Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Now in Idaho, boondocking with Martha

Yesterday, Martha flew into Spokane's airport and we drove to the Albeni Falls COE (Corps of Engineers) Campground about an hour away.  We did stop in Spokane to stock up on Martha-level provisions and booze.

We were joined there by the Z's after they'd done their errands within Spokane.

Nice little campsite with 14 spots, some of those for tents only.  Nice views of the lake created by the nearby dam.

Wednesday, May 31

We all left the COE campground before 9AM.  We'd set up a rendezvous for lunch less than 100 miles away at the "town" of Good Grief, close to the border with Canada.

Martha and I made a stop at the visitor center for the Albeni Falls Dam.  Most of the place was locked though the sign said open.  Oh well, a stroll down a path led to this view of the dam:

The other side of the railroad bridge

The name Good Grief was, basically, the draw for us.  It's basically one building, a cafe/bar.  We had us a nice lunch of pub food and then we went to a nearby USFS campground by Lake Robinson.  The sole criteria being that it was the closest one to the border with Canada.

Alcoholic-branded Moose

you could say, during lunch, the grouch population
was actually 2

Chris and Lori

I think the plan is to "dip our toes" in Canada tomorrow via sidecar riding by Martha and I.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Memorial Day Boondocking

Monday, May 29

Memorial Day, which took shape after the American Civil War is considered a day to honor those who were killed in or as a result of participating in battle.

Almost 32 years ago, I was part of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm....I count myself fortunate that my comrades in arms and I got through it with no casualties.  

Still, The Colors flew from the VRRV today to honor the fallen.

17 years ago today, I threw a leg over a motorcycle for the first time as a rider.  It was day one of the MSF Basic Rider Course, how time flies!

This means I've been blogging for almost 17 years, not that blogs are even on the general public's radar anymore.  Mine has truly become what the name implied: a Web-based Log.

Today's also day 14 of my stay at the Hog Lake BLM Dispersed Campground.  I leave tomorrow to pick up my loving wife Martha from the Spokane airport.

In the last few days, lots of resting and relaxing.  I did provide a bit of help to Chris as he replaced the motor on his Sherpa Winch.  I also helped Chris install new cameras to help Stewie's driver see all around.

Several fire pit sessions were enjoyed by Chris, Lori and I.  More to follow of course since we'll be camping with the Zs for a bit once Martha joins us.

Not a bad campground but probably won't return, not much to do around here really and the incidence of annoying people was rather high.

Friday, May 26, 2023

A Quiet Week at the Hog Lake BLM

A pretty relaxed few days, overall.  Just some notes for my own recall.

May 19-20

First time I saw the below rattler, I had almost ridden on top of it as I exited the campsite and onto the access road.  I had veered away as I saw him coil up and rear its head, stopped the motorcycle, dug out the camera but only got this fleeting and blurry shot of its tail as it disappeared into the bushes:

Next day, I'd been sitting by Yagi, my TW200 motorcycle listening to an audio book.  My situational awareness was apparently lacking because when I stood to get something, a flicker of movement drew my eye towards the back of Yagi's rear tire.

Yep, I believe it was the same snake, which I believe now is a young rattler.  He rose from a coiled position then started moving away.  I managed to get this shot with my camera phone:

No more sightings since then, fortunately.

May 23

The use of the trailer and sidecar rig to block access to my campsite bore fruit.  This asswipe stopped and requested I move them so he could park in the campsite so he could walk his dog.  I had been doing something on the trailer when he showed up; told him no and that he could get a parking spot just down the road.

I was even leading him to it when he pulled up next to me and said: "I've got it" and drove off.  He used up an empty campsite:

About an hour later, he drives by on the way out, using his camera phone to video my site.  I was glad I'd taken a picture of his license plate before he left.  Oh, and I gave him the ADV salute, hopefully he saw it in his rear view mirror.

Note to self, next time make it more obvious you're videoing the ass wipe when you suspect possible problems.

May 25

Went on the hike back to the Hog Lake Falls, to see if I could find the border fence that marked the limits as to how close one can get to the falls.

