Sunday, July 05, 2015

Parade and Picnic, North Idaho Style

As we drove home from our family picnic at the trail head to Chimney Rock last night, I remarked to Bill that it had truly been a North Idaho day for me. 

We had just met and visited with a couple who were camping in the same area.  We worried that they might be a little put-out by our invasion of what they had picked as their "own private Idaho."  

We couldn't have been further from the truth.  While the rest of us were hiking on a nice little trail or fishing in the crystal clear creek, Bill had extended a gesture of friendship, offering them a couple of our pale ales. 

He grew up in Sandpoint, Bill later told me.  That's all the license I needed to go over and strike up a friendship.  Turns out Clint, who plays base in the Mayah Kohal band, and his friend Trinity, a hair stylist, were happy to see us there, mainly after seeing Idaho license plates on all of our rigs. 

Clint actually went to school with Annie, said he hadn't seen her for years.  Of course, I updated him on her adventurous life.  We had a great visit, which included noting Bill's crick fishing article in Sandpoint Magazine.  

Bill had seen the string of fish they carried back from their day of crick fishing, so he figured they might enjoy the article.  Clint said he'd be looking it up as soon as he got back to town.

Clint knew that area really well as he had spent many a time with his dad, hiking the trails and catching dinner with worms and salmon eggs. 

On down the road, we blew up some dust as we came to a stop to say hi to Sandpoint educator Perky Hagadone and her daughter-in-law who were washing camp dishes so as not to attract any bears to their overnight camping spot.  Her son and a friend were back at camp, relaxing. 

My personal Fourth of July experience turned out to be vintage North Idaho from start to finish.  I sat with two Sandpoint natives, doing my duty for the Fourth of July parade. Only problem encountered was that those McNearney sisters look a lot alike.  

My mode of conversation with one took a sudden turn when she finally informed me that she had graduated in 1967.  When she saw the look on my face, she said, "You thought I was my sister." 

Sure enough, I did.  That sister was one of my students.  The mix-up didn't make a lot of difference cuz we had fun and laughed a lot anyway.  

The photos above best reflect the fun of the day with most of the faces being folks I've known forever.  

I did not know the participants in the Fiesta Bonita exhibit in yesterday's parade but did get acquainted with Louis on the beautiful black Friesen later.  He works at the Mexican restaurant in Ponderay.  

It appears to me that folks outdid themselves yesterday to participate in and to enjoy all the positive flavor that comes with a great American birthday party. 

Along with that, there were moments to remember and to appreciate some those who have sacrificed or worked behind the scenes for the rest of us to continue these wonderful annual traditions. 

A great day, indeed.  

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Happy Birthday, America

What a day ahead for all who love and appreciate this country and all it offers!  

We never forget those from all walks of life who have done and continue to do their best to ensure the endless opportunities we enjoy as Americans. 

While keeping their sacrifices and efforts in mind, we also celebrate this day in our individual ways. 

May this birthday celebration for the country which we so love be safe, fun and memorable. 

Every year, for the past several years as announcer for the Spots of Fun Open Horse Show, my first duty has been to open the festivities, playing Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" as mounted flag bearers race around the arena with the red, white and blue.

Since I will not be announcing at this year's show, today's posting presents the perfect opportunity  to start off a day right with this stirring song of reverence for 2015. 


Friday, July 03, 2015

Hot and Hotter

Nice to know the snow plowing rules for the Bonner County Banana Belt.  This sign appears near the Hope Community Center.  

It caught my eye during last evening's "beat the heat" escape from the house.  My sisters told me earlier that they had to say home to clean house and that the Schwan's man was coming.  

Bill stayed home, didn't clean house but did wait for the Schwan's man.

I don't know if Barbara and Laurie got their house cleaned up for company, but they did see the Schwan's man cuz he reported to Bill how much they liked last week's boat ride. 

They also took their own little escape from the usual thermal paralysis that takes over us North Idaho wusses long about 6 o'clock in the evening on these hot, hot days.  

They've got the neighborhood deer pictures on Facebook to prove it, including a photo of two nice bucks hobnobbing together in Gary Finney's pasture just up and across the road from the Lovestead.

In my case, thermal paralysis of the body and brain set in earlier than usual yesterday.  It might have something to do with 1.5-hour ride on the lawnmower, mostly in direct sunlight.  

