Brad's Blog
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August 8
Life is continuing too fast for frequent bloggish reflection...
I took a potter's holiday on Monday, which is like a postman's holiday, where all the work you would have done had you worked is waiting for you when you return...
We went up Trestle Creek Road camping, which is about an hour northwest of Spirit Lake, national forest mountains...  On Sunday afternoon we arrived in time for a 3 mile round trip hike to Gem Lake


We saw people leaving (including a group of around 6 where the dogs outnumbered the people--most hikers we met had dogs...), since it was around 4 pm, but enjoyed experiencing the lake by ourselves. 
Then we drove to the trailhead for Moose Lake and a potential 9 mile loop hike.  We were thrilled to find an empty campsite there (it's the only one official site) with picnic table and room for two-three tents...  So we enjoyed our own private Idaho that evening as well...  The next morning we decided to hike to Moose Lake, and only met one couple coming out from camping overnight on a side lake...  So we got private time at Moose Lake:



It was a larger alpine lake than Gem Lake (no moose).  The hike in was about 2  miles, although there was conflicting mileage on signs...


Along the trail I got this artistic glimpse of some alpine firs...


At the lake this pika was chewing a bit of greenery...  On the way down I was whistling, thought it sounded cool, so I recorded it on video
After returning to the car we drove to Char Falls, which we'd first visited last year.  The road in was very rough, which proved an issue later...

Here's a short video of the falls:
It hasn't rained for months, so the falls was smaller than during the spring runoff, but lovely and approachable if you are able to climb down a steep trail to access it.
Above the main falls are a series of small cataracts over the bedrock.  Here's one with Butters in it for a sense of proportion (and because it's Butters)

Leaving the falls we blew a tire on the rocky road, which led to a few tense moments, as the spare was under inflated and the car has a few age issues, but we had a portable inflator and made it home on the donut spare by supper time...  (like all the other places we visited, we were the only people there, which meant a long walk if the spare blew as well)
On the way home we could see the 800 acre so-called Cougar fire up a different valley from where we were driving out, and smoke from Washington fires is making Spirit Lake less enjoyable than usual for August once again this year...  So far we're fortunate to have no fires really near, but everywhere is tinder dry...


August16
The days continue-- hot, dry, and smoky.  And work and the garden continue, although the cherry harvest is done...  I did take a day off Saturday for my annual bluegrass festival--Bluewaters (link is to my photos and videos)

books read
This Book is Full of Spiders by David Wong.  Rescuing the world from alien invasion is seldom as fun as this...

Body Inc by Alan Dean Foster.   Slow pace, more a suspense novel with SF elements...
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