Sunday, July 30, 2017

Digging for Garnets

The WINs next moved on to Moscow, Idaho, pronounced Moscoe, not Moscow. Like all the towns we've been in, they have a nice Farmers Market.

One day, Patricia and I went to see Artisans at the Dahmen Barn, because I heard they had rusty stuff. Wow!

Steve Dahmen spent more than 30 years building the wheel fence, using over 1,000 wheels.

Patricia was more interested in the art studios inside the barn, but I just loved the wheels.

Can't you tell?

Later that day, the group went on a tour of the McConnell Mansion in town. It was built in 1886 by William McConnell, who would later serve as Idaho's Governor.

It wasn't big enough to be considered a mansion in my opinion, but it was nicely furnished.

But by far, my favorite outing was our trip to Emerald Creek Garnet Area. Peggy drove, and wanted to go the back way, which was shorter, but through forest roads. Whoops! When we got half way there, we found the road closed! Uh-oh...

Fortunately, I had my GPS along, and found a long way around it. We took another side trip to Bald Mountain Lookout.

The view from the top.

Finally, we made it! The Garnet Area is run by the Forest Service, where for $10 you can collect all the garnets you can find. These are Star Garnets, only found here and in India!

But it's a lot of work! First, you have to shake your dirt/rocks in a VERY heavy sieve, to try to get rid of most of the dirt.

Then, you take the remains over to the sluice, which washes the rest of the dirt away. Then you look for the garnet stones that look like the ones they showed you when you got there.

Peggy found a REALLY big one. But it costs $200 to get it out to see whether it's really worth anything. She's still thinking about it.

I found some little ones, but nothing even close to this.

On the way home, I decided to look for moose, and right away, I saw one. WOW! Everyone thought I was lying, but Peggy made a U-turn and we got some pictures.

It was a great day! I highly recommend it if you are in the area. There is an easier way to get to the Garnet Area from the east, which is the way we went home.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Happy Fourth of July!

Well, now you know how far behind I am... We had a great day on July 4th! We were in Lewiston Idaho.

We had a cake -

And we played lots of games. The most popular was the cherry pit spitting contest. Some people spit the entire length of the stage!

Here are the 3 female winners, the 3 male winners, and the booby prize winner. Guess who got the booby prize, spitting a whole 2 feet...

We have quite a few ukulele players in our group, and we did a sing-a-long of patriotic songs.

Lewiston is right on the border with Washington, at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers.

One day we went to the confluence to see the sculpture there.

It represents Mother Earth at the confluence, with all the local wildlife represented.

Nearby is a unique artistic piece that looks like a wave and is made up of lots of boats.

South of town are some fantastic columnar basalt formations.

The only downside of the area? Gas is really expensive here!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Flying Down Hells Canyon in a Jetboat

That's exactly what 7 of us daring WINs did while we were in Riggins, Idaho.

We made several stops on our long, speedy trip. The first was at Kirkwood Historic Ranch.

It wasn't too exciting, except for a lot of GREAT rusty stuff!

All too soon, we were speeding up canyon again.

Lyn, Cindy, and Jimmy are hanging on for dear life!

I caught a shot of a bald eagle just taking off.

I think the is the turn-around point - the Hells Canyon Dam. We got off here for a while and went to the Visitors Center.

Then it was time to go back down canyon. The rapids are worse going downstream -

As you can see in this video. Even though they closed the front windows, the water still got in.

Later, the captain decided we weren't wet enough. So he opened the front windows -

And POW! Lyn got this great shot of me getting drenched.

And if anyone wasn't wet enough, we stopped at a beach on the way back so anyone who wanted could get in the water.

On another day, the group went on a ride through the forest to the gold mining ghost town of Florence. Pretty much all that was here was this billboard, with pictures of what it used to look like -

Except for the cemetery, which was in pretty good shape, considering...

I loved all the Beargrass!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Next Stop - Riggins, Idaho

The WINs moved on to Riggins, ID a few days after I joined them. The city of Riggins is on the left in this photo, and we are parked along the river on the right.

We have great boondocking spots right next to the Salmon River.

There's an elk farm right across the road from us.

We were there right at the time of the salmon run on the Little Salmon River. The roads along the river were packed with fisherpeople.

The first thing we did was hike the Rapid River trail. It was a great hike, although we were a little worried about snakes...

The river really was rapid!

I stopped frequently to take photos, since I am easily distracted. I really like the Salsify seed - it looks like a huge dandelion.

And I also like bugs on flowers. Like I said, I'm easily distracted...

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Hurrying North to Idaho

After flying back from Europe, I quickly drove up to Idaho hoping to find cooler weather where the WINs are touring this summer. I found the WINs, but not the cooler weather...

Our first outing in New Meadows, ID, where I joined up with them, was a tour of the Evergreen Forests Saw Mill.

It was a very good tour, although hard to hear the guide with all the noise. (especially with ear plugs in our ears...)

The group in front of some of the finished product.

Afterwards, we went up the ski lift at Brundage Mountain.

From the top we had a great view of the Seven Devils. But I just couldn't see them...

They are out there somewhere!

The next day I went to Ponderosa State Park in McCall.

Hi guys!

The Lily Marsh. I'm having trouble remembering what everything is, since I'm almost a month behind, but hopefully will get more caught up soon!