The Seven Devils

    This past weekend, I had the pleasure of spending three nights in Idaho's Seven Devils. The devils are a series of craggy peaks between the Salmon and Snake river canyons. They rise over 7000 feet above the rivers and offer spectacular views and recreation opportunities, and for about three months of the year, they are accessible to people…

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2010, Volume 2

There's a new book in my bookstore. I finally got around to completing 2010: A Year of Change, Vol. 2. Volume 1 followed the first half of the year as I finished working in Virginia, got married and prepared to leave the eastern United States. Volume 2 continues the journey, starting with a visit to Idaho in February to visit…

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Stevens Lakes

  [caption width="640" caption="Lower Stevens Lake"][/caption]   The hike to Stevens Lakes itsn't particularly hard, but it's no walk in the park either. It's about 2.5 miles and 1700 feet of vertical gain to the upper lake on a well-used and well-mantained trail. It starts off relatively steep and continues to climb steadily for the next mile before levelling out…

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4th of July

The celebration of our nation's independence is a custom dating back all the way to the day the Continental Congress approved and signed the Declaration of Independence. The use of fireworks to celebrate the momentous and historic occasion also dates back to that time. As John Adams wrote to his wife: "The second day of July, 1776, will be the…

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Shoot for the Stars

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="The night sky from my yard."][/caption] Last night, I had some folks over from the photo club for a little get together and fun. We grilled burgers, sat around the fire, and played with our cameras. We were mostly interested in shooting the night sky. I've shot the stars before, but last night might be my…

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Upper Basin Trail

View Upper Basin Trail in a larger map The Upper Basin Trail is a 5 mile loop in the upper basin of Elk Creek just north of Elk River The trail is near the giant western red cedar, thought to be the largest tree in the U.S. east of the Sierra-Cascade crest. The loop is also near the Morris Cedar…

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Bad Ass Sunset

[caption width="640" caption="Fire in the Sky"][/caption] Last night was full of bad-assery. Yeah, that's right, it was so bad-ass that I made up a word to describe it. After a cold spell, temperatures quickly rose into the 80's yesterday making for a hot and somewhat muggy day. The conditions were ripe for evening thunderstorms. As I arrived home, I heard…

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Kamiak Butte

The Palouse, originally uploaded by Matthew Singer. The Palouse is made up of rolling hills covered in wheat and barley fields. This area was historically a prairie, so there were few trees to begin with. A few of these hills rise up well above the rest, remnants of a time when the region was more active volcanically. Kamiak Butte is…

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Hells Canyon

Panoramic View from our vantage point, originally uploaded by Matthew Singer. This story begins with Luke and I itching to get out into the backcountry. Although it's the middle of June, the combination of an unusually cold and wet Spring with the very productive winter has left many of the high country destinations (above 5000 ft.) still buried under 100+…

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Personal Updates

It's been an eventful week, and I should have posted more often, but I've been busy and tired and uninspired to write. So I'll give you the update on the past week, and then some. Last Monday was our actual anniversary, and even though we celebrated the week before with a getaway to Oregon, we still wanted to make the…

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Weekend Getaway, Part III

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="View of the Imnaha River Canyon from 5-Mile Point"][/caption]   Day 3: Canyons [caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Storms over the Wallowas"][/caption] It's a week later and I'm only now getting to the end of our romantic weekend away to celebrate our anniversary. Saturday was our third and final full day in Oregon. Thursday we had a…

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Our Weekend Away, part II

Sacajawea, originally uploaded by Matthew Singer. Day 2 Friday morning, I woke up in time to catch the sun rising over the Seven Devils. I went outside with the camera to catch the morning glow on the snow-capped peaks of the Wallowas as the sun rose in the sky. It was a beautiful morning, and quite warm, even at 6:00.…

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Our Weekend Getaway: Wallowa Country

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640"] View on Puffer Butte, Fields Spring State Park[/caption]   Introduction Almost one year ago, I married the most wonderful girl in the world. Unfortunately, we did not have time to take a nice honeymoon. We spent the night after the wedding at the luxurious Bedford Springs resort, but that was it. Our intentions were to take…

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Home Theater

A few weeks ago, we received our federal tax return, and with the First Time Homebuyer tax credit, we got quite a hefty sum. The bulk of that money is going right back into the property with a few home improvement projects. But we took a small chunk and set it aside to complete the entertainment system. So I went…

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Spring has Sprung

[caption id="" align="center" width=412 caption="Wildflowers on the Palouse"] [/caption] Spring is officially here on the Palouse, as temperatures soar to almost 80 degrees and graduation season is upon us. The University of Idaho had its commencement yesterday, though I did not attend. This marks the end of my first year in graduate school, and so far it has been a…

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The Baby

Mother and Child, originally uploaded by Matthew Singer. We had a baby. And by We, I mean Erin. And by Erin, I mean her horse. Thursday night (Friday morning) around 12:30, we went out to check on Mae and turn in for the night, but we heard groaning and grunting coming from the barn. So, Erin rushed up to see…

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Road Trip: Elk River Scenic Byway

[caption id="" width="500" caption="View over the Dworshak Reservoir"][/caption] Last weekend, we went to Orofino to check out a riding mower that someone was selling. The drive to Orofino is quite scenic, dropping into a canyon, and then climbing back out before reaching Kendrick, passing a few small mountains, and then descending into the big canyon: the Clearwater River. Orofino is…

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Potlatch River

Potlatch River, originally uploaded by Matthew Singer. There is a Forest Service hiking trail about 3 miles due north of our house, though it's about 7 miles to drive there. Still, it's close for those after-work getaways. The trail is a ~5mi. loop along the Potlatch River that takes you along the river and then up to the "rim" of…

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