Some of these posts will be short and sweet! We went to church today in Whitefish! Rick watched the Steelers dominate on TV. We went grocery shopping! We talked with Jed and Mom R on the phone. Hmmmm....I drew some prayers! And that about sums up our day!!
MONDAY, September 21
|The house at the end of the Thrivent week. Wow!|
We explored a little - up to Foy's Lake and Lone Pine State Park. Didn't pay to go into the park but it has a great view overlooking the upper Flathead Valley. We were going to visit the Re-Store but Steve said it was closed on Mondays! Rick checked out some day packs at Sportsmans at the mall. I went to Weight Watchers and lost 3 pounds!
(All that hiking!) We did our laundry and rendezvous'd with
Lynn to get my Super G (Genia) t-shirt - a fundraiser for Tartaglinos.
Only I am somewhat embarrassed to wear it because my name starts with a G
- it seems a little egotistical! Fun talking with Lynn however, who drove
to the RV park to deliver the shirt.
|Front of Genia's t-shirt!|
TUESDAY, September 22
Mt Aeneas Hike, Jewell Basin
Well, today won't be boring! And it definitely wasn't lazy! Rick was out of here shortly after 9am to head back over to the mall and check out packs at Cabelas and Sportmans. We had done a little internet research last night and if we were going to buy, why not do it now while he could enjoy using it! He came back with a pack from Sportmans. Said the saleman was very helpful about how all the pockets could be used, etc.
In the meantime I sat with computer in my lap refreshing the Habitat site every 30 seconds to try and get on one of the Mason Texas CAV builds. When it finally showed up, I think it was already full! Not sure how much we want to play these 'games', but it was a good build in the right place at the right time. We are on the wait list, so maybe it will come through at a later date. Otherwise, God must have other plans for us during our drive across the south next spring!
So...we are finally on our way by 10:45a heading down Rt 35 toward Big Fork. A turn off on the Swan Valley road and then to Echo Lake and the Jewell Basin access. The last 7 miles of road are gravel, the last 5 narrow and steep and wash-boardy! But…those miles pick up at least 1800’ of elevation! We arrive at Camp Misery (named for an Indian tribe who had to spend a winter here) around 11:30 and are on the trail by 11:45am. I doubt we will be eating lunch on the summit!
|Panorama view from top of Misery Mt. toward Flathead|
|Ging on top of Misery Mt. Peak at far right is our goal:|
|Fireweed fluff and Flathead Lake!|
|We found some sumac berries|
the bears hadn't eaten!
We come to a major crossroads where trails come up from the lower valley, another route to Camp Misery, a trail to Birch Lake, etc. But we take 717 to Mt. Aeneas and we begin to climb again. Switchbacks up the side of the mountain to the top of the ridge where an old microwave tower sits. I tried to google for information about the old building, which looks very abandoned, but no luck. Everyone mentions it, but no one knows anything else about it!
|Jewel Basin panorama from ridge just beyond microwave tower. You can barely see edge of it at far left.|
From the ridge by the tower you have views down into the basin (we could see at least 7 lakes) and west toward the Flathead. To the south the narrow spine of the Mt. Aeneas ridgeline snakes its way to the summit. We passed a few other hikers coming down who reported mountain goats near the top. (All our sources said this was very common!) It is about a half mile from the saddle by the tower to the top. Awesome ridgeline walk!
|Ridgeline walk to top of Aeneas.|
About 100’ down from the summit we met another couple of hikers. In talking about the goats, Rick mentioned we have a lot in our Elkhorn Mts. of NE Oregon. The man asked where abouts did we live. Turns out it was Don Arledge, a former 5J teacher who left the area in 1984 to teach in Peru! We had a great talk and he gave us a contact should we ever be in Patagonia (where they are living now!) Rick asked who we should give greetings to and he said TOM NOVAK!! We will deliver the message!
