Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Traveling with friends 2007 - Day 2

Ok, so I'm getting farther and farther behind on the blog as each day passes. That's because my life is pretty full of different activities right now. I spent the past couple of weeks rehearsing about 3 hours worth of music that I was scheduled to play at the Dublin Irish Festival, which was the past weekend. I'll have stuff to post about that later.

This post continues my travel report from June and early July. I think I'm on June 26, 2007 with this post.

We left Ketchum and drove north via Galena Pass, heading to Stanley and then west towards Boise via the highway that has more curves than straight-aways. At the summit of the pass I heard a bird call that I didn't recognize - kind of crow-like, but not a crow or raven. Turns out it was this bird - a Clark's nutcracker. It's a pretty large bird and it was perched on top of a tree whose canopy was just below the lookout viewpoint.

We stopped in Stanley to get a cup of coffee. I always enjoy the view of the Sawtooth Mountains as seen from Stanley.

The coffee/sports shop is perched on the edge of the river, which makes for a scenic rest stop whilst one drinks coffee and takes in the sound of the river. The water is so clear here you can see the fish swimming by.

We had to stop on the highway while a crew was cutting down a dead pine tree. The pine bark beetle infestation has taken a huge toll on the forests in the western US.

I don't remember the name of this river that runs along the highway that goes to Idaho City and Boise. We stopped at a campground to take a rest stop and we enjoyed the scenery and scent of the forest. We saw quite a few warblers in the mountain forests, too - mostly yellow-rumped and yellow warblers.

This scene brings back a lot of memories for me. It's Lucky Peak reservoir, just north of Boise, Idaho. I spent 5 years in Idaho from 1975 - 1980, and many of my weekends were here at the reservoir - boating and waterskiing with friends.

There are so many private coves that are found in between the slopes, and we used to get to one early in the morning and put our gear there as a base camp for waterskiing. It sure was a lot of fun.

Dennis and John are watching the boaters and looking for birds.

After passing through Boise, we drove straight through to Baker City, Oregon, where we spent the night at a Super 8 motel. We had enough daylight left to drive over towards Hells Canyon to do some birding and take in the wildlife scenery. We saw a lot of deer, lots of different birds, a beaver, many small mammals ala squirrels and such, and some beautiful landscapes. We particularly enjoyed seeing the golden and bald eagles.

Moonrise was our signal to head back to town to find some food and brews. We went to a microbrewery that offered some interesting beers, including a hot blonde - who ever heard of putting hot peppers in beer? I think it must be an acquired taste. We promised not to tell John's wife, Jane, that John had had a hot blonde in eastern Oregon.

No comments: