Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hiking to Bear Lake and running from a Badger.

On a day that was too windy to fly, Dr Paul took a few of us on a beautiful hike upto Bear Lake. We started off in a valley with small meadows littered with varieties of wildflowers. Most of which I had not seen before.

Scarlet Gilia or Bugler ?

In amongst the wildflowers were many butterflies and moths. Some kind of Fritillary.

Penstemon - nope, its a tall delphinium (relative to the larkspur).

Tiger moths, on horse mint. - I wonder what horses do with it. I've seen cats on cat mint.

A carpet of Columbine.

Following Bear creek.

Payette Penstemon.

Somewhere up behind Mt Invisible.

Swimming at 8840 feet above sea level. It was actually quite warm... 65'F ? Maybe geological heat.

The fitness of the group astounded me. Without word we all spontaneously ran down the mountain in 20 mins, a climb that took us just under 2 hours. (well we did stop and take few few pictures and smell the flowers).

I found a great spot to snap a picture of Bear Lake.


As I was taking pictures of the many views and lightings with the changing cloud shadows, something caught the corner of my eye. Something was coming toward me. I saw it again, it looked like a cross between a Racoon and an over size armadillo. I had no idea what it was perhaps a marmot? Anyway it was still coming toward me and I thought ah it hasn't seen me. So I crouched behind a rock when it passed behind a boulder, camera at the ready. I couldn't believe my luck it was coming really close. I snapped a couple of pictures and it disappeared.

I stood up uneasily, with the feeling in my stomach like the realisation that what was coming toward me was not an accident. Just then I saw the beast again and got another picture just before it came after me, snarling its teeth with a menacing growl jumping about 3 of the 15 feet toward me. I took off in a hurry wondering whether I would brake a leg bolder hopping, or just get one gnarled off! Turned out the vantage point I choose happened what was a badger's Den.

looking north from Bear Lake.

A lonesome tree.

Old seabed fossils at 9000 feet. Crinoids, a coral animal, sessil.
Dr Paul and Sharon.

And back down we all went at an impressive clip.

King of competitions

The King Mountain meet this year was the most enjoyable yet. It is so fun to be surrounded by like minded folks in such a rich geological and climatic and fun environment. I saw some dramatic and new to me terrain (more about that later).

Here is John Kangas giving the final day's weather briefing. He is increadibly insightful and entertaing to boot. The last day was a high barometric pressure, making a late start and difficult thermals to work.

Out in the desert again, In the knowledge that the flying is done, and wondering how the points will add up.

Sarah to the rescue! She did an excellent job on the often gruelling retrieves.

Connie, Donna and Lisa, the meet staff and director. Always doing a great job of running the meet. This year was a 6 day meet rather than the 5 in previous years.
Team Bubblehead Bums take 1st place again. This year we had it from the start, with good average performance all around. Good job Wayne, Bruce, Joe and Ben !
I took 2nd in the open class, pretty exstatic about that, and look at the georgous blown glass trophy !

Nobody made it passed Dubois (50 something miles) and the standings didn't change much.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

King Final Day

Its the last day of the King meet and here are the standings.

I have quite a few random pictures from the flights.
This is Bell mountain in the Lemhis.

This is the Kilgore Valley looking north.

High over the Lemhi's.

Crossing the central divide on a hazy day.

Another view from Bell mountain in the Lemhi's.

The LZ in Kilgore. Many, many, many wildflowers here. Sage was a little high for a downwind landing...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Goldbug Hot Springs

Yesterday I had the day to myself and had a hot tip on some hot springs. The are nestled up in the Lemhi mountains in Idaho. Trailhead is n44.8982, w113.9571.

The short but beautiful walk up to the valley takes you passed some really nice rock formations and a few waterfalls.

The hot springs themselves are at the top of a cascade, with an amazing view. Somewhere around n44.9032, w113.9318. A very pleasant way to spend an afternoon!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Cycling on the Salmon river.

Today we are in Idaho. Joe, Bruce, Sarah and I went for a ride along the Salmon river. We started at North Fork and did an out and return to Shoup. It was really pretty, but don't take my word for it - here's a video of todays fun.

Mount Sentinel

On Wednesday we were in Missoula Montana, and wanted to fly Mt Sentinel there.
We met up with the Montana crew, here's Joe with Bill and Josh infront of downtown Missoula. Bill kindly gave us a ride up the hill. The rules to the flying site are similar to Mission in Freemont.

The LZ is a little unforgiving and requires an RLF signoff.

Unfortunately the wind was a little strong and the direction causes sporadic rotor at Launch. So we ended up not flying. However this may have been a good thing as little two kids playing with matches set the mountain on fire and retrieving the vehicles may have been tricky or an exercise in clean up.

I hope the mountain recovers quickly and can been enjoyed again soon.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Coeur d'Alene

We stayed a couple of nights in the area of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Its beautiful like Tahoe. We went for a bike ride along the south east side of the lake.

It was alot more developed than I would have imagined...

Here is Sarah having fun and keeping us on the straight and narrow.

And then there's the laundramat - not your everyday advertisement...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Last Day in Chelan

Our last day here in Chelan and time to do laundry, get packed up and organized. Last night we watched the fireworks in town. I got to use the fireworks mode on my camera. It works well, and made me think its a better way to capture lightning. I spent half an hour at 2am and took 60 pictures of darkness the other night. I am sure we will get another oppertunity to see lightning in the next couple of weeks.

We watched from the bridge in town.

A tripod would have been handy.

Gerry's blog of Chelan http://www.davishg.org/20080704_chelan.php