|Two of us atop the peak with Hungry Horse|
Reservoir in background
|There were lots of flat rocks |
for good inuk building!
|Rick heads down the south ridge of Aeneas.|
Coming off the peak we followed the south ridge STEEPLY down to a lower trail that dropped into the basin. We had seen about 11 mt goats down in this draw from the ridgeline, but now three of them crossed right in front of us and headed back to the top. Such regal and beautiful animals.
|Hello, friends! Welcome to my|
|Avalanche chute above Picnic Lakes -|
the trees were all cut off!
|This hillside was ablaze with color!|
|More sumac color|
|On the color trail near the end of the hike.|
Wednesday, September 23
Habitat Build Day - First Day of Autumn!
It might be the first day of fall, but it is a beauty! Brisk morning - in fact we had to scrape the windshield today to drive to the job site! But the weather warmed and by afternoon we were all down to t-shirts basking in the clear blue skies and delightful 70's temperatures!
Quite the eclectic crew working on Kearney's house today! There were 6 guys from the Kalispell Coca-Cola business, I think working their first Habitat experience. We had a gal from Glacier Bank who wanted to work, but couldn't come on Friday with the rest of that group. So she came today! Pete was a new local volunteer, having just retired in Whitefish. And lastly, besides Rick and I, there was Brian, a late teen who will be here all week working off some community service. (And of course, Speedy Steve too!)
|Rick and Steve work on the first wall.|
|Today's accomplishment: two walls.|
|End of Day photo|
Nothing too exciting tonight. I did find an email waiting for us saying we got on the Mason build! Need to finish re-registering for that this evening. Otherwise, dinner was the leftover chicken and tater salad from the lunch provided today (no one else wanted to take it!) and a leisurely evening reading, etc. Tomorrow I may go in to the Habitat office and use their secure internet to check on some financial things.
THURSDAY, September 24
Habitat Office and Re-Store; Hockaday Art Museum
I could get used to these 'off days' when we don't have to be anywhere very early! It was in the mid-30's again when I arose just before 7am. Trailer around 50 degrees and it didn't warm up very fast! But I bundled up in my fuzzy blanket and worked on my drawings, etc. Spent much of the morning finally getting some pictures added to my blog, but was unsuccessful in uploading the YouTube video of my time-lapse on the house. Around 10:45am we finally got moving and headed over to the Habitat Office in downtown Kalispell. Katy had said we could come by and use the internet there - a secure internet so I could do a few financial things. I was hoping to upload the video, but discovered I would be using their computer....they didn't have wifi, just cables. So I was glad I had my little log-in notebook with me with passwords. We checked on our Canada transactions, made a donation online, and took care of the paperwork Synchrony Bank wanted. Steve stopped by while we were there and reminded me I can use his hot spot for the video if I need to!
We were getting ready to leave and I said something about taking off so they could get some lunch. Katy instantly said, "Do you have plans?" We argued over who was taking who, but Katy flipped out the credit card first! We went to a little Italian sandwich shop within walking distance and ate out on the sidewalk patio, basking in the sunshine! I had a portobello panino, and Rick a BALT sub. Good meal and a delight to sit and visit with an exceptional young lady.
|One of the watercolors...|
|Neat quote on gift shop wall.|
Then a quick trip down to check out the Re-Store on the south side of town. Alot of nice furniture, on the spendy side. We end up spending a bit $1 on four books!
Back to a quiet evening on the 'farm' - in the apple orchard?? It isn't supposed to be as cold tonight!
Friday, September 25
Habitat Build Day with Glacier Bank
So much for not as cold! It was 35 outside when I got up and the trailer was 44 degrees (we hadn't turned the heater up as high!) Shiver! But.... we were rewarded with a glorious sunrise over the Swan Mountains!
|I had to walk 15' out of the trailer to take this panorama sunrise photo!|
|End of the day....check out the grass!!!|
|Rick and Pete get started cutting out a window.|
|Our stack of walls is growing on the driveway!|
You can see the grass, and piles of sod.
