2005 Road Trip

Self Assured Senior Portraits, Sultry Bridal Studies, Dreamy Maternity Images, and Precocious Toddler Triumphs.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Redfish Lake in Sawtooth Wilderness (Idaho)

rise and shine to completely socked in by fog, sneaked up to the toilets ALONE and then down to the lake for some sunrise photos of the mountains, lake and forest. back up to camp to wash-up the griddle, and make some pancakes. 4 for Sverre, 3 for me, 2 for Erik, 2 for Magnus. then clean the grill up and watched the local chipmunk help clean up the extra pancakes. don't feed the animals didn't apply to him, and he was constantly stealing from Magnus' plate on the picnic table. Magnus must be on a growth spurt, he is sleeping in pretty late each day, not waking up until 10 or 11 am. Once we got the camp picked up, we headed off for and adventure. we made it 1.5 miles to the beach, and not only did the boys play, but Sverre stripped down to his shorts and wadded out until ht was waist deep and sank down a couple of times, BRAVE DUDE, it was 32 at night and 58 during the day, when he went in the air was 9'C and I bet the water was not more than 40F, After he left the water, I needed to get Magnus cleaned up, he wet his pull up,., was covered in sand, so I did the quick and dirty and sluiced him in the frigid water and he didn't scream but he was not happy, since his daddy had just done it, he was a little more cooperative. I had to set him on a rock to properly sluice water on his legs, boy was it cold. I was brave enough to wade out to my calves, Sverre and I got the boys dressed, and we set off to work farther around the north shore of the lake. we made it another 3.5 miles to the Guest Lodge, had a nice lunch (redfish chowder / salad / water for 4 was $31) and then came the bathroom issues again. I swear, it is enough to drive me to drink. Erik is 5.75 years old, takes FOREVER to do the deed, and then REQUIRES royal attention to the paperwork. aauugghh. Magnus SAYS he has to go, but then REFUSES to go, after I got them both back out of the bathrooms, (35 minutes later) I STILL had to change Magnus because he had NOT gone in the bathroom, and HAD gone in his pull-up. I was FRUSTRATED. back on the bikes and made it to the last campground, no way to go further to the headwaters of the lake, back around and stopped on the shores to play at the beach for a few minutes. we had a spot of snack (Idaho spud bites and water. Magnus threw a fit, he is definitely tired and needs a nap. then we had to load back up and go to find (you guessed it, a TOILET for Erik). this time, his father had to cope, I am DONE.
we loaded up yet again and peddled a mile farther, to the last camp ground, just couldn't get further on bikes, only a hiking path, so we turned around, went past the lodge, and eventually I got some pictures of the river leaving the lake and going under the bridge, and Magnus taking forever to proceed on.
FINALLY we pedal back to camp and I am just tired enough to take a nap, but instead I load up Magnus and we drive 5 miles back into town to call Naomi since I have no cell service. Tried 4 times from a payphone, no luck. get some food fixings, drive back to camp, wipe up some dinner, start a camp fire to finish off the marshmallows, Erik is a Champion marshmallow baker, lightly crusty on the outside, totally liquidy on the inside. Sverre and I got the camp cleaned up, I headed to bed, leaving Sverre to watch the embers. I did some downloading of my photos, editing my final selection. narrowed down to 225 images from the week. and then roll over and crashed. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Cascade Idaho to Sawtooth Wilderness (Stanley Idaho)

finally woke up to a fairly dry camp, only the morning dew falling from the Douglas Fir that we slept under but the lake was completely socked in by fog for hours. no photo op until late in the morning. I got up and make blue berry pancakes and everyone devoured them. Sverre had 4. and the rest of the orange juice was polished off.
essentials for camping should include not only:
Coleman grill for hot dogs, fish, chicken, and veggies / and griddle for pancakes, bowl with Wisk and pancake turner, but also a generous supply of baby wipes and paper towels. Plenty of plastic bags for trash, a store of paper plates and plastic utensils as well as paper cups for orange juice. tons of sports bottles for water. we survived on peanut butter and jelly and bread as well as bananas and apples for lunch, Cliff bars and trail mix for trail food. dinner was pretty easy with dogs and fish.
bedding issues are being resolved, while Sverre prefers his rolled up egg crate, because he can take it outside, I prefer my self inflating but much more delicate one to sleep on. we have a couple extra sleeping bags that we are using for additional padding or warmth that adds to the bulk of the load, now without the trailer, that would not be a problem, but either way, we will most likely upgrade next year to some more slim line choice gear.
laundry, for some reason I packed 4 days worth of clothes for 4 days and we needed 2 days of clothes and 8 days of socks. ;-) Sverre utilized baby wipes each day for a quick body wash, pretty ingenious. I am still drooling over a camp vehicle (15 passenger van size) so that I am not constantly packing, unpacking, packing, unpacking. I would take out all the bench seats but the first row, so that it is long enough for Sverre's 6ft 4in body, and could still put in a mini kitchen cabinet in the back, so with the tailgate open, I would have a chuck wagon kitchen. I have seen where they even raise the bed to provide storage underneath. too handy. Sverre says no way in hell.
we tried to bike but the gravel was just too soft. we did play down by the beach when the fog lifted, and that was fine for a few minutes, but then I was just exhausted, so I crawled back in the tent and took a 3 hour nap. Sverre woke me up to pack up camp and get out, that it was getting to crowded. Erik was the social butterfly, making lots of new friends, and even driving one girls pink Barbie jeep. When I went down, there was 3 tent trailers that were just 'swatting' for the weekend, (fireworks party) and one other camper a good 300 yards away. by the time I had my nap, the place was getting packed, and the area just 300 yards the other was was OVERFULL with Bus/RV's it was going to be a zoo. so we packed up and headed out. the
trip back south to banks, Idaho, and then left through Lowman (major fire recently) and on to Stanley was pretty scenic. the trees, the rock cliffs, and winding road was pretty cool. we spouted to get some pictures and wouldn't you know it, I twisted my ankle again. I was just sick.
we climbed over several passes, the highest was 7200 feet. the first camp ground that was on the suggestion list was Lola camp ground, it was PACKED and there were tons of kids for the boys to play with, but it was stifling. the second one was Stanley, very picturesque with the Sawtooth mountains in the background, but it was FULL. checked out XXX campground, drove over a washboard road very carefully, found the campsite to be quite, primitive, well spaced, but nothing to do. went into Stanley to get food supplies, WOW, the prices were Outrageous. a Cliff bar in Houston is .99, there it was 1.59, trout in Boise was $10/lb, there it was $15/lb. teach me not to plan ahead. made it to Redfish Lake and WOW, perfect. we settled in Sockeye Campground and it was pretty near perfect. while we unloaded the car, set up camp, Erik was fulfilling his social agenda, we really wonder where he gets it from, his dad is so very shy of strangers. We took a tiny ride (4 miles) where we ran into a doe wandering around, had some toilet issues with the boys, Magnus just hates to use a camp (no flush) potty, opted for a tree, and his trajectory was off, had to change his clothes, Erik also had some #2 issues, we finally gave up, I got some sunset on the lake photos, collected a $5 bundle of firewood from the camp host. and headed back to camp to roast some marshmallows. had major issues with fire safety with the boys, fell into bed, but not without some major issues from Erik stealing my sleeping bag. remind me again WHY oh WHY I do this for them? Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Boise Idaho to Cascade Idaho

