the eastern Oregon desert in relative comfort. Which was semi-successful.

Continue Reading »

A-a-and new battery is in

And it was almost as fiddly as anticipated.

First, buy your battery. Normally hardly worth mentioning, but this sucker is HEAVY. Happily, when I got to the Napa store and took it out of the car and set it on the curb, an older gentleman (within a few years of my age, probably) offered to carry it into the store. I took him up on the offer, and it turned out to be a win-win I think–I got the battery inside, and he got to feel good about himself, on two counts–proud of himself for being still able to do it, and good for having done a good deed. When I was thanking him afterwards, I said something like “your good deed for the day”, and he agreed–and thanked me 🙂.

Continue Reading »