Back to the trailer to relax, shower, and enjoy a quiet evening. I did walk down to office and pay for our last week here, so they won't kick us out tomorrow!
Saturday, September 26
Habitat Build Day - Kearneys plus Church Groups!
Another beautiful sunrise this morning with the sun backlighting the clouds as we drove across town. Rick stopped so I could take a picture!
We had another good crew today. Jan, a Whitefish local who we have worked with before, was back. And of course, Speedy Steve. Brian had one more day of his community service to finish. There were 9 volunteers from Selah Fellowship and 3 more came from Faith Covenant Church. Our lunch was provided by a family from Faith Church. And most importantly? Jason and Angela, the homeowners, were there to work!
|Rick and John construct a wall.|
|Jason and Angela pose in front of their house.|
I got the next three wall sections (all one 35' east wall of the house) laid out in the garage. Steve must have confidence in me, because he stopped by to go over the plans for that wall with me, said to divide it up 14-14-7, and I could figure out where the windows go based on the plans! And he left! I had to ask a quick question a little later because I was a half inch off and not sure where to put it (not my measurements, but the way the plans worked out). Next week....we'll put together the east walls and the north walls, plus garage! It would be quite an accomplishment if we can figure we built all the outside walls for the next house in these two weeks.
|Flower bed laid out in front of house.|
|Rick chats with Jason and Angela.|
Quick stop at Walmart for necessary items like paper plates, and then a relaxing Saturday afternoon. Rick found football games to watch! I wandered around the campground for a mile and took a few funky pictures.
|Creek running through campground and sun in tree.|
Worship in Kalispell
Today we decided to worship with the Kalispell First Presby Church, located right in the heart of town on Route 93. It is a beautiful wood structure inside, complete with wood chandeliers. A modern screen drops down before worship for announcements, etc., but it rolls up out of the way during the service (probably remains more during the contemporary service the third Sunday of each month). There was a Pentecost 'banner' hanging in the middle of the aisle - a double circle of red/orange/golden ribbons with white doves attached in various places. Kinda neat. Nice service, pipe organ, but I have to admit that the organist played faster than I could sing, and that is FAST! We went out to
breakfast at Sykes afterwards. Only had to wait 10 minutes for a seat which was amazing since the place was hopping.
|Not much, but a view anyway.|
We had a front row seat for the lunar eclipse. I couldn't see from the trailer, so had to keep going outside to check on the progress. It was pretty reddish at the point of total eclipse. Pictures not great since I don't really have much of a tele lens here.
MONDAY, September 28
Hike to Iceberg Lake, Many Glacier Region, Glacier NP
10 miles RT, 1200' climb
BRRRR! The temp was subfreezing when we got up early to begin this 12 hour day - approximately 6 on the road and 6 on the trail! We left as the sun was rising and that big old super moon was setting and returned with the blinding light of the sun setting in the west. Yes, we manage to drive INTO the sun both directions! (Poor planning, but not sure how to prevent it! Ask God to rotate the earth in the opposite direction for a day?)
I drove the first short leg up to West Glacier while Rick ate his cakebread. I knew it was going to be a GREAT day when we stopped at the Town Pumpe on the corner leading into Columbia Falls and I realized I had forgotten my coffee cup. But the wonderful clerk in the shop gave me my coffee for the refill price! Not to mention the skies are absolutely clear - cloudless - and I didn't SEE even a wisp of cloud ALL DAY LONG!
|Logan Pass mountains form a silhouette over Heaven's Peak|
and lower valley.
|St. Mary's 2015 fire|
|Triple Divide Peak (while stopped for construction)|
This is not only Continental Divide but also the
Hudson Bay Divide from the Atlantic
|Lake Sherborne as we head into Many Glacier|
|We go right!|
We are on the trail by 10:20am. I still was tossing the idea of attempting Ptarmigan Tunnel in my mind (distance the same, add another 1200' elevation) but after I felt the slight twinge in my left knee as we started uphill I knew I wouldn't make that kind of elevation gain today. Oh well. Iceberg Lake
|View into Swiftcurrent drainage|
|"Hey bear" section of trail, but Rick is looking for|
sheep and goats!