rose with the sun, tried to dry out the camp, soaked from the night rains.Paid our $20 to the camp owner, had raisin bran muffins, drinkable yogurt (smoothies) and orange juice for breakfast.
loaded up the car and parked it in the general parking lot for the Boise Greenbelt, headed out on our bikes to tour Boise. destination: Boise Co-op and Ann Morrison Park. we did alright, all things considered. found the Idaho Candy Company by shear divine intervention. I was deliriously happy. 4 pounds of heaven for $5. had a picnic lunch at the Capital West Lawn and enjoyed the park and fountains and a tour of the park. got caught in a torrential downpour from hell on the ride back to the car, we were soaked to the gills. I hated that part, it was freezing cold rain, I couldn't see, I couldn't stop, and I hated to go. parked under the lean-to at the RV on the River, and I went and fetched the car, we had a hot shower and a picnic snack waiting for the clothes to dry. I cut up the vegetables and drowned them with a raspberry marinade that we would grill when we got to the Lake for dinner.
loaded our car and drove 2 hours to Lake Cascade, Cascade Idaho, that was the most scenic but irritating, Sverre has issues with the curves, bends, and narrow roads, since I have been driving highway 12 for so long, it was nothing to me, but he insisted going the posted speed limit of 35 mph, which was fine, we just had to pull over every other mile to let 10 people pass.
Played our $11.42, and Pitched a tent under the tree and and grilled our veggies and Sverre a salmon and me some chicken. a good thing we gave the boys a late lunch/snack at 4 pm, they crashed before the tent was even set up. and slept through the night. cooking and setting up the tent in the dark was awful. Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 27, 2005

Clarkston Washington to Boise Idaho

Happy Birthday to Magnus. we celebrated with dinner with the Swaim's in Eagle, Idaho. pork chops / peas, salad for everyone (Sverre had salmon) and a nice browning for the birthday. he blew out 4 candles with a lot of help from his brother. the day was spent trekking from Clarkston, Washington to Eagle Idaho. once we arrived, we spent the afternoon reorganizing the car to accommodate Sverre and his camping gear.fighting the big fat hairy black rain clouds threatening to downpour. which they did 20 seconds after we got everything packed or stored. sorting the extra gear at the Swaim's house. fortunately the skied opened up and by dinner the sky was blue again, we checked online the weather channel and formulated a plan, to skirt the rains, we would spend the first night in Boise, the second night in Cascade and the third and fourth in Stanley, and the 5th night back in Eagle.
After dinner, we set out for our first night in Boise at the RV by the River. we got the bikes and trailer set up and the tent up and tarped, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. and while it was blue skies when we went to sleep, during the night, the clouds rolled in and burst. everything was soaked but us. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Clarkston, Washington

we woke up and headed over to Albertsons for some supplies, blue berry pancakes for breakfast, PBJ for lunch with bananas and water, and dinner will be spaghetti. didn't hardly make it in the door and the kids were giving me attitude. so had to go back out and have a CHAT and try again, they were much better the second time around. considered going to the park, but since Naomi has no bicycle, and I had the car full of sleeping bags when I dug through the trunk to get the pancake griddle, we opted out. watched some TV, colored homemade birthday cards for Magnus, worked on Naomi's spelling / penmanship, and then played with paper airplanes. brought back a memory my grandmother Allen gave me once. she tried to get the twins interested in papers dolls, depression era paper dolls were cut from the new paper and catalogs, as were the clothes. and for a while it worked, albeit brief while. with this generation of kids, it works a little bit better. they love paper cards, paper airplanes, and would probably love paper dolls as well.
today is the last day of this visit, and then after an early loading of the car and an early bed, we should be on the road EARLY tomorrow. will whip up the pancakes tonight and reheat them in the microwave in the morning, so that we are all loaded before going to bed. theoretically if we go through walla walla Washington, cut down through Oregon, we should make Boise by noon if all goes well.
the staff here at Motel 6 have been phenomenal on customer service and making my stay more pleasant. definitely feel like a mix between family and elite guests. McDonalds are also so used to use and give us such good treatment, even if we just order 3 ice creams and 3 chicken sandwiches. they are just happy to see us. I just wish that Magnus would potty train and give up the thumb. it is so irritating to change diapers at this late date and beyond aggravating to hear him sucking so noisily at 2 am and 3 am and 4 am on that thumb. I am [-this-] close to putting some tobacco sauce on it. ;-) at least some duct tape.
Now that Naomi has gone home we have hit the pool, the boys are alone, so it is pretty peaceful and quiet. I.e., perfect. I may even grab my suit and climb in for some rest and relaxation. my ankle has healed remarkably fast after modifying my diet and eliminating so much salt. so this would probably not aggravate that.
Magnus 4th birthday. he has requested a strawberry cake. I can not believe how fast it has gone. 4 years. what was I doing 4 years ago. nervous. anxious. apprehensive. but never would I have thought that it would have gone so fast. Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Missoula, Montana to Clarkston, Washington

