Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Things happen

I don't get it sometimes - why things happen, when they happen, and how they happen.  I have a great deal of false pride when it comes to taking care of my yard.  I replaced the lawn six years ago and still meticulously dig the dandelions out, fertilize the grass at all the right times, water this grass profusely in the Lewiston heat, and pay someone to mow and trim for me.  Well, this past week, when it was 101 degrees for three days in a row, things started happening....

I first noticed on Wednesday afternoon that I had low water pressure.  I thought to myself, "surely the City of Lewiston is flushing out some water lines."  Well, the pressure was still low after dinner so I walked around my yard, turned the sprinklers on, scoped out all the corners of my basement, and could find no obvious evidence of water leaking.  There was not enough water pressure to pop up the sprinklers, so I knew something was seriously wrong.  But was it my sprinkler system or the city's water meter, or the line from the meter to my house???  I called John and he told me to call the city first and they could probably find out where it was leaking.

Sure enough, on Thursday morning, it didn't take long for the city worker to determine there was a leak.  "Your water meter is spinning out of control," he told me.   He said he was going to get another employee to help him determine where it was.  By the time he called me back in less than an hour, he said, "we found your leak and your son in law, John, was here and he's going to fix it for you."  So, I went about my business making Raspberry popcorn all morning, just checking in at home around 1:00 PM, only to discover John had taken the day off to dig a big hole and repair the leak in an old galvanized pipe.

It was over 100 degrees so I thought it was quite clever of John to remember the canopy!  I swear he had a dig a hole deeper than himself to repair the leak.  I probably should find out about replacing the whole line because it's been faithful for over 70 years, but can't last forever!!  I don't want to worry about the galvanized pipe giving out while I'm on my next vacation, or in the middle of winter.  Stay tuned....

Thursday night I ran the sprinkler through the entire cycle and again on Friday morning, as usual.  Good thing because nothing got watered on Saturday morning.   What the????  I think my Toro Vision II controller is dead - it must be 15-20 years old.  I found the manual online and it was guaranteed for kist two years.   I tested the outlet, even bought some new fuses, but the little red lights refuse to light up.  I guess it's tired and worn out.

So today, my yard looks like this...  I think John did a marvelous job considering the heat, paying attention to the sprinkler lines, and cutting the sod and then patching it back together.

No more perfect grass...  I actually had to get out the water hose and sprinkle it the old fashioned way.  My lord, we are so spoiled by our automatic sprinkler systems!  It takes a lot of energy to haul the hoses around and get the sprinkler just right!
And tomorrow morning I'm calling Clearwater Sprinkler and telling them to install a new controller!

I actually feel grateful for many things as the week enfolded.  The main line leak happened during the week, I was home, and John overheard his city co-workers discussing my problem on the radio.  I'm grateful the ground had been soaked by the galvanized pipe leak and needed very little water over the weekend.  And the temperature is much cooler today so I'm quite certain everything will survive until a new clock is installed.  

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Hiking Fish Creek Meadows, NezPerce National Forest

It was a perfect day to leave the hot temperatures of the valley and drive to Grangeville - guaranteed to be at least 10 degrees cooler.  Twelve brave souls packed lots of water and drove seven miles past Grangeville on the road that also goes to Snowhaven, the local skiing and tubing hill.

The trails begin at this pavilion, which we hoped would be free for us to enjoy our lunch after the hike.

These hikers are serious about getting to their destination so I rarely stop to take pictures because I have to balance my poles, get the camera out, yada yada.  But, I did manage to take a picture of some Indian Paint Brush.
We also found huckleberries!  I'm quite sure I picked berries in this area when I was a child.  Mom and Dad were not campers, nor did they spend much time outdoors unless it was working in the garden.  But they both loved to pick huckleberries and we spent every Sunday in late July and early August picking berries near Fish Creek Meadows.  I don't know if there if there were hiking trails and campsites there in the l950's.  All I cared about was getting the silver dollar my Dad promised me if I'd pick a bucket full.  Gosh, it took a long time and I tried to be careful so I wouldn't spill the precious berries.

Donna, a new friend who moved here from Arizona didn't mind lagging behind because she was determined to pick enough berries for muffins.  I told her picking berries was a separate trip to Grangeville, but she never gave up and I'm sure those muffins were worth the effort!

The multi-use trails lead us to a Cross Country Ski Cabin and Marie said people truly use it in the wintertime.

Our hiking guides told us we were looking  at the Gospel Mountains or was it Buffalo Hump?  
Who cares the name of the view - it's just awesome and worth the tired feet!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Hiking the Giant White Pines

I joined the Lewiston hiking group for a great hike near Harvard, Idaho.  We began our hike from the Giant White Pine Campground.  It was a beautiful summer day - not too hot and 22 of us met near the top of the trail, close to the former North South Ski Bowl lodge.

 There are lots of different trails from this campground and our scouts planned a 6 mile hike for us.

 Unfortunately, when we got to this vista we were so in awe of the view that we got off the trail and had to pratically get on our butts to get down to the US Forest Service Road.

When we did get back to the trail we found Huckelberries!  Ripe ones.