|By Ptarmigan Falls|
|Iceberg Lake is up in that cirque.|
We basically hiked up one of the three drainages that flow into Many Glacier - along Ptarmigan Creek. We contoured on the hillside above with sweeping views into Swiftcurrent drainage and a wing of Swiftcurrent Glacier as well as Ptarmigan valley and the gray mass of Ptarmigan Wall in the distance. Eventually we leveled off and passed into the lodgepole forest closer to the creek and at 2.8 miles came to the tree obscured Ptarmigan Falls. Hard to get a picture of anything other than right above it! A short distance beyond we came to the point where the trail divides. The left branch goes south toward Iceberg Lake, tucked into a cirque under Mt. Wilbur and the southern end of the Wall, and the north branch heads up Ptarmigan Creek to the small lake and then up to the man-made tunnel that passes through the wall and opens out above the Belly River drainage. We went left!
|Under parts of The Wall|
We passed through more forest for about a half mile and then opened up into a contour under the wall that was spectacular. The wall looks like it is turreted, with little peaks all along the ridge. You can see the permanent snowpacks above the unseen lake and realize the sun doesn't reach those spots very often. The hillsides were green, layered with colors of rock, and splashes of red and yellow. Below us
|My favorite picture - trail, cirque, and Iceberg Peak|
|Tarn just below lake|
We got back to the truck at 4:15 .... just about 6 hours of hiking time! Perfect. A drive around Many Glacier campground (seeking a restroom!) and then we head down to St. Mary's to find a drink. Hmmm...everything is closed up for the season at the lodge, so we find the little grocery store and buy a couple of sodas. Not alot of choices.
|Iceberg Peak and lake|
A long but perfect day. Thank you, God, for such glorious fall weather! Thank you, God, for making such majestic mountains! Thank you, God, for the health to be able to explore them! G'night!
|Not sure why the Photosphere icon keeps showing up on the finished pictures! Iceberg Lake with sun playing peek a boo from behind Mt. Wilbur.|
|These snowfields probably also calve all summer long into the lake.|
|A hole in the tree captures Rick on the trail.|
|This little chipmunk scolded me for over a minute after a bird had invaded the 'nest'.|
|A spruce grouse right along the trail.|
|Red rock on trail and fall colors - looking back toward Ptarmigan Wall.|
|Mt. Oberlin silhouette in setting sun on Garden Wall near Logan Pass.|
|Garden Wall vistas as we head down Going to the Sun Road.|
TUESDAY, September 29
After such a busy and full day yesterday, this entry will be short and sweet! We were lazy and relaxed in the morning. I caught up on pictures and writing. We did our laundry. Later, we went over to the Mall and Rick got a free haircut at SportsClips, compliments of the Red Cross (we had received a coupon by email!). Michael's Arts and Crafts store just happened to be across the way, so we spent an hour there! Back to park for Rick to shower - he was happy with the cut but wanted to get the 'goop' out of his hair! Up to Columbia Falls to check out the Habi-town street, go to Weight Watchers, and then out to dinner at Los Caporales. It was another beautiful day weather wise - clear and in the mid-70's (and COLD in the trailer in the early morning! I have taken to wearing my fingerles gloves to type!) PS. I did remember to wear my SuperG shirt today as Tuesdays are Chemo Day!
WEDNESDAY, September 30
Habitat Build Day - ParkSide Credit Union
It is the last day of September! And my, the leaves here at the park have started to change and even drop! And it is a chilly day again as the temp drops below the 30 degree mark! But a simple beauty of a sunrise just as we arrive at the build site begins to warm the day....which eventually reaches the mid-70 range and shirt sleeves!