rain during the night, got the car loaded with only a few sprinkles. the boys were still asleep as I was ready to pull out. they were so over tired. got them dressed, loaded and headed into town for the market. the rain threatened all day, I was very surprised at the number of vendors with ORGANIC on their goods. some of the goods were obviously brought in in a truck from California. absolutely hopeless, a farmers market should be LOCAL PRODUCE not just produce shipped in on a truck. sad. got a 1/2 decent coffee from the Caboose, requested cr�me's only and it was still too bitter. at a profoundly ridiculous price. Erik scored two bunches of organic baby carrots for $1/bunch. got some good snacks at the great harvest bread company. too early in the season for what I wanted which was bell peppers, onions, broccoli, and other grill food. strolled around the farmers market twice, ran into Leota and her mom, Della and her friend, and Nikki and her daughter. headed down to the 'people's market' which is crafts and artesian. that has grown as well and now they are starting up another farmers market in Caras park, called River Front Farmer's Market. I didn't have time to check that out this weekend, but hopefully in a couple of weeks.
Road Trip through the pass at noon went well, extremely fast with very little traffic, the boys watched a DVD and I kept my mind on the road.
weather in Clarkston is hot, sunny and dry. since Naomi was not allowed to bring a swimming suit this time, we had more of a quiet day. An early dinner in Clarkston, Washington was unbelievable. Erik, Magnus and Naomi were on their very best behavior. They went way over board being quiet and sitting still, we went to Tomato Brothers and was seated right away (5:30 pm is very little crowd) we were in the corner which helped the kids. they were extremely patient considering it took 20 minutes to get our meals from the time we ordered. as we were leaving however the entire meal was ruined by an elderly couple. the husband was so completely uncouth, telling me that I really need to control my kids, (we had our check and was leaving for heavens sake, all they were doing was standing at a different table while I was figuring the tip. the woman was so snotty telling me that I should be a better mother and teach my kids some manners and I lit in to her, told her that her mom should have done a better job teaching her manners. after we departed, me in a fury, she sitting in a haughty snit, I was trying to regain my composure with the kids, they were invited to play bubbles with some of the other motel kids, when the one child kept going off on Erik not to pop the bubbles before they touch the ground, and I said, what happens when they touch the ground, he said, they pop. well hello, what harm was Erik doing? finally after 4 more times, I just gathered the kids up and we went into the room, I had no patience left for other people's issues.
we settled down and got ready for bed by 7 pm and the fortunately the kids were asleep by 9 pm. a first for our Naomi sleep over's, usually it is very stressful, terribly difficult and fraught with frustration. this time was great. we had a small tragedy, she ate Magnus's and Erik's muffins that they got at the Farmers Market and they were heartbroken that she had done that without asking. she apologized and after awhile, all was forgiven if not forgotten. Magnus ended up camping with Naomi instead of Erik, that was a deviation from the usual but it worked out well. the dynamics between the three have always been lumped with Naomi and Erik and to have Magnus and Naomi be closer would be a good thing. I however couldn't go to sleep until much later. Krys called fussing about door alarms, boyfriend issues, and step dads, Jazz called fussing about this, that and the other. and Sverre called, he had successfully rode 15 miles to the base of bogus basin, 15 miles up bogus basin, 15 miles down, 15 miles back. where he collected an additional 30 miles I am not sure, but he swears he got in 60 miles for the day. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Missoula, Montana

going to kill the teenagers. Krys called when she got off work at 3 am and jazz called when she got off work at 7 am, monsters
went to Costco to get proofs printed, cruised around, only two sample tables, WHAT is UP with THAT? really want to buy a 1 gig card for $75
went to great harvest bread co and got a loaf of apple crunch as well as some cinnamon rolls / rhubarb oat squares / peach scones
took the snacks to Bonner park and spread out a sleeping bag to sit on in the shade, while the boys played. Maggie ran barefoot for a few minutes (more details later)
5 hrs working on portrait order, originally had it online, but the online fulfillment is no longer available. had backed up the JPG files to a DVD, but while Costco could read it for proofs, I could not read it on my computer. had to go back to the original raw camera files and start all over again. the challenge was that I really messed up when shooting the pictures, I had it set to 2 full f stops and all the pictures were way too dark, it took some serious manipulation to recover the pictures.
went back to Costco to get final prints done, went pee again, :-) ordered blackberry sundae and split it between the three of us (boys and mom) while waiting. finally got the order done well enough.
got back to Lolo, watched miss congeniality and Krys called, she is wigging about the week that Sverre will be out of town, she is not sure she wants to stay with boyfriend for 10 whole days!
got jazz to open and sort through her collection of boxes that has all her goodies packed. she is a WORLD CLASS packrat. looking for her 2004 tax papers, applying for financial assistance from the hospital.
she is pretty helpless when it comes to dinner, she gave me some attitude that it was 730 and I was like, so. she was like you have not even started dinner, I giggled, like that is a news flash. I just dont 'do' dinner. opened up two cans of beef stew and heated then while throwing a squash in the microwave.
after the house has settled down I pulled 6 huge slivers out of Magnus feet, poor mutt. he was not happy. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Clarkston, Washington to Lolo, Montana