Eventually, I did find the fence line and spotted a few "No Trespassing" signs.  Still, I also found a closer overlook and got these shots:

Going for the blurred water effect

The northern end of Hog Lake

My view of the campsite as I returned.

In the late afternoon, Chris and Lori Z. rejoined me at the campsite for the next few days.

After dinner by Lori, we sat around their new firepit (I think there might be a similar one in my future) and chatted as the sun set and the night's darkness surrounded us.

It's a pretty efficient firepit, somewhat smokeless, I believe double-hulled to channel intake air to burn the wood more effectively.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

First Weekend at Hog Lake BLM Dispersed Camping.

Saturday, May 20

Armed Forces Day

Spent the day just relaxing and listening to an audio book centered on the experiences of a young Royal Navy officer who commands a small Minesweeper Flotilla out of Capetown, South Africa in the early months of 1941 after a traumatic experience while serving on a Destroyer while evacuating troops at Dunkirk.  

The Colors flew, of course, at camp:

It was a hot day!  

Sunday, May 21

A cooler day today, even felt a bit of chilly wind at times!  Still, pretty good weather overall.

Made a grocery run to the nearby town of Cheney, WA to give Scarlett, my 2014 Ural Patrol, some exercise.

Once back at camp, it was more rest and relaxation while listening to a new audio book.  It's OK, about yet another Vatican Conspiracy a la The Da Vinci Code.  

After 5PM, the sun still pretty high in the sky, I decided to check out the 1.3 mile trail to the north end of Hog Lake.  You can get some nice views of this narrow lake, but I got a nice surprise when I spotted waterfalls!

Google Maps shows a road/trail that might let me make my way closer to these waterfalls.  I plan to check it out tomorrow with Yagi.  Stay tuned.   Update: The Hog Lake Falls are on private lands and not accessible.  Bummer.

Here's some views of the lake as I walked away from the falls and back towards my campsite:

A small pond to the west of the lake

Tonight's sunset wasn't bad:

Friday, May 19, 2023

Easy Last Couple of Days....with some annoyance.

Thursday, May 18

Warm day with gentle breezes.

The morning went well, with me just hanging under the shade of the VRRV's awning, enjoying an audio book.

Shortly after Noon, these two assholes show up, park in my campsite, and proceed to carry nets and tape wheels past my VRRV and into the woods!

Apparently, biology or something similar pukes, who spent time measuring the edges of a water hole about 1/4 mile into the woods.   Never a greeting or explanation, just parked and walked away.

They came back a while later, again not even casting their eyes in my direction, as if to avoid me.  I did not confront them, I'm afraid I would have come across as angry and aggressive.

The two assholes finally finished up, apparently killed and collected some small snakes which I spied in a plastic bag as they removed their waders.  

Again, never even acknowledging their intrusion, they buggered off finally.  Needless to say, Thursday was pretty much ruined in terms of peace and quiet.

Measures have been taken now to prevent further idiots thinking they can park at the campsite I'm using.  Apparently, an RV set up isn't enough of a clue to tell them to park their POS car somewhere else.

Friday, May 19

A short ride to Folsom Farm before things got too hot.  Not much there, a small shed-like building and a big dilapidated barn.  It was apparently a sheep farm back in the day.

Near the farm, restored wetlands for wildlife

Later in the afternoon, I made another visit to Hog Lake (which remains closed to vehicles):

The gravel road to the right is the small dam 
which forms Hog Lake.

I also added a sign to the VRRV.

Yes...very anti-social, but then again, that's what I am.  Perhaps this will keep further assholes away from the campsite.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Boondocking Near Spokane, WA for a bit

I left the Squaw Creek Overlook site soon after 7AM this morning, the sunrise wasn't too bad:

I crossed the might Columbia River and into Washington state around 9:30 I believe.  Another hour or so and I was exploring the iOverlander listed campsites around Fishtrap Lake, near Sprague, WA.

I ended up finding a nice spot (it was one of two remaining open spots, all others had campers already!) in the Hog Lake BLM Camping area.

