We left our house at 8:30 am, fully expecting to spend almost 4 hours getting to Challis. The roads were quite bad--mostly ice across the entire Arco Desert. In some stretches, it was ice as far as we could see. Thank God for studded tires! North of Mackey, there was a stretch of pure glare sheet ice. The Willow Creek Summit was manageable, at least at 25-30 mph. Much to our abject surprise, we arrived in Challis precisely 3 hours after we left. Luckily, the motel let us check in early.
Naturally, we headed right off for one of our all-time favorite places--The HUB Thrift Store. HUB means "Helping Us Build." For a few minutes, we actually tried to avoid going there as we knew we would buy a lot of stuff that we probably really didn't need. But we couldn't resist. Afterall, it's The HUB. There's only one HUB and, for our money, it's consistently the finest thrift store on earth.
Naturally, we walked out stuffed with stuff. HUB stuff is impossible to resist. Susun got this AWESOME bag full of cold weather baby clothes for her grandkids. I got a great hatchet, a cell phone thingie and a real tiny 25 cent gavel. The gavel is made of real wood and it's about 3 inches long. I will take it to a Staff meeting and tell people the size of the gavel is proportional to the importance of the meeting. The hatchet is an Old Beater, perfect for taking to Harriman this week and I didn't have one. It reeks of "coolness" and I will have to take a picture to post here. I also bought an excellent pair of Rossignol x-c skis for $2. I've needed a cell phone thingie forever but they cost a lot and, welll, you know...Anyway, this one was 25 cents--typical HUB stuff.
We showed up at the Senior Center at 1:30 pm and left near about 4:30 pm. It was a wonderful event that worked out really, really well. I even got to tell them that I loved them not once but twice and they loved it. I hugged a lot of people, too. Geeze, they are such wonderful people and their hearts shine right through their sparkling eyes and smiles. We took a lot of photos and video and will post that up hopefully today so the Senior Center portion of the story will be via the photos and video.
We went back to the room and hung out until just before 7 pm and then went back to the Senior Center for bingo. Luckily, we only had to stay until a little past 8 pm. All-in-all, I get to log it as a 12 hour work day.
I drove out to get coffee shortly after 6 am and dang near hit some deer coming back. Luckily, I was driving slowly but this particular herd seemed intent on running into the side of the truck. Luckily, we didn't make contact. People hit deer there seemingly every day. The newspaper has a habit of making fun of the drivers who hit the deer. Last week, some passerby's vehicle sustained $4,500 damage after hitting a deer. People have been killed up there by swerving to miss deer only to find themselves in fatal rollovers or upside down in the Salmon River.
After a leisure morning, we departed at 9:30 am and enjoyed some wonderful Sunday sunlight showcasing the many mountains along the highway. I think something like 12 out of Idaho's `13 highest peaks line that highway. The road was just declared the "Peaks to Craters Scenic Byway" only 2 weeks ago.
Luckily, we brought along our snowshoes and turned west at Arco for the 18 mile jaunt out to Crates of the Moon National Monument. Saturday's hellacious winds had wrecked havoc with the snow at Craters and we were the first people to venture onto the snowshoe trail since the windstorm. It was wonderful, of course. We tried breaking some trail in virgin powder but it was hip deep and no fun so we called it quits on that idea. We spent more than an hour goofing off out in the snow and then arrived home at 3 pm. We will post up a slide show later.
The remainder of the afternoon was spent unpacking and shopping. Then we watched a little football and called it a night.
I have quite a story to tell about some things taking shape up at Harriman State Park but that's another post. Thanks for reading & Cheers, jp