today I need to pack up the car, much easier today, and then after our visit with Naomi from 1-4, we will trek to Montana through the canyon. my ankle is marginally better. doesn't feel nearly as swollen. wonder if riding my bike for 15 miles a day, or the additional salt in 'fast food' was aggravating it more than sitting in the car and cutting off the circulation, or just a combination of all of the above.
Drove through the canyon, did great time. left at 5 pm arrived in Lolo at 9 pm. before leaving talked to jazz, she was to tired to drive herself into town, she was going to have her boyfriend pat drive her, but she said she was going to leave the house key under the floor mat in the car, all the doors locked in the car, but the back passenger window would be cracked enough to get my hand in and unlock the door.
had to pee from Colgate Licks, but held it to keep my spot on the road, hate getting behind a SUNDAY driver or worse, a SLOW RV. stopped at the store to get some groceries so that I would not have to reload the boys again. gave jazz call as soon as I realized that her car was not in the driveway and that the house key was not in her parts car. heathen. now I really had to pee. she giggled and informed me that the car was at home depot. key was in where she told me, I just had to drive to Missoula. oh and BY THE WAY since I was coming into town ANYWAYS could I bring her dinner. she really needs to be strangled. told her that I would only bring PBJ, she said fine. (that is desperate) ended up giving her 2 left over $1 menu chicken sandwiches. drove BACK to Lolo and got the boys settled, watched the end of pride & prejudice. Posted by Hello

Monday, June 20, 2005

Clarkston, Washington

After a very hectic week, just chilling by the pool and resting my ankle with bags of ice, has been very pleasant. I am finally catching my breath after 21 days of whirlwind. this time instead of unpacking the whole car, I just pulled out the ESSENTIALS: camera and computer bags, three bags of clothes, a cooler with our snacks, my media backups of my pictures on DVD (hope to compress that soon) and the bag of bathroom supplies. we have hit the pool daily, the boys are loving that.
Leaving the pool was a crisis, Magnus was over tired and he was just hysterical. granted it was only 9 pm here, but in his world (Texas time) it was 11 pm and he was so tired. I watched 50 first dates and it was so good, I cried at the end. definitely on my wish list to own.
Magnus is getting better about his frustrations of not being home. I asked him if he would like to have papa and his toys and his blanket in a house in Boise, and he said yes, and have jasmine (krystal) there too, and said papa, and momma, and Erik in Boise. ;-) then he changed his mind and krystal can stay with Jason and Justin because Jason and Justin are funny to me'
Will be meeting up with three girl friends from all over the country on Friday for an impromptu reunion. it has been 14 years since the last time we saw each other all at the same time. I have seen Leota (Townsend, MT), Della (Milwaukee, WI) but not Margie (Cincinnati, OH). just a fluke that we will all be in the same day.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Boise Idaho to Clarkston, Washington

Happy Father's Day
Rise and shine with the birds, packed up the camp, loaded everything in the car and headed at a breakneck speed (5 hours) to Clarkston, Washington. did pause long enough to snag some good cinnamon rolls in Cascade, and digitally capture a new waterfall as well as some 'wildlife' pedaling to McCall they announced. Arrived in Clarkston by 12:30 pm, the Motel Management are tickled to see me. they are so cute. ;) got the wireless rebooted, and up and running. Naomi was in a animal mood at first, refused to go swimming, finally got her coaxed to go, she and the boys had fun with the floaties in the pool, 2.5 hours. Dinner was at Pizza Hut, three personal pan pizzas. after some continuous discussion that we were not going back to the pool, Erik and Magnus finally settled down and went to sleep. watched some movies and then it was time for me to crash and burn as well. Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Boise, Idaho

Farmers Market is on the agenda, called due to RAIN. rode around Eagle and Garden City shopping for neighborhoods, and then bike riding, first we attempted to find the magical trail that connects Garden City to Eagle. there is a path on the south side of the Boise river, but it dead ends 1.75 miles, we went up over the bridge and down on the north side, and that trail cuts back and then after .5 miles BLAM, big fat 'no bicycle' sign, just pedestrians with their dogs. ;-( that sucks. so we turned around and tried to go towards Boise on the North side of the river, BLAM big private golf course blocking the path, so back to the south side and headed eastward. made it all the way to ann morrison park, turned LEFT and headed into town, pretty easy path until you actually hit down and then NOTHING to guide you, not a bike path, not a bike lane, nothing. we wandered around, using the sidewalks, and made it back to the Grove. a big fat line of people trying to buy tickets or to get in to see some event.
up the street to the LeParis restaurant for a bowl of soup and a desert. easily locked the bikes up outside the restaurant and was waited right away. the cream of mushroom was very good but had just some whipped cream piped on the top, not actually a cream of soup that Americans are used to. I gave it a 4 out of 5 stars, Magnus has the potato / carrot / onion soup, I could only convince him to eat the potatoes, both he and Erik agreed that the carrots were not very good, the broth was very watery minimal flavor, that would have gotten a 3 out of 5 stars, and Erik had the potato / leek soup and while that had some good consistency, great taste, it was a little too salty, so it also got a 3 out of 5 stars (familiarity making up for salty taste) as for desert, I had the crème's Brule's and it was a mix, the topping was too hard and thick, wouldn't crack properly and what I did get broke off and into my mouth imbedded into my molars, so I opted to chisel it off and just eat the egg custard, that was very good. a definite 4 out of 5 stars, Magnus had a Bavarian cream filled pastry that was good but must have been to rich for his tastes he ate a little over 1/2 of it. Erik devoured a green custard filled pasty and was in heaven. not one crumb was left a definite 5 out of 5 stars in his palate.
pedaled back to the camp in the rain, not a hard rain, just enough to feel brisk, saw an amazing WHOLE rainbow with three bands, and for once, I didn't have my camera, rats. even Erik thought that I should go get it and get back, he would wait for me. ;-) total of 15.3 miles on the bikes. Erik is getting really good at this, hit the BMX trails and he went down the beginner trail and impressed the dickens out of a 10 year old that has been riding it for years, and then he tackled the Expert (black diamond) route without incident. what an amazing boy! Magnus wanted to exercise, he stretched, and then jogged, and pushed the cart, my bike and me quite a few yards. he is awesome. packed up the trailer to get ready to head back out in the morning for Clarkston for a visit.
car mileage: 2376.7+1245.9
bike mileage: 192.1

