Monday, April 26, 2010

Johnson's : 0, Bears : 2

This weekend was the Spring bear hunt for the Johnson boys. What a difference two weeks can make. We went back to our camping spot on the Salmon river - you can actually see green on the trees now (never mind the fact that we drove through a snowstorm on Thursday night to get to the campground). Cory just happened to haul (via Knight) some bear bait for a client last week. Imagine, some guy paid for Knight to haul an entire trailer full of bear bait. But it worked out well for Cory because the client graciously gave Cory some of the goods i.e. old pies, bread, various scraps, etc. We also loaded up on dog food, honey and maple syrup. Brady and Cory set the bear bait out on Friday morning and they waited for two days...but no bears. They saw plenty of elk and deer and even some "evidence" of bears in the area. I think they were both a little disappointed in the outcome, but they had fun trying. Next time.
And what did I do for two days? I spent my time here. I've had so many projects that I have started and haven't had time to finish. And I suppose I could have done them at home while the boys were gone, but if I stay home, I tend to find other (less fun) projects that need to be done; see: cleaning, running errands, laundry, etc. So I packed up my scrapbooking supplies, several movies, a few good books and my computer (yes, we had WiFi from the RV park but no cell service) and did absolutely nothing but relax all weekend. It was nice to sit by the river and read my book and take a nap and not feel guilty about all of the things that I wasn't getting done at home. Now, back to reality today.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Salmon

Cory couldn't wait any longer. He's been dying to go camping since the middle of February. So we packed up our gear and headed out last weekend. We stayed in North Fork (that's really the name of the town - if you can call it a town). The campground was really pretty - it backed up to the Salmon River. Note that it still looks like winter around here. Snow on the ground and no leaves on the trees.

The purpose of the trip: to scout out possible bear hunting sites. Yup. He's determined to get one this year. So we trekked through the wilderness, encountered some snow-covered trails and hit a rock that had fallen from the mountain onto the highway (I'll come back to this later).

We saw this herd of wild sheep. They look pretty malnourished from the winter. Good thing there's some grass for them to eat now!

And I had to document Cory's first "waste dump" effort. Yuck!
We left the campsite around 7:30 p.m. and headed home. Around 10:30, in the middle of nowhere, the front tire blew. Remember the rock that we hit earlier? Apparently it really damaged the tire. Thankfully, Cory managed to keep control of the truck so the trailer didn't start rocking too bad. We left the truck running for about an hour while Cory was changing the tire (because he was afraid of the battery dying). The spare tire was pretty flat and Cory tried to convince me that it just looked a little low since we were sitting on an angle. Whatever. Don't patronize me. I know a flat tire when I see one. But we didn't have any choice but to carry on. We didn't have cell service and we hadn't seen anyone pass by to help us. And since we had left the truck running, we were about out of fuel. So we limped down the road to Lone Pine - the sign said it was 44 miles away and we figured we could make it that far.
Well, we did make it to Lone Pine but it turns out that Lone Pine consists of a gas station with a little diner attached. They have one gas pump (no diesel) that doesn't take debit cards and they were closed by the time we got there. The next closest town, Mud Lake, was 33 miles away and we were really low on fuel at that point. We decided to stay in Lone Pine and attempt the drive to Mud Lake in the morning. We figured that if we ran out of fuel, someone would see us and stop to help. But when we went to crawl into the trailer and go to bed, we realized that the keys to the trailer were missing. Sweet! I seriously started praying so hard to find those stupid keys. I was exhausted and cold and couldn't imagine spending the night in the back of the truck when we had a perfectly good trailer to sleep in. After some serious digging (and praying), we located the keys. They had lodged up underneath the cup holder. Whew!
I'm happy to report that we did make it to Mud Lake on Sunday morning. I think we blew into town on fumes. We got fuel and air for the tire and finally headed home. Not bad for our first camping adventure of the summer. :-)

Hill Climbs

We went to the hill climbs in Jackson Hole a few weeks ago. I've only been to one hill climb event before and I watched it from the bottom of the hill. This time, we took the ski lift to the top of the mountain and got to see the action up close. You might have to click on these pictures and blow them up so you can see the detail. It amazed me how the riders "danced" with their snowmobiles. They would jump from side to side of the machine in mid-air so that they could lean the right way to get over a hill, etc. The upper body strength that must require!!!

Watching a rider come up and looking down on the town of Jackson.

Brady and Alicia went to the top with us. They are getting married on June 12th! Hooray! Such cute lovebirds!

There were two ways to get down the mountain. You could either trek back up the hill and take the ski lift down (we had walked down a little way to get a better view) or you could slide down the hill on your rear end. We opted for the latter...and I had no idea what I was getting into. I wish someone would have been at the bottom of the hill to take a picture because I'm sure it was hilarious. You slide down the hill on your bum and your feet are out in front of you. Got it so far? Well, since your feet are out in front, they act as a "scraper" (picture a snowplow) and throw the snow all over your face (brrrr!!). So you're going down the hill at 50 mph (because it's been groomed for the skiers and your snow pants are slick) and you can't see a thing because your feet are throwing snow in your face (and the harder you dig your feet in to stop, the more snow it throws) and your face is burning because the snow is so cold. Sweet. Loved it. There goes my eyeliner...

video
As we were going up the ski lift, I couldn't figure out why there were TONS of guys hanging out on the hill. I figured it out pretty quickly. They are there to grab the snowmobile if a rider gets stuck and starts to slide backward. You can see a little bit of that in this video. We watched one poor snowmobile roll all the way down the hill (they have a net at the bottom of the hill to catch run-away sleds). I think the rider must have cried when he got to the bottom and saw his banged-up sled.