Monday, July 30, 2012

Greetings from Sunbeam

Howdy Dear Friends & Loyal Blog Readers, We are writing this post from Sunbeam, Idaho (AKA: Sunbeam Village).  It's nearing 4 pm and we needed a break today.  Besides, it's hotter than blazes outside and I am now in a nice, cool, old place called the Sunbeam Village Grill. (You can click here to read about the place in an article at Salmon River News.)  Shannon Orr provides free WIFI here.  She's not here today but everyone here knows about the article and they were all smiles when I walked in wearing my Salmon River News name tag.  Yeah, can you believe, I am posing as an Editor/Reporter up here in Salmon Country.  Have camera and note pad will travel to tell stories.  )

NOTE: We just updated the Sunbeam Village Grill's article:

It's been a real whirlwind over the past week.  A week ago we were just getting into the Riverside Campground.  We came back home Thursday thinking I'd be leaving Friday.  Well, after 8 hours of rigging Friday, it was clear that wasn't going to happen.  So, we got up at 4:30 am Saturday and skee-daddled at 5:15 am for Challis, arriving a few minutes before 8 am.

We met briefly with Stephen and Natalie at their place near Malm Gulch and Deadman Hole and then we hustled on up to Clayton, Idaho, Population 7.  The Chili Cookoff Judging got underway late because a bunch of entrants didn't know what time the cookoff started.  They were all on Custer County Time (CCT).  You see, CCT is generally 1-2 hours different than MST, depending on how late they stayed in the local saloon the night before.


Well, while we were back at Natalie's Place, we all swore on a imaginary stack of Bibles that we wouldn't have anything to do with a chili that had hotdogs in it.  Wouldn't you know we got conned and named a chili with hotdogs the #1 winner.  Of course, we didn't KNOW it had hotdogs in it.  What kind of judges were we anyway?  It was a real blow to Natalie's and my self-esteem that we were stupid enough to vote a chili with hotdogs #1.  We both contemplated suicide.  It must be something about Clayton.  Our stand-in judges last year, Roger & Kathleen, also voted a chili with hotdogs #1.  Of course, we SWORE we would NEVER do that again!  Just goes to show you one should never use the word never.  The second you use the word NEVER, you are certain to do whatever it is that you swore you would NEVER DO!  YIKES!
Mike Kalenik presents the $50 first place award to Rachel.  Below, there was a tie for 2nd place so Mike totaled the prize money and divided by two and each of these ladies received $25. Clayton's Hoodoo Saloon provided the $100 prize money.

Well, I snuck out of Clayton with my tail between my legs.  I tried to leave quietly and succeeded.  I was feeling very, very low for the remainder of the day, actually.  When I called Susun from Stanley to tell her about it, she howled with laughter and, naturally, that made me feel even lower than low.  Frankly, I am still smarting about it a full two days later.

Well, somehow in the fog of travel, I forgot it was the Sawtooth Music Festival and Stanley was PACKED. People were camped everywhere.  I panicked and hurried to the Sunny Gulch Campground and got one of the last two open sites before it filled for the day.  Turns over that every campground anywhere NEAR Stanley filled Saturday.  People were camping beside the roads.

Then I went back into Stanley and waited for Heather and Tim.  They showed up not long after 5 pm Saturday.  I met them down by the river.  Heather unloaded all three of her horses and her mule and I got to lead one of them to teh water's edge so it could eat grass and tank up.  Then we drove down to the Sunbeam Village Grill and had a burger and fries dinner.  Shannon was great and let me take a lot of cool photos.  She joined us out under a shade trees and we all told stories and had a rockin' kinda Yankee Fork evening.  Sunbeam sits where the Yankee Fork joins The Salmon River.   Yankee Fork just isn't ANY tributary of The Salmon, it's called The LAND of The Yankee Fork.  You see, when a tributary gets to be called a "Land" that's kind of akin to a kingdom or something similar.  It's not just any old fork--it's The Land of The Yankee Fork.  Big deal, you see?