 There were several teachers in our group and they all knew about the Idaho State Champion White Pine tree that had to be cut down in May of 1999.

 One of my favorite things about hiking is meeting new friends.  I did know Sue (above, left).  Her mother lived at Juniper Meadows for years and Sue is also in a Cursillo 4th Day reunion group.  And Sue knows Margey and Alida from Moscow.  Alida delighted all of us with her wonderful stories about her pet goats....

 And this sweet lady, Barb, said to me, "Are you a Kopczynski?"  Well she and my sister, Connie, taught school together years ago at St. Mary's in Moscow.  We talked a lot about my dear sister and how much fun she is to be with.  She and Barb both talk about retirement, even though they love the children, the demands of the job sometimes sap their energy and enthusiasm.  So, once again my physical body got a good workout and my soul refreshed by the stories of faith of the people I met on this hike.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Happy 17th Birthday Bradleigh

How could Bradleigh be 17 years old, already?  We enjoyed a nice, quiet, and cool lunch at Rooster's Landing today.  I found it heartwarming and special to spend time with her.  She's definitely comfortable in her own introverted, no-teenage drama skin.  I did not know the best thing about being 17 is being able to go to an R-rated movie without an adult.   She saw"Heat" last night and I asked her if the F-word language so prevalent in the movie is really the way people talk.  "No, grandma, they just add it to the movie to sell more tickets."  Good to know.  She chatted about whether or not to play volleyball, how to figure out the Canadian money exchange, and the anticipation of her trip to France next spring.   Ah, the perspective of life in the eyes of a 17 year old - so refreshing, yet wise.  For example, there's an app for money exchange - our $1.00 is $1.05 Canadian.  She's curious about all kinds of things Canadian because her family is traveling to Vancouver at the end of the month for their summer vacation.

Her Mom and Dad surprised her with tickets to a Justin Timberlake Concert while they are in Vancouver!  Duane and I gave her some left-over Euros from our recent trips to use while she's in France.

A favorite Bradleigh frown!
Her friend and neighbor, Katie, enjoyed the birthday party with us!
These two have been BFFs and neighbors for 10 years!
I had my IPAD with me today so she could help me get the Instagram app installed on it.  There was no WiFi at Roosters so we sat outside Starbucks while she patiently figured it out.  "You already have it, Grandma.  Now it's loading."  She thought she helped me with it at Christmas time.  Of course I couldn't remember my username or password.....  I finally told her she didn't have to hold my hand through the whole process.  I thanked her and asked if she ever wondered what her grandkids might have to show her when she's my age.  She responded,  "I just know that it's important for me to keep up on all kinds of technology so that doesn't happen to me."  

Bradleigh, you are the love of my life....

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Fourth of July

Duane and I drove to Greencreek early on the 4th and joined Don and Dena for breakfast.  They had spent the night at the Inn at the Monastery and planned to enjoy all the prairie events, including Border Day's parade and the rodeo.
We were greeted by my sister-in-law, Ella, and a former neighbor, Mitzi.  When I introduced to Mitzi to Don, she said, "My you've grown up."  Mitzi and her first husband, Ralph, lived across the street from us in a mobile home.  Ralph died early in their marriage and Mitzi eventually married Dr. George Imhoff and moved to Ferdinand.  I had the privilege of caring for her dad, Andy Lurwig, while I worked at Grangeville Care Center in the mid 1990's.  
I loved the breakfast, especially all the homemade bacon and sausage!  We greeted classmates and parents of our classmates, including Irma Tacke, who celebrated her 82nd birthday.  She looked and acted like a giant sparkler.  I love that woman!
Don, Dena, and I spent time visiting with Erin and Dave Shears who live in our family home.  She said, "We love it."  He said, "I'm still trying to figure out the wiring system and what all those little red lights mean."  They are almost finished with the remodel of every room.  They tore out the wall between the kitchen and living room and invited me to come and see how nice it looks.  I don't think I'll do that because I prefer to remember everything the way it was....
Don and I did a lot of reminiscing about the the Greencreek Hall.  It was the high school gymnasium at one time.  When the school districts consolidated in 1961 several town fathers decided the teenagers could use it for roller skating.  I attended lots of weddings and dances here too.  Duane and I walked up to the "stage" and noticed all the graduating class pictures adjorning the walls that once served as the kitchen.  He took a lot of pictures and commented to someone that he'd never seen the high school pictures of his Wessels aunts and uncles.
Mary Jean's class of 1958
Roy's class of 1960
The last graduating class of 1961 had only five students.  Perhaps it was time to consolidate the school district.  The locals were angry and most Greencreek teenagers ended up at St. Gertrude's instead of the Cottonwood Public High School.
We climbed up a hill near the highway to get a glimpse of an old railroad trestle and the gorgeous canola fields.

Duane set up his tripod to get the elevators and the canola! 
We also attended a concert in Pioneer Park.

After a BBQ at the O'Shaughnessys, the boys put on a fireworks show for us in the comfort of their backyard, but we felt the urge to join the other crazy people at CHS for the real show.  The had to park illegally, but managed to watch the show and endure the traffic jam getting back home.

God Bless America!!  How thankful I am for our freedom and the opportunity for a family celebration in the middle of the summer.