Saturday, June 29, 2013

Play Ball

Dear Friends & Neighbors Julie & Kenyon invited us to a Chukars game last night.  We had a great time!
Thanks, J & K!  Here's the link to the Facebook album of 75 photos:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Here It Is

There's something about this sign.

My jeans

No, we're not talking about my DNA here, we're talking about my cheap jeans I buy at Wal-Mart for ten bucks a pair.  One of the downsides of being short is the fact that NO store-bought jeans on earth are made to fit short guys.

You wanna wear jeans, you gotta get 'em altered which is not the same as neutered but close.  I remember when people talked about "altering" their pets and it always made me a little suspicious of altering my jeans.  But, whatever.

Anyway, in my "mature years," as this phase of Golden Age is often called, I have begun to revolt against the idea of altering my jeans.  It's such a hassle.  Susun really doesn't much care for the chore and I am loathe to pay a commercial seamstress for alteration.  Somehow there's something a little suspicious about calling up someone to arrange an "alteration."

Well, over the past few years, I've begun to notice that back in the first half of the 20th Century, guys didn't bother to alter their jeans.  They just grabbed a pair off the shelf and rolled up the bottom to the right level and off they went ready for whatever adventures might come their way.

Somehow the style police decided rolled up jeans just weren't the ticket any more and we men have been suffering through the whole alteration process for at least as long as I've been alive.  Being short exacerbates the situation and generally means I dread the very idea of buying new jeans just because I then have to face the onerous alteration deficit disorder.

Well, getting back to the topic once again, Dear Friend and Historian Emeritus Bill Cowan posted up some great historical photos today on his Facebook.  I immediately noticed that three of the dirtbag cowboys have really spiffy looking rolled up jeans, as you can easily see in Bill's fine historical photo.

We're going to go to Wally World TODAY and buy a pair of jeans and roll them up and take the consequences.  So what if people think we are a fashion outcast?  Who cares if they think we're a Hicks from The Sticks?  What does it matter if people LOL when they look at me?  Heck, that's nothing new.  We're gonna GO FOR IT!

Anyway, we have asked for advice from our Facebook Friends on this weighty matter and eagerly await whatever wisdom wanders in.  What do YOU think, eh?  To roll or not to roll, that is the question!

Monday, June 24, 2013


There's something about The Pure Joy of Chinook that can't really be described in words.  
Perhaps these two photos help you know this is a Time of Great Joy on The Salmon River.  
The Chinooks are back!
If you want to see more and you are a Facebook person, visit:

Facebook Fun

Yeah, we know we're booked for Life into Hotel Facebook.  We're kinda getting OK with it.  But stuff happens and it makes it all more OK.  We have more than 600 Friends on The Salmon River Facebook and they are very active and very involved.  They give us near instant feedback on our stuff.  Take today.
We got this great feedback on a photo we took last Wednesday.  I mean, Man, it's GREAT when we get feedback like this.  What can you say?  It's little wonder we spend so much time on Facebook.  Let me pose this question--"If YOU were showered with positive feedback from an online project, would YOU turn your back on it?"

Here's the actual photo.  It's A Sweetie.


Ladies & Gentlemen, seriously high heat is coming later this week and there's going to be HOT STUFF over a huge, giant humongous area--like from Mexico to Alaska.

Down in our winter stomping grounds, it's probably going to be 108 to 109 in Rimrock but it could be as high as 112!  That's HOT STUFF!

In Alaska temps could possibly push 90 degrees and, trust us, that's HOT STUFF for those far north latitudes.  Boise, Idaho, and Missoula, Montana, might make it to 105.  Salmon, Idaho, might be a wee bit cooler in the high 90's, maybe crack 100. YIKES!

Stanley, Idaho, normally The Lower 48's Icebox, will probably peg 90 degrees.  That's probably right about where we're going to be here in Idaho Falls: 90-93 degrees.

When it gets this hot, there's no where to run, no where to hide--it's just HOT STUFF every which way.

