Friday, September 8, 2017

Sawtooth bound...

Not too danged bad.  Maybe we will camp on Redfish Lake after all.
Not much to report Friday that we didn't already cover in Wednesday's writeups.   
Thursday was definitely another Deep Red Sun morning here. The smoke was incredibly thick all day. Late summer is pretty much always smokey in this part of Idaho. Usually, the smoke is from a nearby fire such as last year's Pioneer Fire that smoked out The Sawtooths. This year there arean't any giant local fires. All the smoke is coming a combination of scores of fires burning in NORCAL, Oregon and Washtingon. When fires get as large and numerous as they are over there, fire fighters really can't do much more than try to protect structures or set back burns. Typically, a fire season as severe as this one only ends when the rains come or the snow flies.

However, the area received a reprieve of sorts. The wind changed direction and there was a tiny sprinkle in the middle the night. Friday morning we can actually see the moon and most of the horizons. Some of the sky is partly visible as well. That's a huge change. Chances arer the smoke will settle back in later today but any little glimmer of normalcy is welcome!

Thursday was the Long Day we expected it to be. Started work at 9:30 and kept after it continuously until 4:30. Ten minute lunch break. We had only one true “scare” yesterday when we thought we lost two days of web work. Working with web coding and files on servers can sometimes do that to you. POOF, gone. Luckily, of course, we back up everything and were able to restore the files to their proper working order.

The main order of business yesterday was creating and then populating ten blog posts describing the surrounding “attractions” that make Old Sawmill Station such an appealing Base Camp for Salmon River Country. We figured it would be easier to put that stuff on blog posts and then link them to the website. That way the Staff here can actually update the blog posts far easier and safer than messing with HTML files on the CusterTel server. Lisa Hurless picked it right up in only a few minutes. That's the beauty of blogs—EZPZ. We know she's going to do a fabulous job keeping that blog updated.

We're heading out of here sometime Friday morning and driving about 30 minutes upriver through the canyon to Stanley which is The Capitol of Sawtooth Country. We'll head on out toward Sunny Gulch Campground. This time of year, we'd normally opt for a campsite with a splendid view of Redfish Lake and the picturesque peaks beyond. However, it's so smokey, there won't be much of a view. Sunny Gulch is right on Idaho Hwy 75 and an easy, short drive into Stanley.

We will visit some Dear Friends there Friday afternoon and maybe get in some much-needed exercise. Thursday we set a new all time low step count—a mere 1600 steps. That's what sitting in front of a computer for 7 hours will do to a guy.

The Pickleball Fairy made it possible for us to play pickleball in Stanley at 8:30 AM Saturday morning, provided that it's not raining. Well, it really won't be raining in the true sense of raining but it might be sprinkling enough to be annoying as far as playing pickleball goes.

Not sure what the rest of Saturday might bring but we know it's going to including walking, day hiking or doing something to keep active.

We had originally planned to camp near Ketchum Saturday night and then play pickleball in Hailey on Sunday morning. The new plan is to remain camped in Sunny Gulch Saturday night and then head downriver Sunday, arriving back here at Sawmill sometime in the early afternoon. The Salmon River Shriners are all congregating here between noon and 5 PM to do a Memorial of sorts for The Late Clayton Hurless. There's going to be a big BBQ, a horseshoe tournament, music by a local legend and probably the obligatory clowning around by fez clad Shriners. Old Sawmill doesn't get those types of events very often and The Family wants us to photograph the activities and put them online. Will do.

We won't be staying for the duration but just long enough to capture some “event essence”.

We'll probably pull out of Old Sawmill in the 3:30 to 4 pm range Sunday and hope to see Dear Friend Shannon in Challis. Afterward, we will drive on down to the Joe T. Fallini Campground at Mackay Reservoir to spend Sunday night.

Depending on how we're feeling, we might go out to Craters of The Moon to camp Monday night. The NPS closed the tiny campground there practically the entire year of 2016 to completely rebuild the campground. The original campground was built long before the advent of behemoth RV Big Rigs. The sites were tiny and the turning radius impossible. We've been wanting to see the new and improved campground so this might be the time to do so.

We also will be stopping at an Arco Ladnmark known (seriously) as Pickle's Place. No need to explain our motivation for that stop. Chances are pretty good we will be back in Idaho Falls before lunch on Tuesday, maybe even in time to play pickleball at APPLE.

Anyway, that's The Plan...and at will sure be interesting to see how the plan changes as time passes.

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