Well, Heather and Tim eventually decided that had to leave and I got back to Sunny Gulch close to 7:30.  Luckily, the sun goes behind the canyon rim at 8 pm and then it cools off.  It's been running in the 90's here each day and in the mid-30's each morning.  There's a great big forest fire burning not far from Stanley and puttin' up a giant column of smoke.  Somehow watching fire smoke always makes it seem a few degrees hotter than it really is.

Well, I woke up Sunday really, really, REALLY tired.  All the hustle of the past few days caught up with me and I kept thinking "I'm feeling my age."  It took me three hours to get ready for the river trip.  I arrived in the nick of time at The River Company's HQ and we departed promptly at 10:30 am.


Thus began yet another humbling morning.  If I thought voting a hotdog chili #1 was bad, well then I was really in for a much larger slice of Humble Pie.  We rigged our boats and put in the river and not even five minutes below the put-in, I flipped the inflatable kayak and went for a very long, difficult swim through very turbulent water and a lot of totally inflexible rocks.  Yeah, I guess I needed a major dose of humility or something this weekend because I sure got it in a one-two dose--BAM-BAM, just like that.

Here's what happened with the flip.  It's a rapid called Piece Of Cake and Little Yonni got his piece of cake stuffed down his throat.  I told the lead guide I hadn't had a chance to scout the rapid and asked his advice.  He said, "Oh, just follow me and you'll be fine."  Meanwhile, much to my chagrin, they gave me a kayak paddle with parallel blades--not the opposing blades I have used for 35+ years.  I'venever once in my life paddled with a parallel blade kayak paddle.  I had a feeling of foreboding when I picked it up but shrugged off the feeling and forged ahead.  They had no other paddle for me.

Well, I followed the raft right into the rapid and I saw it disappear in this really deep hole and I thought, "Hum, that's a really deep hole."  And, sure enough, when I got down in that really deep hole there was this really big wave on the far side and it turned the inflatable kayak sideways and I started surfing on the wave face.  Well, all my old kayaking instincts kicked in and I was actually having one heck of a surf there in the fluff and fury of that big ol' wave face.  Trouble was it was the wrong type of boat, wrong paddle, wrong wave, wrong paddler and wrong day.  The boat flipped a full 360 faster than you read this sentence.  Ouch!

Now's here's some funny stuff and some lucky stuff, too.  Onshore there was a professional photographer who takes pictures for The River Company so they can sell them on a DVD after the trip.  She was using a $1000+ digital camera and captured the whole incident for posterity.  Meanwhile, I happened to be wearing my GoPro helmet cam and, yep, I got the whole surf, flip and LOOOONG swim entirely on my helmet cam.  Talk about embarrassing.  It's all there for everyone to see.  Sure enough when we got back to the company's HQ, everyone was guffawing over the flip and swim while they stood around the big screen TV.  Yeah, it was Humble Pie Time (HPT).

Actually, I had a great run the rest of the day and didn't miss a line and didn't come close to having an incident.  The flip and swim had everything to do about karma and HPT--that was the driving force behind it all.

Now the lucky stuff is real simply.  Piece of Cake is a bad anatomy rapid.  I had trouble getting my feet downstream and there were three times I felt them hitting bottom.  I am so grateful I did not have an ankle entrapment!  I had nightmares about it all last night.  Likewise, I self-rescurd myself and didn't need anyone's help and got all my gear together and didn't lose or destroy anything.  Now, that's lucky.

But I did bang a knee and it really wore me out.  I arrived back at camp yesterday really "feeling my age." and was just total bone tired.  Trouble with camping at these latitudes is that the sun doesn't go down until it danged well feels like it.  So, I limped back into Stanley to spend the evening promoting the Salmon River News and checking out various places I'd never visited before.  We were so happy when the sun finally went down and we could crawl into the tent and try to sleep.

We didn't have much success sleeping so we got up in the dark at 5:30 am this morning and broke camp and drove out by 7 am.  We've already had a really long, full day today and it's not even 4:30 yet.  First, we drove way upriver looking for some obscure canoe run popularized by Boise's Idaho Canoe Club.  Then we got to the Sawtooth Hatchery just after they opened at 8 am and hooked up with the "trout stocker," an affable guy named Jason.  I tagged along as he readied his truck and then filled it with 500 rainbow trout.  Then I followed him to a stocking point and watched as he let the trout fly off a bridge into Valley Creek.  Then it was back to the Hatchery to meet with some more of the staff and get photos and facts for a story about their Kid's Fishing Pond.