We can't remember the hottest it ever was when we lived in Rimrock but we're thinking it was probably in the 112 vicinity.  We don't recall ever talking about a 113, 114 or 115.  You see, when it get's to 110, you begin to talk about each degree of heat as a separate entity.  Trust us, by some strange osmosis, you can actually feel the difference between 112 and 113.  It's kind of like the Richter Scale for earthquakes.  It's exponential once it gets above 110. (It's possible it might get to 120 in Gila Bend, so at least Rimrock will feel much cooler by comparison!)

One thing we learned while living in that straw house is that straw is no defense against heat.  It's a great defense against cold but it's worthless against heat.  Somehow, being inside that straw house magnified the heat and it often felt even hotter INSIDE that it did outside.

The other thing we learned was that the location of our home in Rimrock saw higher temperatures than the so-called official "Rimrock high."  So, for example, if the official high was 100, it generally would have been 102-103 on our thermometers.  During the summer we kept generally 3-4 thermometers scattered around the property so we could have a pretty good idea what the high temps really, truly were.

If it really gets to 112 in Rimrock, it wouldn't surprise us to learn that it might be 114-115 at the straw house.  A +2-3 degree shift was common there.  Anything over 110 in Rimrock is borderline unbearable for most people no matter what kind of a cooling system they have.  However, when the temp pushes well above 110, it's really and truly HOT STUFF!

The trouble with the upcoming forecast high temps is that they are expected to last and last for days and days.  This is the time of year Arizona People get "cabin fever."  It's too hot to go outside so everyone stays inside and hopes the electricity doesn't go out.  Then they start getting "cabin fever" from all that indoors time in weird swamp cooler air.  Our hearts go out to our Dear Friends there.

The other thing on everyone's mind right now is a four letter word that starts with an "F".  No, Not THAT four letter word!!!  This four letter word is F-I-R-E!

People are all silently praying that a fire doesn't break out somewhere in the parched forest or range lands.
As the HOT STUFF scorches Rimrock once again, even though we are in Idaho, we pray that no one starts a wild fire.

Please, Dear Lord, keep Rimrock, The Verde Valley, Arizona and The Southwest safe from any more wild fires.  We pray for rain, we pray for the monsoon and we pray for cooler days ahead.

1983 Grand Canyon Recollections - Part 1

Thirty years ago, we were on The Colorado River in Grand Canyon. We barely launched June 21 before the NPS closed the river indefinitely. It was an epic trip and we went through Crystal Rapid at the peak flow of 100,000 cfs.

Naturally, my mind is awash with memories from that trip on this 30th anniversary of the infamous 1983 Glen Canyon Dam Flood. We will post up snippets and thoughts over the coming days.

Today, we'd like to take a look back at what really happened to Glen Canyon Dam and what "could" have happened. Believe it or not, there was a very real possibility of a Biblical Flood from Lake Powell. Here is what "could" have happened:

"Below Glen Canyon Dam, a 580-foot tidal wave would blast through the Grand Canyon at twenty-five miles per hour, denuding its steep walls and leaving nothing alive. Three hundred miles downstream, a wall of water 70-feet high would surge over the parapet of Hoover Dam, likely causing it to collapse.

Each of the smaller dams below Hoover on the Colorado River’s stutter-step way to Mexico—Davis, Parker, Headgate Rock, Palo Verde, Imperial, Laguna, and Morelos—would topple in turn. From Glen Canyon to the Gulf of California, the river would have destroyed each obstacle that Man had placed in its path, just as it had destroyed many natural obstacles in its five-million year history."

Believe me, the specter of this possibility weighed heavily on our minds during that trip. As the near-debacle unfolded, of course, The Bureau of Reclamation kept a "smiley face" and tried to tell everyone everything was hunkie-dory. "No Problem," was the fed's mantra for every day.

Truth be know there was a very Big Problem but, naturally, we learned all the details long after the fact. High Country News did arguably one of the best post-mortems of what went on with the dam in a December 1983 article that you can read here:

The Bureau eventually made some real nice little videos talking about the event. In this 9-minute one you can clearly see the spillways spitting out the detritus of cavitation.