By the time I finished that project, my inner drive had run short of fuel.  So, I lazed around in my house during part of the afternoon, went to town and soaked up air conditioning at Wal-Mart while buying buns and potato salad for the big barbecue tomorrow.

Then, I visited with my sisters who were nice enough to turn on their new air conditioner. When it came to dinner time back at home, I simply popped a Dijorno's pizza in the oven and told Bill when he came home that I wasn't in to cooking.  He seemed fine with that.

This daily heat sapping is getting kind of old; the weather people were saying that we might set a record for the most days in a row with 90 or above.  We've already set a couple of hot records, including last Sunday being the hottest ever for that date. 

All that said, I must say that my brain perked up and my funny bone went into action when I passed by the sign above.  

Another sign during the day also made me chuckle.  I saw it at a fireworks stand in the Wal-Mart Parking lot.  Right next to the big "Fireworks" sign, a smaller sign read, "No Smoking." 

Well, ya never know.  Folks in Hope could be expecting their snow to be plowed sometime during the night before the Fourth, while other folks who light up fireworks might be puffing on a cigarette while setting off their explosives. 

Anyway, it's hot, and when it's beastly hot in North Idaho, human minds can get a little unplugged from the rules, so signage to remind us can be helpful. 

While on my "beat the heat" trip with my sidekick Foster last night, I saw a case where some signage would have been nice.  

Nobody told that lone elk to stay out of their field of oats, and when there's no sign, a hungry elk is gonna do what a hungry elk's stomach tells it to do---eat the oats. 

My stops last night included a few minutes at the Trestle Creek Recreation grounds where I stood in warm lake water and a side trip to a new development on the lake shore.  

So far, no houses have appeared in the development, but it does appear that some infrastructure has opened the way.

For now, there's a very loaded-down cherry tree just going to waste AND no signs saying "DON'T PICK THE CHERRIES!"  Too bad for all the cherry pie possibilities for the big holiday. 

The views from that spot, on a hot July night, were pretty darned spectacular. 

By the time Foster and I got home, the air felt a little cooler.  The Schwan's man had come and gone and the Mariners were losing again.  Some things seldom change, regardless of the temperature. 

Holiday weekend company has already started showing up in various venues and will continue to arrive.  In a couple of cases, I still haven't seen 'em, so I'd better change that situation today.

Happy Friday.   Another hot one in store. 

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Thursday This and That and Throwback

I just learned about the event above a couple of days ago, and Keokee Publishing Co. is pulling out all the stops to get the word out. 

So, yes, consider it advertising.  It's a thrill to be asked to participate in what looks like a very fun inaugural event. 

And, yeah, that photo below fits in the Throwback Thursday category, but it also serves as a reminder of the three books I'll have on hand for the FUTURE THURSDAY event next week, compliments of Chris Bessler and the Keokee staff.  

Yup, the photo below featured an earlier book event a few years ago, and, definitely "Yup," it was a much cooler time, when the North Idaho layered look with wool sweater is a must.  

I'll be wearing a lot fewer items of clothing next week but keeping up my image as a "proper" school teacher.  

Finally, I'm hoping "Dr. Love" of Sandpoint High fame and author of one story in Lessons with Love will be by my side for the Keokee event-----5-7:30 p.m., Thursday, July 9 at the Bernd Building aka old Coldwater Creek wine bar. 

In other news, that big full moon sure was "purty" last night. I tried to do it justice with the camera on my drive home from yet another mountainous evening outing, again with my sisters.  

An article in today's Spokesman-Review validated this week's evening efforts to beat the heat by heading to the mountains.  It said miserably hot bodies can trim off at least 10 degrees or more by heading to a higher elevation.   

Now, don't try this at home cuz climbing upstairs is good exercise, but you'll never escape the heat there.  Ya gotta go to the mountains, and you'll notice a difference.

We did last night, even remarked that we were almost cold by the time we reached the turn-off to hike up to Chimney Rock up Pack River Road.  

We took a few pictures and enjoyed the cooler air; these nightly activities have gone a long way to reduce the misery of this never-ending heat.  Plus, they're good on the eyes, and they're fun. 

I highly recommend the practice. 

Finally, we're heading toward a blistering hot Fourth of July Parade the day after tomorrow.  I'm not riding a horse this year-----someone has given me another job, which will be disclosed at a later date when it's safe for those of us involved.

