Category Archive Everyday

World of Waterfalls – August on Journey

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Princess Louisa Inlet is one of those places where seeing truly is believing.  Surrounded by rain forest, it’s the home of North America’s highest waterfall – James Bruce Falls, Chatterbox Falls and the hidden Trapper Falls.  Through the forest, dozens more waterfalls cascade down the steep inlet slopes making this a lush and abundant ecosystem.

Our first full day in Princess Louisa Inlet was my birthday and it was an amazing way to wake up at the base of Chatterbox.  We had rafted up to Wendy and Alan’s boat Blue Fin and had an awesome day planned.  Alan was the crack of dawn collecting fresh oysters from a secret stash on shore for fried oysters later.

Tim and I dinghyed ashore for hike while Andy and Demeree explored the shoreline from their sea kayaks.

The BC rain forest glows in the sunlight

 

Blue Fin and Journey off shore

 

At the base at  Chatterbox –  It’s a great Birthday!

 

Moored in Princess Louisa

 

After our hikes and paddles, we all gathered together for a lazy afternoon.  The weather was perfect and we took turns diving into the pristine water.  Wendy fried up perfect oysters for an appetizer and we topped off the day with homemade pizzas.  Tim brought all the fixings for my favorite-as-a-kid Watergate cake, an incredible treat in the middle of the remote wilderness.   We all gathered for candles, champagne and green pistachio deliciousness.

 

Watergate Cake – a beautiful use of pistachio pudding and Cool Whip

 

Happy Birthday Prep – wow that is a lot of candles!

 

Cake flameup – 41 candles creates quite a glow

 

Early next morning, Tim and I hopped into our dinghy and paddled with Alan over to the secret stash of oysters which low tide exposes.  We gathered a few more for that night’s dinner.  This time it was our turn to do the shucking…

HUGE oysters are abundant in the Inlet

 

Our next adventure for the day was to hike to the Trappers Cabin, an old cabin from the 1800’s that sits high above the Inlet.  The trail was impressively rugged and though it was only a mile, it was almost literally straight up.

 

1 mile straight uphill to the Trappers Cabin

 

Overlooking the ruins of the Trappers Cabin – high over the Inlet

 

Trapper Cabin’s views

 

Trappers Falls – we were glad for the watercooled air!

 

Glad for the rope

 

Our kind of trail

 

We were feeling pretty good about ourselves by the bottom and were tempted by homemade ice cream from Malibu Rapids.  It was a several mile dinghy ride, but Andy and Demeree took on the challenge and brought some back in a cooler.  It was the perfect treat after a rigourous day.

 

Andy dangles between Blue Fin and Journey
Andy dangles between Blue Fin and Journey

 

The next morning it was time to go.  Tim and I woke up early and started paddling out the Inlet on the sea kayaks while Andy and Demeree would follow behind several hours later.  It was a magical morning of seals, eagles, waterfalls and serenity.  We were awestruck by the beauty around us.

 

We snuck up on this baby seal on the shore

 

Exploring the Inlet by Kayak

 

Early morning paddling

 

Just another waterfall

 

It’s like kayaking down a waterfilled Yosemite

 

Heading out the inlet

 

Another of the Inlet’s residents

 

Blue Fin begins motoring out of the Inlet

 

We start paddling out to be picked up by Journey

 

That’s my ride!

 

The sun breaks through

 

Our last views of Princess Louisa

 

Malibu marks the entrance

 

Wait, who’s driving the boat?

 

We sailed all day on our way back to Smuggler Cove for the night.  We got back just in time for yet another spectacular BC sunset.

 

Sunset back at Smuggler Cover

 

Lederhosen, Wienerschnitzel, Gesundheit

After a morning bike ride in Butte and a full work day followed by a night of driving west, we finally arrived to Coeur d’ Alene after midnight.  Our night’s sleep was too short and we promptly began the search for caffeine the next morning.  We discovered the fabulous Java on Sherman – our new favorite coffee shop.  With good food, Stumptown coffee and a great atmosphere, it was clear why it stayed packed with both locals and tourists all day.

After a productive day, we took a walk around Coeur d’Alene, which was in full swing with the summer season.  Everyone strolled around with ice cream in their bathing suits and it looked and felt just like a beach town.  We realized that we always stop at this vacation destination on our way to somewhere else.  Next time we’ll have to stay awhile.

 

Downtown Lake Views

 

Pirates of Coeur D’Alene

 

Glad to be here

 

Go Hydroplane Racing

 

The Lake is full of action

 

But today was not to be the day to stay, so we climbed back into Frank and kept driving.  4 hours later, we arrived at Leavenworth, WA.