There's really no way to describe the palpable sense of anxiety which pervaded the daily events taking place 30 years ago. It was an amazing episode in Arizona history--that's for certain sure!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Drive-By Delight

Cottonwood's Pat, Tom and Nick B., as well as their trusty, beloved dog, Yuppie, came to visit us in Idaho Falls today. It was a drive-by visit as they are on a fast track to Bellingham, Washington, to help Nick settle into a new life and job there.

We served up Virginia's home made tamales with all the trimmings for lunch and shared many a delightful (and QUICK) story.

Tom is quite proud of The Family's new Road Trip Rig so we posed him for a classic "A Man and His Truck" photo.

Tonight, the trio + dog are camped in Salmon, Idaho.

Thanks, Pat, Tom, Nick and Yuppie, we sure enjoyed your visit.  It was AWESOME!

Timber Creek Camp

This is our new plan.  When we post something on Facebook, we cross post it here on the blog.  What few blog readers we have left mostly aren't Facebook members.  Meanwhile, most Facebookers don't read blogs.  It's amazing to me how quick and easy it is to do a Facebook photo album compared to the time and frustration of attempting to get one done with Google's garbled gig.

Here's the link to the captioned photos:

Wildflower Season Continues

As Df & LBRs know, our personal wildflower season started when we did The Young Road and camped in Tonto Basin near Roosevelt Lake.  The low desert wildflowers were spectacular this spring.  Well, we've been immersed in wildflowers seemingly ever since then.  Wildflowers just won't quit following us around!  You can click here for an album of merely "some" of the wildflowers we saw during our Road Trip this past week.  Frankly, we've never seen such a dense profusion of wildflowers.  They were like a carpet.  Sooner or later, this year wildflower simply have to fade away.  They can't last forever, can they?  One thing we know for certain sure--It's been one Super Sweet Wildflower Year for us!

The link below is to a Facebook album.  Yes, we're using Facebook for our photo albums.  Google has messed up their photo function to a point we simply won't use it any more.  At least for now, Facebook's photo album function is SO much easier to use.  You don't have to be a Facebook member to see this album.

The Way We Were

It is always with both trepidation and enthusiasm that we check our email upon return from a long Road Trip. Enthusiasm because we're ear to read fun emails from our Dear Friends. Trepidation because we know there's generally always going to be news of something sad.

And so it was Friday that we opened Ye Ol' InBox and learned Marble Canyon Lodge burned to the ground this week. We have so many special memories of that venerable, legendary, historic building. If ever there was a Grand Central Station at the Crossroads of the Southwest, Marble Canyon Lodge surely fit the bill.

Getting the news on the 30th anniversary of the put-in of our 100,000 cfs Grand Canyon trip deepened the sadness in our Heart. (We even borrowed a small outboard motor from the Lodge owner for our 1983 trip.)

We remember so many faces glowing with pre-trip excitement in the cozy dimness of the Marble Canyon Lodge dining room.

Dear Friend Susan Kliewer managed the place for many years in the 1970's and has regaled us with incredibly touching stories during each of our annual visits to Vermilion Cliffs. In fact, we made a deal with Susan to video her at the Lodge next April tell her signature stories. Well, that isn't going to happen.

If a building could possibly talk, the tales of Marble Canyon Lodge would fill volumes and render riveting reading. It's quite probably that anyone who has even been anything in the Southwest from the mid-1920's to the 21st Century has set foot in Marble Canyon Lodge.

Yes, there will be a new Lodge rise from the ashes of the old. Dear Friend Tom B. drove by the site a couple of days ago and said a backhoe and a front loader were already clearing debris. The business is too valuable to let much time pass before a new structure gets the cash flowing again. However, whatever building becomes the new normal at Marble Canyon, it will never be the real Marble Canyon Lodge. The real Marble Canyon Lodge is now just a fond and cherished memory. For the news report on the fire, here's the story from "The Arizona Daily Sun."