Back in the day, we didn't think a thing of climbing on our horses and riding into town for the big parade.  While associated with the Schweitzer Valley Dwellers 4-H Club, we had a great time coming up with themed costumes for the group to wear while prancing down the streets of Sandpoint. 

In the photo below, we were extremely thrilled to have won the Grand Prize for the parade as well as in the mounted division.  

One year, the theme involved the Bi-Centennial so we went as Yankee Patriots, and, during another year, we donned costumes from different countries around the world.

It was always fun, and we never worried about our horses acting up much.  Of course, by the time they plodded three-four miles to town, they didn't have a lot of energy to misbehave.  

I can safely say that our bravery from the good ol' days aboard our horses has definitely diminished with age, but it was fun then. 

Another blistering hot one coming up, and I've got work to do, so that's all for now. Happy Thursday.  

Dr. Love and Mom Love in their "younger" years circa 2012 or so at a Vanderford's book signing. Dr. Love contributed a story to Lessons with Love

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

All in a Day in June

Twas a perfect ending to a highly unusual month.  The Pack River evening-trip saga continued last night when Bill was off at Lightning Creek near Clark Fork, fishing with Willie and Andrew.

Andrew, his wife Alicia and their daughter Emma are here from Seattle for the week. Andrew, Alicia and Debbie all graduated together from Boise High School. 

Since the marriage of William Love III and Deborah Williams of Boise in which both Andrew and Alicia participated, we've seen them at least once each year. 

Andrew, who works at Boeing,  loves to fish, so he's enjoying the North Idaho experience with the two William Love's.

While Alicia, Emma and Debbie were visiting, my sisters and I headed for Upper Pack River. 

Since Barbara and Laurie had never been on the side roads, we started with Caribou Creek, same place where Bill and I had been the night before when the storm came up.

Well, the tree that blocked the road to Caribou Lodge during Tuesday night's storm, had been removed, so we headed up that way. The results of that decision were nothing short of glorious.

A gate leading into a logging job on an open hillside hung open, tempting us to enter at our own risk.  There is a bit of a risk, most likely in the day time when the loggers are working.  

Last evening, just before sunset though, all was quiet on that western front where we beheld an almost completely unobstructed view of the magnificent Selkirk Ridge. 

Nice to have a few trees jutting upward from the slope below, as they make for nice photo framing.  And, the fireweed, simply astounding!

As we exited the car with cameras in hand, an overpowering sense of awe brought on silence among us three sisters.  We simply walked the road, stopped to snap our individual photos and let the drop-dead gorgeous view do the talking. 

I did take a moment to point out Gunsight Peak to Laurie.  After all, it's been noted to me several times over the years from different angles  in Bonner and Boundary County by Bill who always loves to share his knowledge of most of the peaks in North Idaho.

I have a feeling from last night forth Laurie will always recognize Gun Shot Peak and maybe have the opportunity to share the tidbit from her own Selkirk primer. 

Next to the sheer beauty we witnessed from the mountain side and around the bend where a full moon dominated the sky above Lake Pend Oreille comes the utter joy of watching my sisters see some of our backwoods wonders for the first time AND react, creating their own pictorial chronicles to share. 

Yup, nothing beats that.  

Along with the scenery, we enjoyed watching a mule deer doe nibbling on shrubs alongside the road.  She could have cared less whether about the cameras clicking inside the car that had rolled to a stop to watch her eat her dinner. 

It was a two-bunny night as we saw two snowshoe rabbits race from the road in front of us.  The night before had been a three-bunny night.  

We've come to the conclusion that this must be the seven-year cycle for snow shoe rabbits, as they've made appearances on nearly every trek we've taken this spring and summer. 

It was too dark and I have too much respect (for what a mama moose may do) for us to stop and take pictures of the mama moose and her very young baby who trotted into the bushes off the road in front of us as we came back off the mountain. 

I'd say the last day of June, with a garden that looks like August, and the incomparable beauty we saw in the mountains last night, turned out to be a GRAND FINALE to an unseasonable month which we'll remember for a long, long time.

I'm hoping July settles down and just acts like July, with no disasters destroying one ounce of North Idaho's spectacular beauty. 

Happy Wednesday.