Then we headed off to Stanley for a one hour interview with David D., owner of The River Company.  Our other stops included the Stanley Chamber, McCoy's Tackle, the Stanley Library and The Forest Service Ranger Station.  Seems like there was a couple of other stops in there but I can't remember them.  Then we headed down river and started taking photos of all the places we've been wanting to capture.  That's actually pretty time consuming.  We stopped off here at Sunbeam to talk with "owner" Doug Fenn about how Sunbeam Dam was blown up and then headed up The Land of The Yankee Fork to photograph the dredged wasteland up there and try to find some Tribal fishermen to talk to. Finally, we coasted back down the Yankee Fork to roost for awhile here at Sunbeam in the cozy confines of Shannon's Sunbeam Village Grill.

We're tried, these long days take their unique toll, especially in the high heat of dog day summer.  We're going to drive a short distance down river to the O'Brien Campground complex.  It's the only campground with actual, genuine TRUE shade. It's also deep in the river canyon and so the run drops over the rim realy early in the evening and it gets blessedly cool.  Likewise, it's the only campground with an honest, actual, real BEACH!  Honest, a real beach that's not river cobbles the size of your head or bigger.  It's not actually a sand beach but the granite has been ground down so fine it almost seems like a sand beach.  That means we will be able to put on our swimming suit and get in the water and cool down.  Ah, bliss.

Tomorrow is more of the same.  Get up early, take tons of photos of obscure places, see lots of people, make lots of stops and don't stop until you wanna drop.  That's the way it is with trips up here--ya gotta get yer stuff while the gettin's good because it's a long way from Tipperary to get here and home again.  There are a lot of times on trips like these where I just wanna stop and do nothing.  Trouble it that I really kick myself when I get home and realize what I coulda, shoulda, oughta, mighta done but got too lazy to do it.

We're probably gonna have internet sometime tomorrow cuz we think we'll be down river at least to Challis by then.  Who knows, we might even make it to least the Heaven we know to exist at Duane's Place--the BLM Cottonwood Campground near Ellis.  But there's a lot of miles and a lot of people, places and big ol' river between here and there.

We shall see.

Have a great day and Many Cheers!

Friday, July 27, 2012


If you want to see something totally awesome, follow the link below the screen shot. The Annenberg Foundation made this possible.  Click here for the Huffingon Post story on it.
This is a real time video feed from Katmai National Park in Alaska.  It's easily one of the most mesmerizing live videos we've ever watched.  Click here to go there.


Yep, you got that right.  The Salmon Thang just cleared the 5000 pageview mark sometime maybe a few minutes before 7 pm MST (6 pm Arizona Time.)  Pretty incredible.

We've been trying to get out of here all day and finally gave up about 1 pm.  We'd been working 8 hours by that time.  Got up at 5 am and worked 8 hours trying to get out of here.  Didn't happen.  Molasses Day.

There's a reason.  The reason tonight is the flood of Karma that's flowed in since we've been after 1 pm.  Like creating over 5000 pageviews.  It's pretty amazing.  We THANK GOD and We Count Our Blessings.

Life is Good.  Indeed.

Many Cheers, jp


We had a fine time camping at Site A-21 in Island Park's Riverside Campground.  The trip was everything we hoped a mid-summer camping jaunt would be.  The campsite fully lived up to our lofty expectations.  We're already planning to book it at least twice next summer.  Here's four photos.
Campsite A-21 and its view of the Henry's Fork.
Morning mist over Henry's Fork as seen from camp.
Visiting Sheep Falls.
Another view of Sheep Falls from downstream.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Idaho Season Schedule

The remainder of our Idaho Season Schedule is shaping up.  Here's a discussion of how it is shaking out.