Thanks to Margaret Jenner and Wayne Ranney for letting us know about this passing of the Lodge. (Cue our archived version of "The Way We Were" here:

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Marvelous Marvie

We created an "ode" to our new truck, Marvelous Marvie, a spry 29-year-old of The Asian Persuasion.  Marvie was everything we hoped he would be and much, much more on our Road Trip this week.  You don't have to be a Facebook member to see the photos shown in the screen clip above.  Each photo is captioned.  Here they be:

June 19 Storm Photos

Our first Road Trip day was downright warm-almost on the hot side.  Our second day?  Not so much.  It was mostly clear when we left camp and then the storm started to drill down.  We had the great of driving through a driving snowstorm when we cross Double Springs Pass.
 Riders on the storm 
Into this house we're born 
Into this world we're thrown 
Like a dog without a bone 
An actor out alone 
Riders on the storm

Idaho's highest point--Mount Borah--Looking Good!

The Dream Ranch

It was 9 years ago June 21st that we first laid eyes on The East Fork of The Salmon River and Bowery Guard Station.  What an incredible, life-changing experience began that day.  As part of our Road Trip, we spent two night's at Heather's Dream Ranch a few miles from Bowery.  Thank You, Heather, for your awesome hospitality!
 Glassford & Ibex Peaks from Heather's Dream Ranch.
Until we return again soon!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Great Road Trip (GRT)

YES!  We had a Great Road Trip.  478 miles.  NO problems.  Life is good!

If the video won't load try this link:

Monday, June 17, 2013

Two Weeks?

Yep, it's been almost two weeks since we posted here. This poor blog ain't gittin' NO LUV at all.  We are hooked on Facebook and our Facebook is getting all the attention now.  We routinely post several times each day there.  We often think we should cross post here, too, but we run out of time and the days fly by.  It's pretty amazing that once again June is far more than half over and the longest day of the year looms but a few days away.

How far away does June 21 seems during the dark of December 21?  Yet how fast does June 21 arrive once the Memorial day Milestone is passed each year.

Tom and Pat B and their son, Nick, will be coming to visit from Cottonwood, Arizona, this coming Sunday.  They won't be able to spend the night but we plan to have a real nice brunch/lunch/etc. for their drive-by visit.

Tomorrow, we're taking off on our first "official" Marvie Road Trip.  We plan to be back by Friday or Saturday afternoon.  Our return date is a moving target.  We're hoping this road trip is well over 400 miles and we'd be happy if it was 500 miles but we doubt we can get it up to that lofty level.

We're heading to a spot on our beloved East Fork of The Salmon River that would normally only take us 3.5-4 hours to drive to. However, for this Road Trip, we plan to take 2-3 DAYS to get there instead of a few hours.  We're taking probably the longest, most circuitous route known to Mankind to get there.  That's why we bought Marvie in the first place and that's why we've spent the past three weeks getting Marvie in shape for such stuff.

We don't plan on using Marvie much.  At this point, Marvie isn't even going to be a "town truck."  Marvie is just going to sit around and wait for "the call."  Hopefully, we can get Marvie out on the Back Roads several times a summer.  That's all we want and expect out of him, a trusty steed to take us places no other vehicle we own can do.

You might wonder why we aren't relying on the Samurai for such duty.  Well, the Sammi is too small for us now.  We like camping with more gear.  Also, the Sammi is too slow when it's fully loaded to drive on the long paved roads needed to get to the choicest backcountry.  We want something that doesn't rattle as much, has a smoother ride and carries more camping gear.

Bear in mind, we're not planning to camp as cushy as we do at Jenny Lake each September.  Plus, Mrvia ain't no Annie & The Poptop, but Marvie represents a decent compromise between the Samurai and the Big Rig with the camper.  We'd like to think we can still travel "light & far" in Marvie.  This impending Road Trip is a "proof of concept" trip whereby we will know if your hypothesis is correct or if it is just another misguided fantasy.

Between working on Marvie, going to Salmon, Idaho, last weekend and shooting in three pistol matches in the past week alone, our life has been very busy with much less free time than we typically enjoy in the winter, early-spring season.

Susun has been real busy doing her volunteering at Habitat for Humanity and St. Vincent Depaul.  She's also been The Social Butterfly partying with her girlfriends, attending cultural events and so forth.  She's excited about the first Road Trip tomorrow.