Friday, June 17, 2005

Boise, Idaho

left the very soggy bikes and trailer pinioned to the fence and took the car out for a jaunt around town. investigated Eagle Idaho, Located HP campus, revisited the east Boise residential (warm springs) area, and finally parked the car downtown to adventure into the GROVE. for a Friday night it was DEAD! walked down town to city hall and played in the water fountains, walked a little further to see the capital building, and then walked back to the GROVE and played around the water fountains. the town has a thing about fountains. paid my parking $6 for 1 hour and 42 minutes. YIKES. was supposed to be $1.50 / half hour and $3 for the evening. I got there at 4:17 pm, they did not cut me a break on the evening rate. lots of sidewalk cafe's. smells from the Parisian cafe nearly temped me in, but I had already got bagels at the bagel shop down the road in warm springs. they were a disappointment. *sigh*
found a nice wifi hotspot in Garden City at the best little espresso shop, Moxie Java. finally found what I think is the perfect blend. she says that it is a tall (16 oz) with white chocolate and the espresso is just the cr�me's it was lick-the-lid roll-the-eyes from-the-diaphragm-sigh good. worth every penny of the $3.25. started calling the coffee cup (whispering) 'precious'.
one of the neighbors in the RV campground has been evicted by assistance of the police. they had a tent, a gazebo and heaven knows what all covered with a frayed green tarp that resembled a 'tent city' tent from some refugee camp. I was alerted to the situation when they drove by an asked what I was paying per day and how long I was staying. they were HOPPING MAD and cussing up a storm as they were taking down their 'camp'. my set up is so plain Jane, just a tent and two baby camp chairs. I guess boring is good. no one complained. however there are some RV's here that have definitely set up squatters rights, they have permanent structures attached the the RV's and I am not talking just porches and 100 gallon propane bottles but some serious storage sheds, green houses and other amenities. 13.3 miles on the bikes. maggie did really good running about 1/4 mile. he is going to be my IRON man player. Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Boise Idaho

got back out pedaling after making blueberry pancakes, by 9 am. Have packed up the Burley to go off exploring. We made it 2.5 miles, found the BMX track again and Erik HAD to have a GO at it again. wearing long pants this time and gloves, he did much better both staying upright and not fussing when he fell. one other little guy was not so lucky on the flat's of the path, he wiped out and fortunately only bellowed for a little while before a parks and rec cart came along to give him and his bike a lift back to his parents. wrenched my ankle AGAIN. got an emergency ice pack out of the first aid kit, and applied it until all the cold was gone. then we progressed on to the Veterans Memorial Park, Both boys nearly equally frustrated with me that we were not stopping more than to get a drink. Pedaled on and then had to make an emergency stop, Erik had bent his chain guard and the chain was rubbing on a bolt, fixed that and peddled on to the Ann Morrison park to play in the sandy beach and river, water was very cold, felt great on my ankle, if it were not for my tummy rumbling and my bladder screaming, could have spent another hour in the cold river. Made some PBJ's and then on to the AWESOME playground for a couple hours of fun, the squirrel was back, but I was wise to his shenanigans, I buttoned down the cart, so he tried hard to get in but was deterred. rotten little rodent. Found a toilet. they are pretty readily available. about 1 / mile, along with clean sanitary water fountains and trash cans. Finally Erik got to go to the Fountain. he LOVES the fountain. Magnus got soaked, slipped an fell, hitting the back of his head, and decided to call it a day. but Erik kept playing long past 6 pm. some 'guy' shows up with a live snake, MONSTER size, he is definitely the snake type. tat's and black beard, no shirt, no shoes, just baseball hat on backwards and mountain bike shorts. quite the effect on the local park crowd, did I mention the pony tail? ;-)
Magnus is taking his siesta, Erik lost interest in the fountain, wants to return to the play area, so I gathered Magnus up, still sleeping and reclined his Burley, stuffed a pillow in the corner, and he is still snoozing in his cart, and we are back at the playground. Erik is smacking down his PBJ, finally, hunger out wins attention. he has found a "friend" and they are hanging out. Erik finds more friends than I find projects to do. he is off again, scampering with the natives. ;-)
well, it happened, the first time in 12 weeks of use, we got hit with rain and water - resistant does not even come close to meaning water proof. where the pillows touched the tent, the water seeped in, and where the rain bonnet touched the tent, the rain dripped in. so at 2 am, I popped into the car, ran to a 24 hour Wal-Mart super center, looked first in the sporting goods, no luck, looked in the paint (drop cloth) no luck, finally found one in the RV section with the toilet blue and the bungee cords, and bought a 10x20 tarp and dashed back and unfolded the precious item, draped it over the tent, the folding camp chairs, and then drove over one end so that it was anchored and then climbed back inside. took one of the boys dirty t-shirts and sopped up the worse of the water inside and took the pillow cases off and hung them from the suspended nest to dry, and curled up with the DVD player and watched 1/2 of the first disk of Pride and Prejudice for 1.5 hours waiting to make sure we were not soaked in our sleep. it worked perfectly and so we were just a little moist by morning.
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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Boise, Idaho