We will enjoy a few remaining days of a great July sojourn at home.  Monday afternoon we leave for Site A21 at Riverside Campground in Island Park.  We will be there until Thursday morning.  Site A21 is easily the best campsite in Island Park...nothing else comes close.  We booked it months in advance.  he spot was booked solid all summer long even before Memorial Day.  Luckily, we can actually reserve the site.  Otherwise there would be no way to ever enjoy such an idyllic spot.  We are "regulars" at Riverside but have never had the forethought to book A21 so far in advance.  It will be our first time in this amazing little niche.

Susun's going to sit out the next road trip.  I will be back on the road less than 18 hours after we get back from Riverside.  I'm heading up to Salmon Country on July 27th and will remain up there until returning home Saturday, August 4th.  The agenda is pretty well fixed for that trip: Challis on the 27th, judge the Clayton Chili Cookoff July 28, meet folks in Stanley later that day and paddle The Narrows Sunday the 29th with The River Company.  The next three days are wide open.  Chances are we won't be hiking to the Center of The State, we're backlogged on tasks relating to our volunteer gig with the BLM concerning the Salmon River mile-by-mile guide.  We really need to finish that project and move on.  We will be down river in Salmon by Wednesday to finish collecting details for the BLM project. Hopefully, this will be the last trip to Salmon Country during which we have to mix our BLM volunteering with activities relating to our own eoffrts regarding the Salmon River Idaho website.

The Parks & Recreation Commission meets August 6th.  Lin M. and her son, Kai, will arrive for a one-day visit August 8th.  Lin returns August 12th for a couple more days.  Gary W. drops off his truck August 15 and then heads off for a 10-day backpack trip along The Teton Crest Trail.  On August 18, we head up to Salmon Country once again, landing at Heather's Place first and then going on down to Duane's Place at Cottonwood Campground.  We'll return August 24.  Gary arrives back August 25th after his hike to spend a couple of days with us.

As usual, we're heading to the Grand Tetons on or after Labor Day.  This year we will stay at Gros Ventre Campground instead of Jenny Lake.  We like the comforts of the poptop better than sleeping in a tent.
We'll be returning September 6th or 7th.

Susun flies out for San Diego on September 10th.  It's van's birthday party on the 15th.  Stasea is visiting from Hawaii so it's going to be a Grand Family Occasion.  Susun returns to Idaho Falls on September 20th.
WHile she's gone, we might make one final trip of 2012 up to Salmon Country.  It all depends.  Things are winding down up there by then so we might forego such a trip.

After Susun returns, there's a nice lull in the action until the first week in October.  That's when we gear up for our last camping trip of 2012 to City of Rocks with Spudboater.  We'll be arriving in COR Friday October 5th and returning on Columbus Day October 8th.

Once we're back in Idaho Falls, the remainder of the month will be spent preparing to leave for our Arizona Season shortly after Halloween. Chances are we will leave a little later this year than last year.  It would be nice to attend the November Parks & Rec meeting November 5th.  Likewise, it would be nice to drive through Salt Lake on a Sunday.  So, chances are we will leave on November 10th so we can hit the gauntlet on Sunday November 11th.

Dear Friend Jennifer B is finally retiring from a life of federal service sometime in November.  If her party is early, then our departure would change accordingly.

It's pretty amazing to be sitting here July 18th scoping the remainder of our Idaho Season Schedule.  That's pretty much how it goes...F-A-S-T!

Many Cheers, jp

Monday, July 16, 2012

4000 @ 7:03 pm

We sat here at our desk, anxiously watching the stat counter and making the appropriate changes in the ancient 1897 press counter.  We hit the 4000 mark at 7:03 pm on the two month anniversary of starting The Salmon Thing.  It was a very emotional moment for the blog author.  Thanks for your comment, Wayne!  "All In A Day's Karma" ROX!

(Note--the total shows 4030.  That's because the website had 30 prior pageviews before May 16.  We actually started it as a blog called "salmonriverguide" back in the Spring of 2010.  It lay dormant until May this year when we bought the current domain and renamed it "Salmon River Idaho Dot Net."  Hence we have to deduct 30 pageviews to get the real current total.  And in case you don't already know, our own visits to the site (which are a lot) don't count in the total.  Google's "statistical day" begins at 6 pm--hence the low number of pageviews under the "today" category.)