Today we worked with Parkside Credit Union which added up to just 4-6 people at various times (plus a tremendous spread for lunch!) A newcomer and neighbor from down the street, Ed, came on behalf of his Parkside employed wife....he got permission from HIS boss to come instead. It was neat because it meant Kearneys got to meet another one of their new neighbors! Ed worked with
|Rick cuts out a window|
|Kealani hammers in the nails.|
The Parkside gals painted siding all day for the house down the street. Steve HOPES that the hole will be dug on Friday for the new foundation there.
THURSDAY, October 1
I think today just about scored a record for nothingness! I didn’t even get dressed until 1pm!! We spent the morning reading, writing, drawing, etc. It was overcast all day long and cooler. A few light raindrops even fell. A good day for recuperation! Around 1:30 we headed over to the mall and went to the movies! Saw the new Mission Impossible movie with Tom Cruise and company. A fun flick. Until the end of the movie we thought we were the only ones in the theater, but two guys must have come in after the movie started and sat way up front. Back to the trailer where we picked a box of apples from the trees in back of us. Rick watched the Steelers game on TV tonight. And THAT was the sum of our day!!
FRIDAY, October 2
Habitat Build Day with YWAM
|We are getting later in the season and the sun doesn't|
rise until we are enroute to the job site!
|Rick and YWAM crew prepare to stack|
We got the garage walls all
|The section of plans that have me stymied!|
|Enjoying the sunshine with Katy at Coldstone|
Rick and I went out to Coldstone Creamery with Katy after work. Katy won't be on the job site tomorrow, so this was our 'parting' goodbye! Good visit and fun time. I really am fond of this gal and her contribution to the affiliate is amazing. She is such an ambassador for Habitat homes and makes every group of volunteers feel special. She makes us feel VERY special!
Tomorrow will be a calm day on the job. Just us and Kearneys and Speedy Steve working. Steve T has invited us to meet him and Genia Sunday morning for breakfast down in Somers.
SATURDAY, October 3
Final Habitat Build Day
It must be time to wrap it up. I think we are tired. I know the wall building has been tough on Rick's back and my brain is about fried! We sleep in a little late after rain and wind shook our little trailer during the night. We arrive first at the job site and then are pleased to see that Jan has come back today, a Whitefish local volunteer. Steve shows up, but left the keys at home, so he leaves, but Steve M arrives with HIS keys so we have most everything out and ready to roll by the time boss Steve returns. Kearneys arrive. Our small group works all day to finish the 24 exterior walls of 265 Short Pine and then we got four walls of 255 Short Pine finished. I discovered a few studs I should have been putting in all along, but didn't
|Our final four walls all wrapped up for the week.|
But this has been an intense week of fractions, measurement, cutting, and figuring. We weren't fast, but I will guarantee my cuts are accurate!
Around 2 I was finishing up the layout for my final wall. I did not expect to see it built, but at least it was laid out - one of the most complicated in that it had a split top plate, two windows and the front door. But... Steve T came out back and attacked the process, cutting the jacks and cripples MUCH faster than I was working. We worked a little late, but that front wall was done!
|I just thought this tree was|
pretty across the street.
We went back to park and cleaned up. Went to Lowe's to check on blinds for the broken ones in trailer. No luck, so we went to Applebee's and had an appetizer sampler! We leave in the morning!!
