Thursday, October 31, 2013

Treats NO Tricks

Halloween has always been one of my favorite Holidays.  

Spook waiting for the fun to begin

Maybe it's the kid in me but I have always enjoyed getting ready for all the fun of the day.

I have always decorated the yard even when we lived in the country and had few Trick or Treaters.  It was just part of the fun.  But these days I  am not interested in creating a new stash of stuff.  It was too hard to get rid of everything!

Hailey cut the Jack-O-Lantern the old fashioned way with a knife.
So my decorations are slim since I downsized and dismantled my house and decoration stash.  But the fun continues in new ways with new memories.


Hailey and I went for a walk around the neighborhood.  I think I like this neighborhood.There are some spooky neighbors!!


Hailey posing around the  HOOD....


                                                   Hailey and Missy are ready!!

The reason for the season

The Candy is ready for treaters.....


The neighborhood

Hope you had a SPOOKYWEEN !!


Monday, October 28, 2013

A Long Winters Sleep...

A long day of rearranging, cleaning, repairing and getting Loila ready for her long Winter Nap.  I have been procrastinating getting it done and I haven't wanted to see the end to summer fun.  But life marches on.....ready or not.  I am resolved that the fun isn't done, just summer.

You may recall that the end of August we had a freak accident where the spare tire dropped out of it's place under the truck bed and spun up and damaged the rear passenger corner of Loila.   We were lucky that my little truck and trailer didn't flip!   The damage went up the corner for about 5 feet where the corner had pulled away.  Of course I was heart sick!!

Here is a pic of the damage that was done. 

The corner was dry rotted so more than the apparent damage needed to be done. 

I took it into have an estimate for damage repair.  The estimate came in at $2700.  Needless to say, that wasn't an option.

So in desperation I took it out to my neighbor to gather idea's as to what could be done.  He thought that we might be able to repair the damage.... maybe not perfect but safe and watertight.  Ryan has great tools and know-how and he puts up with my feeble attempts at learning, so it looked like it was a go for repairs.  We had a game plan.

There is a trailer repair and salvage business about 35 miles away.  I was able to order the metal corner pieces and gather all the odds and ends needed for the repairs.   While we were at it, we took apart the opposite corner to check for dry rot (it was fine) but decided to replace the corner metal trim so that both corners would match.  I was in charge of scraping all the old caulking and appyling the new waterproof caulking.  A very messy job an I was covered to my elbows in the yucky sticky stuff!! Very little money for the update.

TA DA......

Luckily the kitty door wasn't damaged.  (the cost for the materials were $87).  After tossing money back and forth I was able to get Ryan to accept $100 for his help and expertise.  His help was worth far more to me than the money and I am grateful beyond words that with his help and after about Humpty Dumpty is back together again.

Now, there is no more delaying it.... it is off to storage for a long winters nap.  

Procrastination aside, I was also worried about getting Loita into her narrow little bed.  I was lucky, Lolita's roomate behind her wasn't put to bed yet, so I was able to squeeze her into her spot between the support beams with 6 inches to spare on each side.
  I would never been able to back her in there....

Loita is safely under cover on a fenced storage lot with managers living on site.  I can't wait for the camping adventures to begin next spring.  I will miss you, Loila, but I can still come and play!!

Never fear, tho.... The adventures will continue...

 We'll be day trippin... as much as weather will allow.

~Happy Trails ~

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Happy Trails ~ The White Pine Scenic Byway

I'm settling in to my current life.  School, family life in a three generation household, pets, groceries and are the five days a week routine.  I have been walking everyday to build up endurance and make sure that I am surrounded by beauty and nature.

When the weekend comes, I am ready for some adventure.  

Something magical happen when I slide in behind the wheel and take off for parts unknown.  On this day I headed out with a general destination in mind.  I love most the the feeling of freedom when I am totally open to discover what ever the place has to offer.

With a fall nip in the air we headed East along I-90 into Idaho.  We headed further west into the mountains hoping to see the fall colors as they were beginning to change.
( )

 As we turn off of I-90 south onto the White Pine Scenic Byway we are surrounded by majestic mountains on all sides and travel in deep valleys carved by rivers and lakes.  

The road winds among mountain meadows where farmers and ranchers have made there mark with in the scenic mountains.

Around each bend of the road is one scenic vista after another.   It is an all day trip with many stops to soak up the scenery.   We had our lunch at this scenic river stop. 

There is a 72 mile Rails-To-Trails bike trail along much of the route we are traveling. (For More information on this scenic bike trail - ) The Trail of the Coeur 'Alenes, is a non-motorized asphalt bike trail that crosses the picturesque Panhandle of North Idaho.   With multiple trailheads it is an ideal place for families to get out in nature and bike portions of the trail at a  pace that suits the individuals.

How can you not love the gorgeous scenery along the Coeur d'Alene River?

At the far end of Couer' dAlene Lake, connected by 2 rivers  and several lakes is the town of St Maries, Idaho.

A wonderful city park has many Historical Markers that tell the story of the early logging efforts and local history.  (There happens to be a local pizza parlour across the street if you are in need of food.)

The townsite was selected by Joseph Fisher, just southwest of the confluence of the two rivers, to provide a good place for a sawmill, first built in 1889. The rivers and lake systems provided rapid transportation systems for floating logs to the mills and utilizing steamboats to transport finish products to markets. From the city, the St. Joe River flows west, through several lakes and into the south end of Lake Coeur d'Alene.