feeling very brave, pedaled all the way in to the university via the greenbelt and back. 15 miles. farthest either Erik or I have ever gone in one day. the city is a not only a diverse melting pot of cultures and classes, there is an Oscar Meyer wiener song going through my head. the greenbelt is utilized by big kids, little kids, kids that climb on rocks, smart kids, sissy kids, even kids with chicken pox. tall kids, fat kids, some kids are 6 months old and others are 60 years old. it is very diverse! After touring four major parks, we were pretty bushed when we finished. The Boise greenbelt is the ultimate in family recreation. the road way it self is as carefully marked as a busy thoroughfare, with white dashed lines for passing, double yellow lines for no passing, underpasses that bypass all the auto roads, and yield markers to let everyone know who has the right of way. all interactions are pointedly polite and civilized. roller blades, skateboards, walkers, runners, joggers, street bikes, mountain bikes, double bikes, bikes with trailers, bikes with tandem bikes (hitchhikers, piccolos) are all well represented. lots of different styles of panniers, some with just back packs, some with fully loaded front and back bike packs, saw some personal water packs as well as simple sports bottles mounted on the bikes. personal wear is also a varied as the population. everything from the "Lance Armstrong' wannabees to the starving college student recycled shorts and t-shirt are well represented. Grandma and Grandpa are right there as well. there is no generation barrier, no culture barrier, no language barrier and no class barrier to discriminate between the citizens of the greenbelt. it is as varied as it's suburban automobile driving counterpart, but with a friendlier twist and a nicer smile. people actually make eye contact and say Hello out there.
The Greenbelt goes on for MILES and it has lots of side loops, almost all through kid friendly parks. there is just so much stuff to do along the beltway: zoo's, parks, fountains, play area, access to the river with sandy beaches, Frisbee golf, BMX tracks, we just can't see how anyone gets any WORK done. found security in all types of vehicles. volunteers in white golf carts, police on TREKS, parks & recs in red 'lil mules' as well as mounted police on horses. all in all I would say that it makes them more 'approachable' and part of the community instead of farting around in their a/c cars with their cell phones 'lurking'. I felt safe, but not imposed on by 'big brother'. Erik and Magnus have not been bored yet, just frustrated when I tear them away to get to the next adventure. there was a very brave squirrel that climbed up into the back of the cart, swiped not one but two blue berry pancakes and hauled his bushy tail out of there. THIEF! there are not enough hours in the day. we have to limit ourselves to 1-2 hours at each stop, just to get 7 miles down the road, and 7 miles back. Erik found the BMX park to be both extremely cool and somewhat dangerous. Erik wiped out three times on the BMX track and needed first aid. picked up deli chicken at Albertsons on State Street and Glenwood along with some juice and milk for breakfast and some more bread for PBJ for lunches. After we ate dinner, we got a HOT cleansing shower and with some first aid, pj's and a story from the local 'free press' magazine, the boys were out for the night. One of the notables about these parks is that they are not 'sportsplexs' they are PARKS. the play area is a play area, the trees are restful and you dont have a baseball game going on competing with the peace and quiet. the kids are giggling and laughing, but it is not an unpleasant noise. while there is a sports plex near the BMX bike trails, and it has a children's park adjacent to it as well, the main parks, Veterans, Morrison, Albertson and Julia's are all very tranquil and modestly populated. there is literally enough 'space' for everyone to enjoy, it is not 'empty' it is utilized, maybe under utilized, but during the work week I am sure we are not seeing the full population, like there would be on the weekends.
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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Boise, Idaho

fell and sprained my left ankle TERRIBLY... cried for several minutes from the pain. frustrating that Magnus laughed and told me that grownups don't cry. spent the day driving around looking at neighborhoods. stopped at Veterans Memorial Park for several hours, and then dozing back at the camp, fighting a horrible migraine, no energy, and overall just flat lethargic. fortunately, Erik made friends with some 'neighbors' from Arizona, and the dad set up the gas grill and warmed up some hot dogs. even sent over a bag of ice, a cold juice drink and some chips for my dinner. the ice helped more than I would have thought possible. After a couple more hours, I got brave enough to hook up the trailer and pedaled west from the camp, 2 miles (in Garden City, at Glenwood and Marigold towards the town of Eagle) to the very western end of the greenbelt of the city and 2 miles back. passed a nice apartment complex that butts up to the greenbelt, good possibility for some domestic tranquility. Erik was having so much fun, he 'popped' out his bottom tooth, second one this trip, third one this year. At a buck a tooth, the tooth fairy is getting a little frustrated at his expenses this month.
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Monday, June 13, 2005

Meridian Idaho

Monday, explored Meridian (dry treeless desert) got camping supplies, self inflating bed roll, 0' sleeping bag, Coleman propane stove and fuel. Drove up to Shafer butte (20 miles from base of mountain to camp grounds. first 13 miles are a treeless desert. very dry and depressing. a very dry hot and brown state devoid of vegetation. USFS campsite is $8 a night, PLUS $4 for the car, $3 for fuel to get there, no power, no sewer, no flush toilets, and very primitive. Settled on the RV by the River as a final destination. showers and running water and electricity not to mention no driving to get to the greenbelt, definitely worth the extra $5 a night. Wendy's catered sac dinner at Julia Park, saw the rose gardens, and the "train" depot for the 'train' rides around the city. followed the roads skirting along the northern edge of Boise. trip to Wal-Mart for food supplies, PBJ fixins. woke up three times after midnight with Krys calling and one by Jazz, not up to this anymore.
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Sunday, June 12, 2005

