Great weather yesterday--best since we've been back. Walked the Greenbelt in the morning. We walked up to the INL/DEQ weather station near John's Hole. The wind was gusting to 3.3 mph. Ah, now that's a nice piece of data! Clear skies, no wind and a balmy high temperature of 52 degrees! Heck, it even reached 45 in Stanley of all places.
As much as I wanted to do yard work, I had other priorities. I set off after our walk to nearby Rigby. There's a giant log home company there that sells the end pieces of their logs. We needed firewood for both home and Stanley. After awhile I learned the procedures and loaded up .29 of a cord of what's calls "ends and pieces. The cost was a mere $4.35 (not a misprint). The wood is now carefully stacked and we lit up a bunch of it to see how it would burn. Burns great--it's Doug Fir, not lodgepole pine.
Spent considerable time writing up a classified for the cargo trailer. Had to place it in person at the newspaper. Paid extra for a color photo. Hopefully, it will sell and allow us to buy that inflatable kayak.
Jeff S. came to visit in the late afternoon and stayed for a couple of hours. It was great visiting with him. Thanks, Jeff, for coming over, you made our day.
Last night was Burger night--Boca burgers. Yeah, I know what some of you are thinking; "BOCA burgers? Surely, you jest." Hey, they are good and Susun loves them. The prep and cook time for burger night is lightning fast and they are very low carb and very nutritious. I will grant you that their enjoyment requires an "acquired taste."
The weather for our camping trip continues to look real dicey. Here's what the Pokeymon have to say this morning:
.LONG TERM...MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY. BOTH THE GFS AND ECMWF SHOW A MOISTURE RICH CLOSED LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM TRACKING ACROSS THE GREAT BASIN MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING. WIDESPREAD RAIN SHOWERS AND HIGHER ELEVATION SNOW SHOWERS WILL FOCUS ACROSS THE SNAKE PLAIN...SOUTH CENTRAL AND CARIBOU HIGHLANDS TUESDAY. SNOW LEVELS APPEAR TO DIP TO NEAR 6000 FEET MSL.
Did you catch the "6000 MSL" part? The campground is at 6400 MSL. Luckily, the wood we bought yesterday is going to fit easily and tightly in the truck. We ought to be able to take perhaps 2 days worth of firewood. We talked with RJ yesterday. He's down in Cedar City. He says he will meet with us Saturday morning. He said something to the affect that we might not have to put in a six hour shift. If so, we will break camp Sunday and skeedaddle back down here into the relative warmth of the Snake River Plain (almost 2500 MSL feet lower). Susun sez she has rehabilitated her 36-year-old down bag and it is ready for service. Mine is still off at the Leather Shop and its story is still unfolding.
Today is my "Annual Fireline Refresher" course. It's from 8-12 at the Eastern Idaho Technical College. Without it I wouldn't be able to snag any gigs renting me and our pickup out to firecamps this summer. They pay almost $400 a day for a truck and a driver so it's good money. But they make you jump a lot of hoops to qualify. The Three Month climo forecast continues to call for hot and dry conditions. Add the words "hot and dry" to a near record low snowpack and what do you have? A classic recipe for a lot of large, long forest fires. (The latest official forecast released May 4 supports this hypothesis. Click here to read it.) These are the types of fires that generally use contractor trucks such as ours. You can only serve 14 days on the fireline and those large, long fires often stretch well past 14 days. Some of them burn until the snow flies. The water and weather conditions have prompted our renewed interest in the contracting hoops and the fireline course. We're lucky this one was offered after we returned to Idaho--they are usually given only in April! (Click here for the latest short term Fire Weather Forecast.)
We had originally planned to help RSVP by traveling to Salmon on Tuesday. However, there's been no word as to whether our travel expenses would be covered so we've called off that plan. It's too late to go there as it takes two days of preparation for such a trip. We already have several commitments for the coming week and we welcome the extra time to get ready for our Stanley camping trip. At this point, it appears we won't be heading up to the Salmon River headwaters until Friday morning. Maybe we will get lucky and the snow will have stopped by then.