All in A Day's Karma

This blog author should be hauled off to Blog Jail for Blog Neglect.  This poor ol' blog has been kinda orphaned to The Salmon Thing.  We're putting huge amounts of time and energy into The Salmon Thing and this blog is clearly suffering as a result.  It's a trend that's likely to continue for awhile--The Salmon Thing is going to get all the attention for the remainder of the summer.  We will try to post up here but the bulk of our efforts will be directed to The Salmon Thing.  It's all in a day's karma, actually.

It's really interesting how the cycles of karma spin their web.  LBRs recalled we've mentioned how 40 years ago right now we were in the process of birthing a genuine, honest-to-gosh real tri-weekly newspaper in Zionsville, Indiana.  It's first issue rolled of the press on August 8, 1972.  Now, here we are 40 years later birthing a genuine, honest-to-gosh online newspaper for a RIVER, of all thing.  Forty years ago the idea of doing a newspaper for a river would have been science fiction at best or lunacy at worst.  Of course, online back then meant a squirrel on a power wire, as in "Look at him, the little bugger's on the line again."  Either that or it meant getting your clothes dried by Mother Nature.  "Get them clothes out on the line, will ya?"

Here's an interesting connection back to those days of yesterday.  After starting the little newspaper that sold for "One Red Cent" we went mano y mano with the established weekly newspaper for a full year before we ran the publisher out of business and out of town in the dark of a summer night in 1973.  We wound up buying The Times from the previous publisher who had sold it on contract to the flim-flam man. We then had the privilege of rifling through everything in his old building to get anything of value out of it as a part of oru purchase agreement.

I was rummaging around in the attic of the 100 year old building and found an antique press counter.  The Times has been founded in 1860 and one of its first stories was to report on Abraham Lincoln's whistle stop railroad visit through the village.  Anyway, The Times was printed on one of those old flat bed presses you see in museums these days.  Each time the giant flat bed would move another sheet of newsprint under the spinning print drum, the mechanical movement would make a spring-loaded metal arm come down and register one more copy of that particular issue of the newspaper.

This particular press county was made by the American Counting Machine and was patented in 1897 so it was a very new-fangled gizmo for the late 19th Century.  We have kept this counter close-at-hand for the past 39 years and it's essentially the last vestige of personal history from that pivotal time in our life.

A few weeks ago, the light bulb went off and we started using the old press counter to show the current number of page views for our new online newspaper.  It will be precisely two months tomorrow since we started this new phase of newspaper karma.  Ironically, we will hit the total of 4,000 page views today.  Frankly, we couldn't possibly have dreamed that The Salmon Thing would be as popular as it has turned out to be.  It's so eerily similar to those events of 1972.

And get, this, 1972 was a watershed year, not just for Watergate and all that stuff but August 22, 1972 was the date of creation of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. (SNRA).  Of course, DR & LBRs know that if it wasn't for the SNRA, we wouldn't be living in Idaho right now.  And, get this, the Congress passed a law in 1972 that legalized volunteering for the US Forest Service.  Prior to 1972, it was illegal to volunteer for Smokie. Amazing, but true--against the law of the land.  Well, so, think about it--1972 started everything that has brought us to this point and here we are going at it again 40 years later.  It's pretty amazing how all that karma stuff works.