Clarkston, Washington

Sunday packed everything up and then a trip to the park to play. Got some pictures of the kids, Naomi works really hard at posing for me. someone has been coaching her to smile using her teeth, and while it is better than some photo techniques, getting her or any child to say YES makes a much more natural smile. After lunch, Jennifer picked Naomi up. Gassed the car up and we drove to Boise. Also normally 5 hours of twists and turns. The tree covered mountains give way to cow dotted pastures and then back to the rugged mountains, it is a dance of nature, back and forth. I took an extra 2 hours stopping along the way to take pictures. Made it in LATE, found a Wal-Mart to call to book a room, drove downtown, tried to get to the airport, ended up wandering on I184 to get to 84 which 'should have been a straight shot". very frustrating. stayed at Motel 6, hoped to get Erik's baby blanket back, but so far they have 'seen it' but do not know where they put it. logged it in that they did find it. ;-( looks hopeless that we will get it again, sure someone sold it on EBay (original 1980's Critter Sitter Baby Blanket.)
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Saturday, June 11, 2005

Clarkston, Washington

spent the day at the pool, not up for much of anything else. Naomi did fine until last 30 minutes. She kicked Erik's bike and knocked it over, and I had to give her consequences. She had a thermal nuclear meltdown which lasted for 20 minutes. Got the wireless set up at the motel. that is really sweet.
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Friday, June 10, 2005

Boise Idaho to Clarkston Washington

drove thru Idaho to Washington. never fails to amaze me how beautiful and lonely that road is. 210 miles of twists and turns, sheer rock cliffs shooting straight up on one side, and sheer drop offs down to the river below. checked into Motel 6, ooops, the clerk gave my room (that I reserved the week before) to some elderly couple. grrr. I specifically requested that room so that I would have nonsmoking and access to the wireless internet. the pool is open, that is great news. the kids love it. not too deep, great spa. have had a hard time finding a good loading routine for the bikes on the car rack.
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Thursday, June 09, 2005

Missoula, Montana

Jazz was getting pretty crabby and tired staying up all night and sleeping all day to keep in her schedule for work. Loaded up the boys and drove on an adventure down the Bitterroot to Hamilton. there is a fairly continuous paved bike path going from Lolo to Florence, and then it becomes intermittent at best the rest of the way. the California poppies were blooming and looked great. WOW, it has 'grown' and is heavily populated. found several WIFI hotspots. cruised around and had lunch, drove back home.
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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Missoula, Montana

drove jazz to the doctor, she is having issues with her post operation (appendectomy) and needed a recheck. come to find out she has also had relapse with the antibiotic resistant staphoccaucas. so back to bleach therapy on all surfaces and heavy duty antibiotics. I am personally getting a little sleep deprived. I need my own bed and my own kitchen and my own 'routine'. traveling is great fun for adventure, but my body is craving more 'home' environment.
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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Missoula, Montana

bleak looking weather, so freaking cold, feel like hibernating, eating more and can definitely feel the bear instinct to curl up and conserve resources. the wind is blowing pretty briskly across the lake, making some decent sized ripples. the bottom of the lake is green, the grass is green, the leaves are green, the sky is so dark from the storm clouds, it is nearly green, the whole place is GREEN! banged the dickens out of my end digit of my right middle finger and I saw stars and nearly fainted from the pain, I swear I am physically a mess. I picked up a copy of Sierra at the dealership yesterday and was interested in the articles about 'green' houses. sure hope to have more 'green' features in my next abode.
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Monday, June 06, 2005

Lolo, Montana

cold days night, 42'F at night and barely warmer than that during the day. I just want to burrow in and hibernate. set up tent and laid out the bedrolls, sleeping bags, and snuggled in with the boys to keep warm. need more blankets. too bloody cold at night. breakfast was pancakes, then into Missoula for several errands. Honda Dealership for oil change, Verizon dealership for a phone change, Walgreen's for a Rx, REI and Sportsman Surplus to look for camping / biking supplies, Sparkles car wash for a thorough car de-slime, while vacuuming under Magnus seat, I found a way to break my left ring finger right in the middle joint. holy bat crap that hurt. (Note: REI has NOTHING, and what they do have is INCREDIBLY over priced, and Sportsman Surplus was much better stocked for gear with high but not unreasonable prices), Costco for some supplies, welcomed snack, and price check, over to jewelers for a watch battery, and back out to LOLO for dinner. mozzarella stuffed ravioli with Alfredo sauce. and a rhubarb upside down cake. Jazz's first night back to work.
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Sunday, June 05, 2005

Clarkston, Washington

Sunday was a wet load, (note to self: pack car the night before) got the car fully loaded in the rain. augh. cold wet rain. visit with Naomi was fairly good, she had a decent trip through Albertsons, but total thermal nuclear meltdown in Joann fabrics over some fabric choices. had to put everything down and go out and have a time out before she got control of her self. we had a successful trip through the second time. I think it has something to do with the sensory issues of the fabric, because she consistently wigs out in that store. whereas in dollar store or Albertsons she is fine. After lunch, drove through the canyon from Clarkston, Washington to Lolo Montana, 210 miles of 45 mpg twists and turns. extremely scenic, white knuckle ride, but luckily the car knows the way. the area is unusually green, owing a lot to a heavier than normal rainfall this year. magically hit the waterfall again, and got some great pictures, some bear grass photos at Jerry Johnson's. quick run into Missoula for supplies, pancake mix (bisquick) and back to Lolo. Magnus is over whelmed, he is not happy, he wants to go HOME. he misses his dad. he misses his routine and he is just not happy. Erik lost his tooth, second one this year, first one this trip. dont know what it is about his being up in Montana, but he is definitely loosing them up here rather than at home.
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Saturday, June 04, 2005

