Monday, June 12, 2017

Challis Camping Trip - Part 2

We were camping early enough in the summer that it was hot during the day and still very cold (close to freezing) at night.
With good quality sleeping bags we slept fine, but as we both climbed out of the camper early the next morning, we both realized that it would be a few hours before warm temperatures would take hold.
I wandered around the camp ground with a sleepy-eyed dog while LC built a fire and heated some water for coffee.
It was going to be another beautiful day.
Surprisingly - very surprisingly - we still had the campground to ourselves.
Mist coming off the water.................
We drank coffee, sat by the camp fire, talked, ate breakfast, drank more coffee.
Enjoying the quiet.
Enjoying the beauty of the area.
Enjoying the sound of the swollen Salmon River raging only a few hundred feet from where we were camping.
Enjoying each others' company....................
By 9am LC was gearing up for some fishing.
I was still wandering around in hiking boots, pajama bottoms and sweatshirt top, and in no big hurry to remedy the clothing situation.
The day was finally beginning to warm and I knew that it was going to be one more sunny and very warm day.
I climbed over the jake fence that separated the campground from private property, LC handed the dog leash off to me while he climbed over the fence, and I watched as my Mountain Boy happily threw his line into the water.
He didn't really think that he was going to catch anything.
The river was incredibly fast - swollen and full of mud and silt - all resulting from the huge mountain snow melt that this entire region had been experiencing.
There are areas just above Arco that are combating flooding daily.
For a region that has been in drought conditions for at least a handful of years, the high water levels of this year are catching everyone off guard, and I feel for them.
There is still a good deal of snow in the mountains as I write this.
I don't believe it will all melt before summer is over.  In just a few months it will start snowing in the mountains all over again.....................
While LC fished, me and Kory wandered along the shore line.
A month ago the campground that we were staying in had been entirely underwater.
As I easily wandered with my pup I realized that the ground was still soft and muddy, and I could clearly see evidence of extensive flooding on the private property as well.
It really had been a long and tough winter, and a worrisome spring for many people.
Pictures taken during our short walk................
On the way back I watched him.
He was liking what he was doing.
His body language told me that, and that knowledge made me smile................
Trying another spot................
A couple of hours later we found ourselves in the mountains again.
We wanted to see what we would find, we wanted to walk, we wanted to let our dog run and play.
We had no idea where we were headed or where we would end up, but we had a full tank of gas and were eager to explore.
A different road out of town, different trails, different mountain ranges, different streams.
It was all good..................
Remnants of the wild fire that hit this area late last summer.
As we traveled further into the mountains later in the day we would find much worse.
An entire forest devastated by fire....................
Puppy happily running on trail................
 This place was the first of many stops we made that day during our trip, that would eventually take us deep into the mountains.
There was quiet and solitude and beauty in the trip.
We had a very good day.
More in the next blog....................

Mountains seem to answer an increasing imaginative need in the West. More and more people are discovering a desire for them, and a powerful solace in them. At bottom, mountains, like all wildernesses, challenge our complacent conviction - so easy to lapse into - that the world has been made for humans by humans. Most of us exist for most of the time in worlds which are humanly arranged, themed and controlled. One forgets that there are environments which do not respond to the flick of a switch or the twist of a dial, and which have their own rhythms and orders of existence. Mountains correct this amnesia. By speaking of greater forces than we can possibly invoke, and by confronting us with greater spans of time than we can possibly envisage, mountains refute our excessive trust in the man-made. They pose profound questions about our durability and the importance of our schemes. They induce, I suppose, a modesty in us.............Robert Macfarlane, Mountains of the Mind: Adventures in Reaching the Summit

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