Built in 1892, Leavenworth was a traditional bustling timber railroad town.  When the railroad relocated to nearby Wenatchee in the 1920’s, Leavenworth’s economy suffered severely.

In 1962, the city planners came up with a plan to revitalize the community and transformed the entire downtown into a Bavarian village.   Their plan succeeded and now the “Leavenworthians” channel Bavaria  from the tips of their Tyroleans to the toes of their Lederhosen.

 

Leavenworth WA – a taste of Bavaria in the Cascades

 

All buildings in Leavenworth are required to follow code.   Here there are no golden arches at McDonalds and no mermaid at Starbucks.  Mullioned windows and gabled roofs are required and the effect is surreal.  Combine this with some of the most enjoyable people we’d met to date and we were thoroughly charmed.  Our 8 hour stay turned into two days as we explored more of this unique place.

 

Mainstreet Leavenworth

 

Skiing and Mountain Climbing in surrounding hills lend to the town’s vibrant, active persona

 

And of course, just like in Germany, the beer is world class

 

The Sausage Garten – please eat safely

 

Typical Leavenworth Decoration

 

Flowers light up the town

 

From our quiche at Good Mood Food to appetizers at the Sausage Garten and burgers on the deck of Gustav’s, we enjoyed every gastronomic minute.   But by Thursday, we knew our Bavarian days were numbered and it was time to finish our trip towards Seattle.  We hit the road one last time and got to Seattle in time to meet up with Andy and sleep our first night his 42 foot Catalina named Journey.  This would be the first night of our amazing month and a half on the water.   It was good to be aboard!

Here Piggy Piggy Piggy

By Thursday, July 26th, we were on the road again up over Beartooth Pass towards Red Lodge. After a night of much needed showers and reenergizing at a campground outside of town, we went to Red Lodge, one of our favorite locales. This is a town rich with scenic views and authentic Montana character. We worked through the day in a downtown coffee shop and then were joined by Dan, Rebecca and Sam Staebler for much anticipated weekend festivities.

 

Welcome to Red Lodge

 

After dropping off their daughter Sidney at camp, the Staeblers came to town with sightseeing plans. The first must see? Bear Creek Saloon of course and weekly Pig Races. We sat down at 6 pm for steak and burgers (no pork on this menu) and then went outside to find good seats for the show. At 7 pm sharp the bets are placed and the pigs are off!

 

Bear Creek Saloon, Home of Montana’s only Pig Races. This parking lot will soon be packed.

 

And they’re off!

 

With 10 races each night, there is plenty of time to get to know the field. We all had our favorites and we placed our side bets accordingly.

 

Red is my personal favorite – he may not be the fastest pig in the pen but look at that personality

 

Even an evening shower didn’t dampen the crowd’s mood. It paid off with an extraordinary sunset and huge double rainbow.

 

The gold at the end of the rainbow

 

After the races, we popped the 2 Sportsmobile tops in the parking lot and settled in for the night beside the snoring swine.

Next morning, we were eager to get back to Red Lodge. Vintage cars had been roaring by and we wanted to get to town for the big Red Lodge car show. Detroit classics lined the streets and in this historic town, it was easy to imagine life 50 years ago.

 

Red Lodge is transformed to 1965

 

Sweet Carolina Blue Chevy

 

Cars cars and more cars. You didn’t need to be a motorhead to appreciate the wheels on the street.

 

Sam looks as cool as the car that he’s inspecting

 

Historic Yellowstone Touring Bus

 

Peace out

 

After our fill of the cars and town, the Bradshaws and Staeblers were ready to get back to camping. We hopped back in the vans and drove to Fishtail Montana, another prize stop on the sightseeing tour. On the way, we detoured to the Grizzly Bar in Roscoe for a world famous burger. We’d had huge breakfast so we split a single burger 5 way…which tells you something about the size of a Grizzly burger.

We then drove to Fishtail, a tiny town on the West Rosebud River. Founded in 1900, Fishtail is renowned for its General Store, with its inventory of housewares, organic local foods and ice cream cones.

 

The Fishtail General Store lures in customers with ice cream and local foods

 

The Staebler’s had found an awesome camp spot right on the creek and we settled in for an evening of good conversation, deviled eggs, fresh garden veggies, steak, tomato basil salad and margaritas.

Sunday, we checked out the famed General Store and then drove back up to Bozeman. Tim and I were on our way to Seattle so after loading up with zucchini, peas and lettuce from the Staebler’s garden, we kept heading West towards our sailing adventure.

 

Birthdays, Bears and Mice

After our 4th of July festivities, we were glad for some down time before the next weekends big doin’s. Dana and Dave generously opened their doors and we settled into their downstairs apartment for the week. It was an easy routine of work, dinner with D&D, checking out Dave’s ongoing progress rewiring his Bronco and sleep. By Thursday we had recharged and were ready for more fun. The 4 of us piled into Stan the Tan Van and drove over the hill to Music on Main in Victor.