A statue of John Mullan sits prominently in the center of the Park.  With the labor of 200 hired men and soldiers, and more than two years of toil, Mullan blazed a 611-mile trail through dense forests, over mountains, and across marshlands and raging rivers. When completed in 1862, the Mullan Military Road became the first wagon road to traverse the Rocky Mountains into the Inland Northwest, opening the Northwest to further settlement.  The original Mullan Road passed eight miles north from the this marker.

Willamette Donkey Steam Engine

The Donkey Steam Engine (powered by wood or coal) was used by loggers to move logs to the river banks and then down the rivers and lakes and then moved to markets.

It is said, "Logging made this town."
                    It is still true today.

We followed the River on down to the Lakes at the south end of Coeur d'Alene Lake.  

The Highlight of the trip was the water foul along the river and Chatcolet lake shore.
I have never seen nor heard so many birds all in one place in their natural element.
  I have enclosed but a few of the best pics.  


The birds went on along for miles and miles along the shoreline.  We stopped at vista after vista for more pictures.


Two Lakes open up from the St Joe River,  Chatcolet and Round Lakes.  Several campgrounds in the area had us snooping for future camping possibilities.   

The Coeur d'Alene Bike Trail, which we left many miles back at lunch, followed  the lake edge to the end of the Lake where 3 lakes converge.  The old train trestle which spanned from the East side of Coeur d'Alene  Lake crosses to the west side of the Lake where it joins LAKE Chatcolet and Round Lake. 

Today the bikers cross over the expanse of the lake and up and over the trestle to the west side of the lake and on to the end of the trail at Plummer, Idaho.
It is quite a site and a real thrill to ride the expanse across the lake.

As usual, No tree or stump to go unconquered.

The beauty and serenity of the White Pine Scenic Byway is such that I could travel its roads and see something different each time.  New experiences can happen in familiar places if we but open our eyes and hearts.  White Pine Scenic Byway, I shall see you again.

I pause and wait for the sunset.

With the beautiful sunsets reflection, I pause for a time of personal reflection.

While I'm not exactly where I planned to be at this point in my life
journey, I'm discovering that my happiness is not dependent upon my life being as planned.  Rather, my happiness seems more about finding peace, gratitude and adventure in each day.  I am finding living deliberately and embracing the blessings in each day brings me this happiness.  I don't know what tomorrow will bring.  I'm unwilling to postpone living today.  Today I can't live the full time life I planned for but I remain ready for that day and I'm living the life of adventure full time today.

~ Happy Trails ~

Friday, October 18, 2013

Ordinary Days....Extraordinary Moments

Autumn's Last Blooms

Thursday have become one of my favorite days as I take my Granddaughter to an early morning appointment at 8:00 AM.   I am out of the house at an early hour and I make the most of every second.

A perfect sunrise

I have been touring the city sites and often a quick trip to my favorite, Trader Joe's to check out the newest arrivals to add to our pantry.

Fall flowers are fading and next will be brilliant falling leaves.  I really do try to make the most of this time of year as winter does seem to go on forever in it's dreary grayness.

Autumn Reflections

Fall's Last Harrah

Party leftovers
I'm confused, Is it Spring or Fall?

What a beautiful place for a quiet moment or a secret tea party.

I am fortunate to have many places to retreat when I need to to fill up an empty inner spot. 

What kind of places do you go to when you need to replenish yourself?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Bumblebee Meadows - Returned to Past Glory

The Northwest has it's share of people who love to get out in the wild.  Meaning no campgrounds... rules, fees and services.   National Forests currently provide a way to merge the two groups of people if we don't use them to death.

Bumblebee Meadows is just such a place.


There is a National Forest Campground in the Northern Idaho Panhandle named of Bumblebee Campground.  It operates on a reservation system which works well for the planning type of camper.  It is such a popular campground that it is reserved almost all summer long but it has no access to the creek or river.

Just down the road within 3 miles there are several other boondocking spots had are great spots for camping along a creek including Bumblebee Meadows.

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But it hasn't always been this way. Prior to 2007 this wonderful spot was literally used to death.  Years of camping use also acculturated years worth of garbage and filth left behind. 
If you want to check out more about this transformation check out this article. 

 The massive cleanup provided a second chance for this popular spot.

The changes are remarkable.  

We checked on Bumblebee Meadows to see how it has fared these past few years.   It is a beautiful spot with a camp host and pit toilet.


The deep forest provides a canopy of green to shelter  from the blazing sun and the best part is it is FREE, FREE, FREE.

 It is a short drive to a popular shallow river perfect for a float trip on a hot summer day.  Weekends are busy times on the river.

But now, summer heat has slipped away and fall is edging into view. The nearby creek providing the  sounds of babbling water for moments of quiet solace  and the rustling of drying leaves.

While it can be a busy place on weekends during the summer, fall finds it quiet and peaceful.  Later in the Fall, it becomes busy again heralding the arrival of hunters with ATV's and the smokey camp fires of hunting camps. 

We always enjoy checking out the little trails to the nearby creek.  And as always we go for drives to explore the nearby areas. 


We don't even mind an occasional sprinkle....
It is all good.

 We were so pleased to see condition of the meadows being maintained.  It speaks to the appreciation campers have for this area. It is my hope that future campers continue to maintain the beauty of this place for all to enjoy.

We break out our garbage bags and add our efforts to maintaining the meadows for future campers to enjoy.  I don't understand people leaving behind garbage when they have been privileged to enjoy the beauty of such a place.  So we practice the Pack it Out principal and add their garbage to our bag and off we go.


On the way home we pass one of my favorite spots.... The Snake Pit was a colorful local place to eat, sit in front of the fire, play pool and visit with locals.   The long time previous owner passed away last year and this great place sits empty waiting for it's next owner.  It could be you!!