Posts for July, 2016


Start of a "mini adventure" (Rasar State Park, Hwy 20, Washington)

Journal entry for Wednesday 6th Jul, 2016 (day 1, miles 138)

Nina and I are about start what I think of as a mini adventure. Between now and November we plan on doing some traveling in our Earthroamer. As is often the case for us the route is not well specified but will probably include a lot of time in the Western US and Western Canada. The goal of this exercise is entertainment and relaxation while my leg recovers enough to allow us to get back into the Unimog with its manual transmission and heavy clutch.

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Re-introduction to the Cascades (Kilpchuck Forest Camp Hwy 20, Washington)

Journal entry for Thursday 7th Jul, 2016 (day 2, miles 237)

It is quit a few years since we last traveled highway 20 so today was by way of a re-introduction for us to the forests and spectacular mountains of the North Cascades, not to mention a dramatic change in climate from our recent months in Phoenix.

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Did I mention recuperation (Jone Bay Lake Roosevelt, Washington)

Journal entry for Friday 8th Jul, 2016 (day 3, miles 393)

Last night camping spot (and its network of trails) gave us a chance to do a few miles of walking before we hit the road today. In case I have not mentioned it one of the goals for our mini-adventure is to see if we can maintain an exercise program while on the road. We have set this goal on previous trips but never seem to be able to stick to it. This time though there is added incentive and I need to exercise my recovering leg to re-build muscle and get some flexibility back into the damaged ankle. Thats the "recuperation" bit.

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Spokane River Walk (Beauty Creek Camp, Idaho)

Journal entry for Saturday 9th Jul, 2016 (day 4, miles 524)

Spokane's River Walk provided the setting for todays entertainment and exercise. In addition to a nice 3 mile walk we got some sun (warn not hot), were entertained by the ducks on the river, and marveled at the competitiveness of young children as they raced stroller-bikes around a temporary track in the park beside the river. For those of you (like us) that do not know what stroller bikes are - they are bicycles without pedals that are propelled by pushing ones feet against the ground.

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The back blocks of Northern Idaho (Elk River Campground, ID)

Journal entry for Sunday 10th Jul, 2016 (day 6, miles 636)

Today we were on the western side of the Clearwater National Forest south of Coeur D'Alene. Our route was south-ish and took us through interminable evergreen forests, on well made and maintained roads with little traffic. There was not much of specific note and as a result no photos for today.

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A camp fire and hair cut (Nelson Creek Hwy 14, ID)

Journal entry for Monday 11th Jul, 2016 (day 7, miles 736)

The highlight of this mornings travel was the Dent Bridge on the forest road between Elk River and Orofino, it spans the North Fork of the Clearwater River behind Dworshak dam and reservoir. Seems like this bridge is a big deal to the locals in terms of providing a shorter route from the Elk River region into Orofino, though we thought the description of the bridge(on one of the info signs) and "one of the most beautiful structures in America" was a bit excessive.

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Road Closed (Johnson Bar CG, ID)

Journal entry for Tuesday 12th Jul, 2016 (day 8, miles 892)

Some distance east of last nights our camp we came upon a couple of work crews fixing the road. The first of these was a small affair where a side creek had washed away the pavement. But the second was a major job. It seemed like an entire hillside had collapsed and slid over the road and there was a large crew of workmen, heavy machinery, and gravel trucks clearing the road and rebuilding the hillside. We had to wait a while at the western side of this work area for a pilot car to lead us through the workings.

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Photogenic little ctitters (Norton CG, MT)

Journal entry for Wednesday 13th Jul, 2016 (day 8, miles 1060)

As you can see from the photos we spent a pleasant little interlude with a village of prairie dogs (I think they are prairie dogs?), we got their photos and they got bread. Seems like a reasonable trade, we guess "feeding the critters" is a common activity at this rest area (summit of Lolo Pass Hwy 12 MT).

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A couple of big horns (Lower Seymor Lake, MT)

Journal entry for Thursday 14th Jul, 2016 (day 9, miles 1163)

This morning we followed a picturesque, but sometimes primitive, road along the banks of Rock Creek (in the Rock Creek Recreation Area, part of Beaverhead Deer Lodge NF). Beautiful scenery, perfect weather and even a couple of big horn sheep (making the most of a 'lick' left by a local farmer).

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Wisdom and new caps (Shoup Bridge Camp, ID)

Journal entry for Friday 15th Jul, 2016 (day 11, miles 1278)

We finally got to the little town of Wisdom. MT this morning. We have in a very round about way) been heading towards this little town for the past week. Why you might ask, well in 2009 (on our Americas trip) Nina bought a purple cap covered in small mirrors in a store in this town. Later on that trip she exchanged it with a Peruvian lady for one of their local straw hats. Hence we were keen to get back to Wisdom to "get another". The store where the original hat was bought burned down 5 years ago but a new shop has been built on a nearby site and they had only two of the mirror covered caps left, both in shades of green.

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Camp cooking (Landmark Stanley RdA Place, ID)

Journal entry for Saturday 16th Jul, 2016 (day 11, miles 1420)

Tonight we camped beside a forest road in the Sawtooth Mountains of ID. This long and somewhat rough road connects the towns of Sunbeam and Cascade and seems to be very popular as we have seen lots of groups out camping. We deliberately sought out a forest camp tonight as we planned on cooking a "roast" dinner (pork loin, potatoes, carrots, and sweat potato) in a "dutch oven" and for this we needed a camp fire. lots of fire wood, and a place to dig a hole to partially bury the oven. Thus the informal camping spot we found for tonight was almost perfect. Except of course for the large stinging flies.

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A day of repairs (Rainbow Point, ID)

Journal entry for Sunday 17th Jul, 2016 (day 12, miles 1515)

Today turned out to be a day of repairs, or is it breakages. Continuing from last nights camping spot the road into Cascade continued to be rough (lots of traffic and little maintenance of the road seems like the cause) and so we bumped over rocks and wash-boards for many hours. We visited the old mining ghost town of Deadwood, (the old hotel and a couple of other buildings are still evident),bumped into a number of groups of riders, and generally enjoyed the spectacular scenery and wonderfully sunny day.

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A hot afternoon (Hells Canyon, ID)

Journal entry for Monday 18th Jul, 2016 (day 13, miles 1617)

The lake (beside the campground) looked really pretty this morning with glass smooth water(the first 3 photos). The remainder of the day was a pleasant and relaxed drive to Brownlee Reservoir at the southern end of Hells Canyon. We were lucky enough to find an informal camping spot right on the shore and idled away the late afternoon and evening with a walk along the nearby road way and cooking a dinner of rice-a-riso (we are becoming quite fond of that particular meal).

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