Sunday, October 4
Kalispell, MT to North Fork, Idaho
|Pretty much a straight shot south today!|
Augggh! I actually wait to get up AFTER Rick has rolled out of bed this morning, although I was awake about 10 minutes earlier. Our last day to get moving quicker rather than later in the morning! And we are ready to roll shortly after 7:30am. I was a little surprised at how fast Rick was getting us packed up and when we pulled into Somers Bay Cafe just after 8am, I discovered why! He thought we were meeting Steve and Genia at 8am, not 8:30! So we had several cups of coffee while waiting and I browsed through a book on Huckleberries! Rick checked out all the great photographs in this quaint little
|This cool barn was right outside the Somers Bay|
Cafe, but Steve also pointed out a white dot to
the right which is the new property he and Genia
A smooth 100 miles down to Missoula. We haven't driven this way in the fall before. The Mission Mountains don't have anywhere near the snow they did in our June passage in 2014 and most of the fields and grasslands are brown and dry. But the trees are every stage of green, gold, orange, and red and that provides plenty of color!
|Bitterroot Mts. just south of Missoula - patch of|
red foliage in the cirque!
|Ten thousand foot peak of the |
Bitterroots near Darby.
|Rocky slopes near Lost Trail|
|Salmon River at Wagon Hammer RV|
|Trees in campground|
Arrived around 3:30 and just relax reading in the sun for awhile, altho it dropped below the canyon walls much earlier than normal. It will cool off quickly tonight!
|Our trailer at the end of the row at Wagon Hammer!|
North Fork, ID to Eagle, ID
|Typical Salmon River vista|
It is NOT tree covered! Yes, there are deciduous trees along the river and perhaps in some of the gulleys, but there is a definite lack of conifers on the slopes of the rocky hills. Much of the area is reminiscent of the Riggins terrain - high desert, volcanic rock, cut by the blue of the river. Plenty of rocky spires and cliffs, sometimes splotched with the iron red or rhyolite purple, but not much green!
|Early morning mists on Salmon River|
We found a little Bakery/Cafe and ordered right before the lunch time rush! (Literally, at least 10 more groups came in right after us!) Ate out on the patio in the sunshine and visited with a couple from New York.
|Dropping into Stanley with Sawtooths in background|
From Stanley it is another hour around the end of the Sawtooths and then DOWN DOWN DOWN to Lowman, ID. A narrow canyon, filled with avalanche dangers that is often closed in the winter months. At Lowman we turned west on a road that Rusty recommended. I couldn't even find a number for it on any map, but it connected Lowman with the town of Banks on the Payette River and Highway
|Black cliffs outside Garden Valley|
|Payette River from Hwy 55|
Banks isn't much more than a junction. We had thought to pick up a drink, but didn't really see a place to stop. On to Horseshoe Bend and then UP UP UP over a 4200' pass to drop down, past Bogus Basin access, into Eagle. We found the High Valley RV Park and pulled in around 3:30 pm. A classy place, but the price was within our budget at 34.99! We will be able to clean out the trailer in the morning and easily be down at Bish's by 9am.
Last night out! We both talked with Moms tonight as we both have cell service again! Hurray!
TUESDAY, October 6
Eagle, ID to Baker City, OR
As usual, the hardest part of the trip home is finishing up the blog! Suddenly, it is more important to unpack and wash, clean and repack, the photos are all on the laptop and I am on the desktop, download pictures, etc. etc.! Moreimportantly, that 30 lb box of apples is now neatly shelved in the pantry - 7 quarts of applesauce and 7 smallers jars of apple butter! So.....I will try to get this wrapped up now on Wednesday evening!
|Hills of Burnt River Canyon|
|Charred freeway near Pleasant Valley|
Home by 11:15 (we picked up an hour!) and Luke showed up within a half hour and helped us unload all the trailer. By 4pm, I was putting cleaned dishes back for winter storage and we were on the second load of laundry, towels, sheets, etc.! I had gone through all the mail and begun to fix tuna for dinner - for which Luke joined us!
It is always a pleasure to crest Pleasant Valley and see our Elkhorn Mountains, to walk into our house (it was cool!) and just soak in the presence of HOME. We thoroughly enjoy the time spent on the road, but, be it ever so humble, there's no place like HOME! I'll have to soak it up quickly, as I think we will leave again in a week to visit my Mom for a quick hello!
|Required homecoming picture of Elkhorns from Pleasant|
Valley - no snow in October! :(