Hog Lake itself is part of the WA State Park system and remains closed for the season.  I think they'll open up in time for the Memorial Day Weekend.  The gate was closed but one can walk in with no issues:

I will do more exploration of the lake later on this week I think.  There's also an old abandoned? farm site called Folsom Farm that one can tour nearby.

I like the site I got, no other campers within line of sight:

I was surprised at how full the camping area was already!  For the Memorial Day Weekend? Sure, but almost two weeks before that?

I'll be in this area till the end of the month, more to follow as I explore the area.  Martha flies into Spokane at the end of the month and I'll pick her up for some more camping.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Enroute to Spokane, now boondocking at the Squaw Creek Overlook

Long day of driving.

Left the vicinity of Burns, OR and continued north mostly on US 395.  I checked out two sites listed in iOverlander but neither worked out for me.

The first was OK in terms of scenery (picture grass covered hills) but you basically were camping by the side of a county road:

Elk Meadows

The second one was advertised as a large parking lot for a recreation area.  It turned out to be a medium sized lot, next to the Pendleton, OR airport.  Not great, camping within an industrial area.

There wasn't much within easy reach to the north so I decided to try a site called Viewpoint.  Turns out to be a small overlook area called Squaw Creek Overlook.  There were a couple of spots where Uma could camp, I picked the one furthest away from the parking lot.

Though not very busy, there were cars coming and going all afternoon as I rested.

One of the views from the Overlook:

This spot will work for one night.  Tomorrow I drive into the state of Washington and hopefully find a nice spot to hang out within easy drive of the Spokane airport.

Monday, May 15, 2023

Enroute to Spokane, now boondocking near Burns, OR

Sunday, May 14

The Z's and I took a rest day after the recovery efforts on Saturday.  We needed the downtime for sure.  We stayed at the Modoc District Fairgrounds in the town of Cedarville.  Nice place, good views of mountains, lots of shade trees.

The fairgrounds also had old buildings from the pioneer days of the area, arranged for viewing by fairground visitors.

After lunch at Whalen's Pub, where pizza with way too much cheese on it is served, I left for Cedar Pass on CA State Hwy 299 while Chris and Lori ambled about the town on their e-bikes.

The best view turned out to be at the entrance to the forest road where Stewie got stuck before!

A little further east down from Cedar Pass, there's a trailhead and small ski facility:

Heading back and staying on State Hwy 299, I reached the lake? area to the east of town.  Some nice reflections were evident:

I returned to the fairgrounds and did not much of anything.  I found the Z's relaxing in the shade of trees next to their Overlander: Stewie.

Monday, May 15

This morning it was time to get some miles in towards Spokane where I'm picking up my lovely wife Martha at the end of the month.

As Chris and Lori Z. have appointments for stuff to be done to Stewie, they headed northwest from Cedarville while I headed northeast to secure a good spot for camping; prior to the amateurs showing up for the Memorial Day weekend!

Made it about three hours or so, ending up in some BLM land near the town of Burns, Oregon.  I decided to stop early and get some more rest, another long drive tomorrow I'm sure.

I unloaded Yagi, my recently repaired TW200, to check out the local area.  Came across two unexpected things.  One was a Ford Explorer, Oregon Plate: 250 JPK, with a BLM warning note on the driver's window.  You can see it's loaded with stuff, typical of a car camper.  The warning was dated May 8.  I wonder where the owner is, the car has a flat front tire so he/she probably went for help?

The second thing, as I crested a small hill:

See the tower in the center?

At first, I thought it was a Fire Watch Tower.  But when I used the telephoto lens, it obviously was something else.  Not sure what, but below is a closeup of the tower.

Otherwise, the scenery was farmlands, rolling hills with sagebrush covering most of them, pretty tame.  The best part of course was I had the place to myself, assuming the owner of the Ford Explorer doesn't return of course.  

8pm: A couple, in a ratty looking gray with black patches paint drive by and did something at the broken down Explorer.  They didn't stay long then left heading south.  They may have come to retrieve something perhaps?