Clarkston, Washington

Saturday was a day of stress and challenges. I got the bikes loaded up and the trailer wheels in for new heavy duty tubes to reduce the effects of puncture weeds, hope to get in a good ride in the afternoon.
Naomi was over stressed with a trip to Costco, and then finally settled down to watch a Disney movie (shrek 2) and was calm until a quick trip to McDonalds for a ice cream Sunday just wigged her out. transitions are still nearly impossible. after Naomi left for the evening the boys and I loaded up the bikes and trailer and headed down to the snake river walking paths, towards swallows parks. 2.5 miles to the boat launch, got some great pictures, and then 2.5 miles back. quick shower and a light dinner. Magnus fell asleep exhausted before eating his dinner, and ended up sleeping through the night.
2376.7 car mileage
120 bike mileage
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Friday, June 03, 2005

Boise Idaho to Clarkston Washington


Friday was a small jaunt through Boise before heading north on 55 through what can best be described as god's country. mileage improving marginally in the mountains (34 mpg) climbed and dropped over about 5 mountains. went from the gentle foot hills of Boise with adorable neighborhoods, out the main drag to Eagle, Idaho, and quickly climbed over the rugged terrain, dropping gently down into the picturesque valley, and then up again, over the lush green tree covered mountain, and then down again into the richest farm fields of wheat and mustard, quick climb back up in the the rugged mountains and down again, we passed lakes and valleys, and was never board. the two lane road was pretty fast, light traffic kept it pleasant. many post card pictures all along the way if only I had allowed more time to stop and take them. last bit of drive from white bird to Clarkston was tedious with construction and some s-l-o-w traffic, but over all the trip was a good 5 hours. Magnus is requesting that we go home now, he is tired of traveling and just wants to go home. he really misses his dad and is teary eyed.
arrived in Washington at motel 6 and still had enough time after unloading the car to get in a short 30 minute 4 mile ride down along the river wharf. learned quickly about puncture weeds. holy bat crap, that stuff is uncivilized. 2 mile and Erik's tires were worthless, I had to load his bike in the back of the burley trailer and him in with Magnus in the front, and then pull them all back to the room. that is about 5 lbs for the specialized, 45 lbs for Erik and 40 lbs for Magnus and 10 lbs for the trailer behind my little Trek. I did it, but I was not enjoying it. the heat was not too terribly bad, about 90 but still I worked up a sweat.
visit with Naomi was for the most part a disaster. instead of meeting at the motel which is familiar for her, the plan was changed to the park, and she was out of sorts the whole day. then the biological father was insistent on demonstrating the 'hard ass approach' the parenting, and how reasonable expectations are. all it succeeded in doing was destroying Naomi down to -0- self esteem and making her cling to him for love and affection, he seemed to enjoy the physical restraint of her in putting her in a upper body lock, pulling her off the monkey bars, and holding her off the ground until she raised her feet up and then he was loath that she was being defiant. before the whole theatrics were over, she had urinated on herself, and he gave me a story that she had not done that in 5 years. and that she was capable of 'normal' behavior and he felt that she as just acting like this because of my visit. I found the whole spectacle reprehensible, but rather than defend my child, I left her to his tactics, the courts had appointed this 'person' to be fit to raise her over my objections and my firmly held beliefs that she as in danger due to his power trips and need for absolute domination. the more I struggled to protect her the more he attacked us both, so despite my own anguish, it was better to just leave her to his cruelties and not get involved and thus avoid personal attacks on myself. personally I have always hated that my own mother opted for this technique. that she would leave me to fend for myself and save herself, but after 15 years, I can see the benefits and have tried it, the trick is to learn to live with myself afterwards. we cut the visit short, he took her home to change her, and then meet me at the motel room. Naomi was pretty abusive to Jennifer and Doug when they dropped her off. I told her that was not acceptable. and she ended up returning to the van with Jennifer for her punishment. she returned and seemed to be calm is not happy.
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Thursday, June 02, 2005

Grand Junction Colorado to Boise Idaho


Thursday up and at them again, got in a good 1/2 mile ride before storing bike on car. out the door and on the road by 8 am, the area is desolate at best, not a tree in site, lots of rugged plateaus and some small dry brush here and there, almost as if a bomb went off many decades ago and nothing organic has returned as of yet. ran in the a horrendous thunderstorm in Utah on highway 6. stopped salt lake city to visit with a good friend, have some lunch, and let the children play. she had wifi which was a good deal for I was able to fulfill a portrait order before continuing on my journey. arrived at 1 pm and left by 430 pm, but better rested from the break. the ride into Boise was fairly pleasant, there was gentle hills climbing out of Utah and into Idaho, once over there was a definite farming valley with mountains in the far north distance. the sunset was spectacular and worth stopping the car to capture. gas was pretty spendy, $2.27 a gallon, but the attendants were all pleasant so the atmosphere in Mountain Home was very sweet. Boise was good, easy trip in, a wrong turn sent me on a long loop on the freeway to find the motel which is on the south side of the freeway and thus south side of Boise proper.
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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Amarillo Texas to Grand Junction Colorado


Wednesday, up and at them early enough, out the door by 8 am, even got in a couple of laps with the trek in the parking lot to work the kinks out of the old body before another day of driving.
too I40 west to just under Colorado and then north on I25 to Denver, left on I70 through the canyon. went through several mountain tunnels, saw some snow, brr., had to stop at a local rest area and let the kids get some playtime in to de-stress. arrived into grand junction Colorado. found motel 6 by the airport. the prices were pretty high considering there was a baseball tournament in town, only a $2 discount for online booking. to tired to continue on safely. the motel was on the north side of the freeway, just south of the airport and even that close, the flights were not a bother. the motel had seen better days, it was definitely a first edition in the chain, very clean, but had a 1960's feel.
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