Many Cheers!  jp

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wednesday night fun

Denise S. is finishing off Stage 5 of the weekly IDPA Match tonight at the SEIPS Range.  George H. runs the shot timer and Tyler C. stands by with the scoresheet.  Denise and her Dad, Dave, are stalwarts at the weekly summer matches.  Denise is very accurate and fast.  Tyler is one of the fastest and most accurate in Eastern Idaho.  Watching him is like watching an Olympic athlete run the 100 meter dash in under 10 seconds.  Amazing speed.  There were about 40 people who attended tonight, maybe more.  We had four squads and the match lasted 2.5 hours.  The sunset over the range was pretty close to what we love to call an "Arizona Flag Sunset."  Unfortunately, this digital doesn't do long shots well but at least you get the general idea of the sunset.
As for Little Yonni, he did OK.  He's thinking he finished in the middle of the pack, plus or minus.  Next week, the workouts are canceled on Wednesday.  We were worn out even before the match began.  Oh, well, it was stiill a lot of fun to be back in the lineup again.  Stepping up to that firing line in front of a bunch of your peer shooters is a real adrenalin rush.  As they say when the shot timer buzzer goes off, your brain goes blank.  It's difficult to even remember a faint glimpse of how you shot.  It's all just a blur with a lot of noise, gunsmoke and gritty range dust thrown in for good measure, of course.  Denise's Dad Dave said last year, "These matches sure make Wednesday night fun!"  Boy, he got that right!  Many Cheers, jp

Mild mannered mules

Mules have a reputation dating back hundreds of years.  Whether deserved or not, "stubborn as a mule" is part of English language legend and lexicon.  Who among us hasn't used this time-worn phrase at least once in our lives?

The internet offers up a plump menu of mule quotes.  Here is Harry Truman's famous mule quote: “My favorite animal is the mule. He has more horse sense than a horse. He knows when to stop eating -- and he knows when to stop working.”

What's always been interesting to us about mules is that they can work really hard up to a point...and then suddenly stop working, just as Truman noted.  By and large mules define more of the genuine "work ethic" than they define stubbornness."  Dictionary dot com put it into perspective (bolded type) with this definition of "stubborn as a mule,"Extremely obstinate, as in He's stubborn as a mule about wearing a suit and tie . This simile evokes the proverbial stubbornness of mules, whose use as draft animals was once so common that the reputation for obstinacy can hardly be as warranted as the term indicates. [Early 1800s]."

If anything, we'd prefer this quote about mules as more indicative of their true selves:  "If hard work were really a virtue, then mules would be saints."

And so it was that along came the annual Idaho Falls July 4th Parade.  Wes and I bicycled over to roam the parage staging area, gawking at the various costumes, tiaras and....MULES!  Yes, believ it or not, The Cariboo-Targhee National Forest had the sheer undaunted courage to place a mule pack string into a public parade!

Wes and I marveled at the muleskinners' as they warmed up in a parking lot in front of the Post Office, putting the mules through their paces and adjusting the infamous diamond hitch knots before the siren calls of the parade began.  Wes and I looked at each other with raised eyes.  How in the world could a mule string make it through miles of public cacophony without staging a Mule Revolt?  That surely had to be one Muy Macho pair of muleskinners!

Well, off they went with nary a care in the world just like is was Old Hat to a bunch of seasoned mules.  As chance would have it, the lead muleskinner made them strut their stuff right in front of our viewpoints of the parade.  Wes and I marveled as the precision timing of the mild mannered mules.  For anyone who knew even a smidgen about the celebrated unpredictability of mules, it was a true Mule Marvel to watch then turned a perfect circle and then march right back out of their group pirouette in a straight line.

Frankly, we didn't think we'd ever see anything like this from a mule string and we thought some of our LBRs might enjoy the photographic proof.

In closing, we'd like to recall one of Clint Eastwood's signature quotes from his early Bad Guy movies--"A Fistful of Dollars: "You see my mule don't like people laughing. He gets the crazy idea you're laughing at him. Now if you apologize like I know you're going to, I might convince him that you really didn't mean it...(music builds up and 5 shots are fired)" 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


YOu can see the Idaho Center long/lat up hear the top of that ridge.  The blue line is a dirt bike trail that's too long to use for a day hike.  The creek down in the canyon at the bottom of the photo is where we start and we hike up that obvious drainage, gaining maybe 3,000 feet in 2-3 miles.  It's a steep hike but it's definitely the most direct route.
'Tis the season for workin' out. We're planning to hike to the geographical center of Idaho on either July 29th or July 30th. As we've said, there's hardly any time remaining to get shape for such a hike. We've been sedentary for quite some time and Happy Hour hath taken its toll.