We've been doing surprisingly well in our pistol matches.  In our first match we finished 1st in overall accuracy out of 58 participants.  This week we tied for 1st Place in accuracy out of 38 participants.  Saturday we re-qualified at the Marksman rating in our national club and Sunday, we finished 1st Most accurate in the monthly revolver match.  It is gratifying that all of our practice over the past two years is finally beginning to pay off.

So far, we've so busy, we haven't even played a single round of kiddie golf or put the canoe in the water.   Looking ahead we're already just hoping we can clear our Idaho Season "to do" list before heading south to Arizona in late October!  YIKES!  It's becoming quite clear that the summer season isn't going to let us dote on this blog quite the way we do during the fall-winter-spring when the short day length keeps us confined to quarters.

July is already almost 100% booked.  August is open (so far) and then we know how fast time passes once Labor Day rolls around again.  We have a very long list of homeowners chores that have been languishing lately while we mess around with Marvie, lollygag in Salmon, Idaho, and visit the shooting range.  Hopefully, upon our return after this road trip, we will have the better part of two weeks to attempt to get caught up.

We know that what remains of our Loyal Blog Reader Roster generally abhors Facebook and most of you refuse to go there.  Frankly, we don't blame you.  However, if you'd like to read what we're going and thinking and so forth, Facebook is where it's at.  After months of attempting to resist FADD (Facebook Addiction Deficit Disorder), we admit to being thoroughly hooked and we no longer fight and struggle to escape.

The Salmon website is suffering from lack of attention much the same way this blog is, too.  Everything's going on to Facebook.  We're grown our Salmon River Facebook Friends to within an eyelash of 600 and fully expect to reach 1,000 during this second year of operation.  We're actually operating a more efficient news gig on Facebook than we are on the website.  We DO have to get back into that website and bring it current but we've been unable to do so because of the strong and relentless pull of Facebook.  Alas, there's nothing we can do about it.

Anyway, here are our two Facebook addresses.  We know you would enjoy them should you care to dabble there.  Just be careful and don't let Facebook suck you in like it did me.

For those who may be curious about tomorrow's Road Trip, the graphics below explain it in a general sort of way:

A is Pass Creek Pass north of Arco, Idaho.  B is Sawmill Canyon, our destination Tuesday night.
A is Sawmill Canyon and B is Double Springs Pass in the shadow of Idaho's tallest peak--Mt. Borah.
Both Pass Creek and Double Springs passes are well over 8,000 feet.
From Double Springs Pass we have to wind our way through the semi-wilderness to get over to The East Fork.  We will visit with Heather at The Dream Ranch and then go to The Jammin' Salmon to help Golde W. find creative ways to market her property there.  Afterwards, we plan to visit Old Sawmill Station and then our Dear Friends Natalie and Stephen before heading home to prepare for Tom, Pat and Nick's visit.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Dugout Dick Dedication - Riverfest

Busy weekend ahead.  We're leaving Thursday so we can Emcee the Dugout Dick Dedication at 11 am Friday morning near Elk Bend, Idaho.  Then we will be up to our eyeballs in Riverfest through Sunday.   Returning on Monday.  Click this link to see the Facebook album on the Dugout Dick Dedication.

As our DF & LBRs know, there's a big back-story on this event.  Here are the two links to refresh your memory about that back-story.

The first is an article on Dugout Dick we did back in May 2012. It describes what kicked off this chain of events. 

The second link is Roger Plothow's website on Dugout Dick. By understanding the initial circumstances (via the link above) and then digging deep into Roger's website linked below, astute readers will be able to grasp the flow of circumstances which played a role in bringing Friday's dedication to fruition. 

Below is the Riverfest schedule.  Looks to be their best ever lineup of events and entertainment.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Hilda's Planted

It's always a big relief for Susun when the Hilda Garden is finally planted and "put to bed" for the summer.  This year, lots of volunteers showed up to plant and everything went along like clockwork.  Congratulations, Susun!
 The Friday Crew happily sporting their trowels with a "We Can Do It" attitude.
 The Saturday crew featured Hilda's youngest flower planters ever.
 Susun and Dina were really happy the way things turned out.
Naturally, Susun was (and remains) "all smiles" about how easily this year's planting came together.