Wednesday, June 25, 2014 and New Adventures Ahead

Since retiring from a regular work schedule and career and foster care my life has been in a state of  rebuilding.

I have been building a life that combines both my love of travel and outdoors and family needs.  One of the realities that have come my way with living my life with these terms is that I can't always travel when I would wish to as my teenager is still in school.  I am certainly aware that many family home school on the road but they do miss out on some of the 'normal' activities of high school life.  So for now the compromise means we are stationary during school month. Compromise always involves tradeoffs and we certainly have had trade offs. I miss the travel during the school year and Hailey misses her friends during the travel months.

But it is what it is.

The past couple of months, I have been watching an online source of local activities.  It is called Meet-Up.  (Located at  It is a web site that helps groups of people with shared interests plan events and facilitates of line group meetings in various localities around the world.

You type in a location, and then are able to view on line groups and the activities that they sponsor in your area.  If you are interested in joining in their activities you make an online profile and are able to join their activities.  Full time travelers might find it as a way to locate great hikes in an area or join up with others in a area they are visiting.

It has been a great source of places to go and activities in the area that I might like to participate in areas of interest such as hiking, and kayaking.  I have found several other places in the area that I haven't been aware of by reading about upcoming adventures.  I have found also that I sometimes avoid going on a hike in an uncharted area for safety reasons.  It is one thing to go hiking 'alone' in a national park where there are droves of other hikers that would find you if you ran into trouble but another to hike in the wilderness with rare visitors.  Some of these activities I would be less likely to participate as a solo out on my own.    Lastly, it is an opportunity to build a network of people who share some of the same kinds of activities and passions.

I certainly have my social issues to conquer as I also tend to avoid social settings but I certainly have had some positive outcomes to bolster my courage to continue trying new activities.

Yesterday we took the plunge....we went out for an outing with local sportsman for a kayak paddle on Fish Trap Lake.

I was certainly having some issues as folks were beginning to gather.... 18 kayakers are a large number of folks to be gathering on the landing or on the water at the same time.  Yep, I retreated to the fringes..... 

It wasn't long and we were left in the dust.... or splashes of the faster kayaks.
Fishtrap Lake (196 acres) was named after the willow fish traps that the Indians used to catch Red Horse Suckers at its outlet creek. The lake is known for its great trout fishing. As with all the lakes in the Scab Lands the lake gets a lot of wind throughout the year so it  It is long and narrow at 2.2 miles long and 30' deep at its deepest. It is a long and narrow lake that at times resembles a river without a current.  The lake has only one point of entrance near the Fish Trap Resort.  No other buildings or dwellings are along the lake.   Luckily there is a public launch ramp right right next to FishTrap Resort.  From Spokane, go west on I-90 to Fishtrap Exit 254, then south 2 miles on Old State Highway to Fishtrap Rd. There is both a resort launch and public access launch. 

Wildlife along the way

One of the things I treasure about kayaking is the quiet and solitude that I feel out on the lake.  I soon had all the solitude I could want.  The birds were were swooping and singing.  It was heavenly.  I wasn't able to take any decent pictures of birds..... paddling and take photos are things I have trouble multitasking at.  We were blessed to see a bald eagle soaring overhead.

Basalt rocks form cliffs along the lake, leftovers from the Great Missoula Floods.  Water shadows and reflections dance on the cliff wall like butterflies.  Dozens of birds building nests along the cliffs dart in and out as if to shew us away from their homes. 

One of our group had a unique kayak.  Note she is not using her paddle.  Her kayak is pedal powered.  Her Hobie  watercraft really skims quickly through the water.  

I say this kayak is made in the shade!

This gal passed us up too.  Our inflatable kayaks had a difficult time keeping up with the other kayaks.  Their paddling motion seemed effortless compared to our effort and they glided swiftly along.

Hailey was dropping back farther and farther but I could still see her.  The farther she fell behind, the slower she progressed.  I circled back to rejoin her.  It seemed more important that she enjoy the paddle than for me to become competitive and speed up to catch up with the other kayakers.  I reminded myself it is about the journey not who finished first.

We had a opportunity to visit with the other kayakers as they reached the end of the lake and then came back down the lake on their return to the public access ramp.     

 Without road access the only camping along the lake is from boat access or brave souls who hike in with backpacks and climb down the steep cliffs.

 The west end of Fish Trap Lake

I always encounter a drive to see what is at the other end propels me to go farther.  Once I have reached the other end.... the return to the starting point is fought to overcome exhaustion.

At long last after 3 1/2 hours, we return to the access point.

We chatted with a few folks and loaded up and headed home.  Once again, I have pushed my social boundaries a bit.  Don't get me wrong, their are still times I will choose to go out on our own or continue at our own pace.  We will definitely join another hike or paddle trip.   

Full time travelers might find as a way to locate great hikes in an area or join up with others in a area they are visiting.  In any event it certainly is a way for part time travelers to connect with others who share the outdoor life they love.  It will be fun to meet up with folks we like and share activities we love.

I guess you can teach an ole gal new tricks!



  1. I joined that group when I was living in San Diego, but I never did do any of the activities. I guess I'm worse than you are. I used to check the activities, but nothing "grabbed" me enough to venture out. Sounds like you're doing well, and that was a nice outing. :)

  2. I'm not into large gatherings either. So I think you are doing great. Looks like a nice trip up the lake and back. Loved the rock formation.