 

Lulu’s Favorite Pastime

 

Throughout the summer the town populations of Victor, Jackson and Driggs converge on Victor Town Square for live music and community social time. While I can’t tell you what who the band was, the food, drink and conversation were great!

 

Mr. Shell Arrives

 

It was the first of our late nights. On Friday, Jimmie Shell came to Jackson and we were ready to start kicking it up a notch for Dana’s birthday weekend. The big day was on Saturday, but we started the festivities early with dinner at the Bistro. The next morning, we had gluten free pound cake with key lime frozen yogurt for breakfast before heading to the Farmer’s Market on Jackson Town Square. We met up with Dana’s friend Stephanie and toured the stalls, purchasing flowers, tomatos and a chocolate torte for the birthday dinner.

 

Happy Birthday to Dana!

 

After 2nd breakfast at the Virginian, we packed up Frank drove south of town for fishing. Jimmie Shell hadn’t been fishing for years so we drove to Dave’s favorite secret spot on the Hoback to see what we could pluck out of the water. What we found was more than good fishing! A big Black Bear checked us out from the opposite bank in the rain.

 

Fishin’ Time

 

Concentration

 

Dave has some luck

 

Who you lookin’ at?

 

That evening it was time for Thai. Dana, Dave, Jimmie, Tim and I met up with a party of friends for big birthday celebrations, a smorgasboard of delicious Thai food, friends and chocolate torte.

 

Happy Birthday Pillow

 

On Sunday, Jimmie Shell bid us farewell and Tim and I spent the afternoon scouring Frank inside and out. We had had some infiltrating mice and we decided enough was enough. We vaccuumed their nests, removed seats, cleaned poop and scrubbed floors. We bought traps, peppermint mouse repellant and set them everywhere. The next morning, we heard little giggles. The mice were laughing at us….

 

Frank gets a cleaning

 

Mouse Hunt

Camping with the Cabradillas

When Tim and I come back to Jackson, there is no better way to spend a weekend then camping in the Gros Ventres.   Devoid of tourists, it’s a peaceful getaway when the Town Square is shoulder to shoulder with summer visitors.

This year Tim, Betsy and Nico Cabradilla  joined us for a June weekend of relaxation, good food, fishing and NO cell service.  Now that’s heaven.

 

Fishing for the Impossible Trout

 

We drove into the hills Friday afternoon to meet up with Tim and Bets who’d gone in the morning.  I dropped Tim B. off about 10 miles from our meet up spot so that he could fit in a bike ride.  As I drove the van in, I ran into Tim C. about 6 miles in.  We decided to switch locations since the creeks weren’t clear where we’d originally planned to camp.

I followed Tim C. into the hidden camp spot to find Betsy and little Nico waiting for us on a beautiful site right on Crystal Creek.  As we drove by, we passed 100 feet from a black bear who was leisurely rambling by right next to the Cabradilla’s trailer.  In all the excitement, it took me a few minutes to get back to the road to post the sign telling biking Tim B. that we’d moved.

As fate would have it, he of course sailed right by in that 90 second window.   With no cell service to communicate, it was 25 miles of riding later before we finally found Tim, searching each and every campsite along the Gros Ventre road.  We herded everyone together and headed back to camp for Pressure Cooker BBQ chicken, Bacon Maple beer and more than a few laughs.

 

Rogue’s Voodoo Doughnut Ale – Bacon Maple deliciousness

 

Saturday it was time to fish.  We drove further into Crystal Creek where Tim C. and Tim B. both caught some nice cutties.  The girls were skunked but that in no way hindered our good moods.  We returned back to camp to stalk the Impossible Trout buried in the trees and have general silliness around camp.

 

Big Girl Little Bike

 

Nico shows us all how it’s done

 

Tim C. wowed us all with yet another gourmet camp creation for dinner – pork schnitzel.  Much discussion was had on our dream of publishing a book and video series, “The Two Burner Cookbook – Leave the Hot Dogs at Home” (Title suggestions are welcome!)

 

Camp Chef Gourmet!

 

Sunday we packed up and returned to cell service to prepare for the the work week.  While Tim and Betsy returned to Jackson, Tim B. and I decided to set up camp at Gros Ventre Campground to clean up the van and get some more water.

We spent Sunday afternoon on a sweaty bike ride up Shadow Mountain, sharing recovery beers under the Tetons on the deck at Dornans and pedaling back to camp.  Once in camp we discovered that the site tenants before us had built a large heart out of stones displaying their initials.  We had to follow the tradition!

 

M + T

 

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