 SO far, so good with the workouts. We're doing the football stadium steps every morning. Yesterday we switched from street clothes to our hiking rig. We're staring with a 20 pound pack and will work up to a 35 pound pack. We're wearing our hiking boots and clothes and using our two hiking sticks on the steps as well (with rubber tips, of course). You can really work up a sweat FAST carrying weight up steep steps. We do laps in the stadium. Once up and once down is a lap. We quit we we feel our heart rate is maxed out and then do a cool down and go home and hang up our sweaty hiking clothes to dry in the hot sun.

 Next is the lap swimming in the city pool. We don't count the laps or pay attention to our lap times--only total elapsed "swim time." Right now we're doing 45 minutes and hope to work up to an hour perhaps this week.

 Finally, today we added the dreaded treadmill. Susun got a pass for me at The Apple Athletic Club and I dutifully logged 45 minutes on the moving belt this afternoon. Apple's treadmills are light years better than the ones I used at SNAP Fitness last year. They give you complete data on your workout. You can even upload the data to a USB drive and mess around with it on your computer. Today's first treadmill varied between a 5 and 8 percent grade and the final data was:

Elapsed Time: 45:13
Distance: 2.17 miles
Elevation Gain: 651 feet
Avg. Speed: 2.88 mph
Time per mile: 20:47
Avg. heart rate: 115 Pretty cool.

Now if only they would embed sensors in the stadium and the swimming pool!
Here's pix of the stadium:
 Many of the younger users run these steps without breaking much of a sweat.  NOT ME!
The steps really don't look like much until you are facing them from the bottom looking up.
 Yep, when you're at the bottom looking up--
One step at a time definitely rings true here.
Taking a break between laps at the bottom of the stadium.

Old News

Well, there's nothing like a little Old News to liven up Da Blog, eh? Even though it's nearly a week late, here's three photos from our July 4th fireworks. The show lasted precisely 31 minutes and blew up over 17,000 shells. These shots were taken from the locked gate at the John's Hole entrance to the launch site. Happy Birthday, USA!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Happy Hollyhocks

What do you get when you combine a $300 helmet cam, some hollyhocks and two simple people?  Why Happy Hollyhocks, of course!

Hilda Garden Brightens

Great Sunday morning for a bike ride down to Hilda's.  It's the best it has ever looked, especially this early in the summer.  Normally, it doesn't really hit its peak until August.  Dina and Susun really hit a home run ball with Hilda's this year.  YOU GO, GIRLS!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Spudboater's Broken Ankle Story

Spudboater put up a long blog post today detailing how she broke her ankle at Lava Falls in the Grand Canyon.  She has a great attitude and spirit so she's doing very well, even if she is on crutches and in a cast.
You can read all about it by clicking here:

Heal Up Fast, Spudboater--the collective Best Wishes of the LBRs are with you!  Many Cheers from The LBRs.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Whazzup with us?

After waving Bon Voyage this morning to Kate & Brock about 7:15 am MST, Susun and I stumbled home in a bit of a fog.

We have thoroughly enjoyed our Arizona Company and it seems like only yesterday that Phyllis and Marsha were getting off De Plane on June 11.  However, we have a bit of a well-deserved break now.  Our next Arizona Company arrives August 5th.  

We're not going anywhere until July 23rd.  That's a Monday.  We're going to Riverside Campground.  We have the Legendary Site A21 reserved just for us until Thursday morning.  Sweet.

We're checking out Thursday morning and arriving back in River City mid-afternoon.  On Friday, I ship out for 8-10 days of duty up in Salmon Country.  Susun's going to hold down the fort here in River City while I'm gone.  Natalie N. has agreed to help judge the Clayton Chili Cookoff July 28th.  Two photos of Natalie and Stephen are below.

There's lot of news to report.  First and foremost, Spudboater had a mishap on her Grand Canyon trip.  She broke her ankle in Lava Falls.  It's a long story that we can't tell without her permission.  We're waiting for her to update her own blog so the story is "official," according to Spudboater.  Our prayers for Healing and speedy recovery go out to Spudboater.  The blog post above this one tells the story.

