It's been a nice break here since Sunday but it sure seems short. We're off and away again today--on the road once again to Salmon River Country. This time we get to drive one of our favorite routes--Sage Junction to Mud Lake to Howe and then up the Little Lost Valley to the top of the Pahsimeroi watershed and then through Patterson and May to Ellis. Once you turn north at Howe, you're heading straight into certified MOAN Country. The route is so obscure, Mapquest refuses to map it! Each time we've driven this spectacular, lonely road, the golden eagles perched on power poles have easily outnumbered the vehicles. People? Fuggetaboutit. It's so rare to see an actual human begin (not in a vehicle) that it's actually remarkable. We say to each other--look, there's somebody over there! It's just wide open desert space stretching for a ba-zillion miles between two really wild looking mountain ranges. It's the kind of place that makes us say, "WOW, let's go over there someday." Who knows when "someday" will come? Even if we never "go over there someday," it's just a fun thrill to drive this route. Just seeing the eagles that up close and personal is awesome--it's the closest we've ever been to golden eagles. They look so huge when they are that close.
Ellis is a flyspeck of a community--there's only one building in Ellis and it's the Post Office. No one actually lives in Ellis, they only get their mail there. When you ask them where they live, they always just say, "up the Pahsimeroi." That's descriptive and all that's really needed to know where they are from and how they see their world. The Pahsimeroi is probably the last, greatest undiscovered backcountry nook left in this part of Idaho. We once even thought of buying land out there to live in MOAN Country. Luckily, we came to our senses and chose Idaho Falls instead. Whatever. We are looking forward to today's drive into the Land of The Pahsimeroi. We obviously love the place.
We will be camped at the BLM Cottonwood Campground about 3 miles "up river" from Ellis. It's one of our Top Five Fave campgrounds. We first found that site in June 2003 and it was love at first site (sic). We've been back many a time and look forward to camping there for as many years as we will still be able to camp. We will be meeting Jeff C., the BLM Recreation Planner, at 3 pm today to (hopefully) finalize an agreement to produce a recreational guide for the Salmon River. We really don't know how long that stretch is. We've been saying 200 miles. Heck, it might only be 150 miles. We know it's at least that long. It will be interesting to see how long it actually turns out to be. (Click here for our Salmon River Guide Project Blog.)
We will return on Tuesday. What with the Clayton Chile gig on Saturday, it promises to be a real busy trip. Hopefully, we will get in three days of paddling on the Salmon. I doubt that it will be more than 3 and I'm certain it won't be less than 2--but we are hoping for 3. My cell phone won't work up there. Susun's might work when we are in Challis. We probably won't bother going to the Challis Library to check email so we won't be posting anything or Tweeting or whatever until Tuesday. I always enjoy techno-free time. No computer? No phone? No Problem! It's great.
Yesterday went according to schedule and the formal part of the day didn't end for me until after 6 pm. We then spent 3 hours rigging the big truck so we are ahead of the game this morning. Hopefully, we will be out of here by 9-10 am today.
That's about it for now. Maybe we will post up before we leave--maybe not. Who knows? Many Cheers! jp