Kirsty continues to put up The Sweetest blog posts of all time celebrating her youngest child and Totally Awesome Family!  Whenever you need some extra Spirit for Your Spirit, just go visit Kirsty's blog--whatever is Kirsty's latest blog post is GUARANTEED to put a glow in Your Heart!  

Queen Mater is playing hide and seek now with her Maters.  Now you see her, now you don't.  Pretty amazing.  

Wayne Ranney celebrated his birthday July 1st and also is savoring the sales of 26,000 (not a typo) copies of his book on Carving The Grand Canyon.  He's already taking orders for the revised 2nd edition.  Way to go, Wayne! Check Wayne's blog for his latest, greatest Grand Canyon trip.  Click here to see it.

Jim Bishop has embarked on a new book called "Voices of The Verde."

It's very dry down in Verde Country--record low levels for the river flow.  Kinda spooky. Other spooky stuff has been happening there and our prayers go out to those who have had to be involved.

We decided to take the first day of our "summer break" on the run today--almost literally.  we went to the local high school football stadium and did 10 repetitions of climbing from the bottom to the top.  Trust me, that exercise tells you just how far out of shape you are.  Then we went over for a 45-minute swim in our city's indoor pool.  That also is a wake up call for how far out of shape we are.

We have a new quest--The Geographical Center of The Great State of Idaho.  We enlisted one of Idaho's top GIS professionals and he has ginned up the longitude and latitude for the "ID CTR."  We've been spending a LOT of time figuring out where this spot is located and how to get there.  What it boils down to is that we're going to have to climb 3000+ feet in two miles from a parking spot on an obscure road to get to this point.  It's in CAT MOAN Country in Custer County, Idaho at 9200 feet.  So that's whazzup with stadium stair climbing and swimming laps.  We don't have a whole lot of time to get back in shape for this adventure.

Meanwhile, The Salmon Thing is exploding.  We blew past 3,000 pageviews (cumulative since May 16) today like it wasn't even a benchmark.  It's freaking phenomenal.  Wild, if you will. It kind of feels like we are in a rodeo riding a wild horse--we keep wondering if and when we're going to get thrown off into the dust.  Maybe we will just keep riding.  Who Knows?

It sure has been a great ride since June 11.  We're proud of our Dear Friends from Arizona for making the trek up here into Tater Nation.  We're happy they have all enjoyed their visits.

Life is Good!

Many Cheers, jp
American Gothic somewhere along The Salmon River.

Natalie, Joshua and Stephen near Malm Gulch, Idaho

Kate & Brock Visit

Our Dear Friends Kate and Brock Blevins arrived about 3 hours after Wes & Nancy G. departed.  As you recall, they were scheduled to arrive a week ago but, well...  Anyway, they made it, if only for a grand total of 19 hours.  Interestingly, they brought in a small rain storm with them. The day was cool and cloudy and a perfect respite from the hot days we have been having.  Since our time was so short, Susun really put them through their paces in doing the obligatory Gilligan's Island Three Hour Tour.

(NOTE:  Here is the snippet from the Gilligan's Island theme song:  "Five passengers set sail that day 
For a three hour tour, a three hour tour."  If you need to see it in context, click here for the one-minute YouTube rendition.)

Anyway, our own rendition of the Three Hour Tour went off without a hitch...or a flip...and although we actually did visit an island...Pederson's Sportman's Island...we were not marooned.

It was a delightful, if nano, visit with Kate and Brock.  During our Traditional Tamale Dinner last night, Karen Lansing came over to visit and provided Classic Karen Entertainment.  She recited her World Famous Poem  and the proverbial Good Time was had by All.

We once again arose at 5:30 am today to make the necessary arrangements to get our guests off on-time for their appointed travel connections.  THANKS, Kate & Brock, we had a Great Visit!  Happy Trails! J&S

This is the new obligatory visitor photo op: The Japanese Garden.

This is what Susun saw through her lens while I was taking her photo above.

Say what you will but this is a classy photo down there in the Heart of The Japanese Garden.

Kate added a whole new blossoming flower to Hilda's Garden!