Fishing on the North Fork

I went fishing along the North Fork of the Clearwater with Tyler and Dan, two graduate students in the department. Unfortunately, it was a short trip, leaving Thursday morning and returning late Friday afternoon, but that's just how the timing worked, and it was a much needed getaway for all of us. We camped at Kelly Forks campground, luckily snagging…

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Float Trip 2012

View Float Trip 2012 in a larger mapEvery year, the graduate students from the University of Idaho's biology department embarks on a float trip on the Snake River. It's an annual tradion that carrys on well before my time. Actually, I'm not sure when the tradition began. In 2010, the float trip was held shortly after I arrived in Idaho.…

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East Peak

There are many peaks in the Wallowas that top 9000 feet, so East Peak might go unnoticed if it weren't so easily accessible. It turns out that I'm not the only one who thought to use the Wallowa Lake Tramway to cover the first 3700 feet of elevation, reducing the climb to the peak to 1300 feet. This hike is…

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Lookout Mountain

Everytime I'm up on Grandmother Mountain, I look to the east and see the bald dome of Lookout Mountain rising over the Marble Creek drainage and I long to stand on top and look down from the other side. Finally, with my parents and sister visiting, I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to try out this trail. There…

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Wallowas

The final chapter in the visit of the in-laws consits of a visit to one of my favorite mountain ranges. There are many spectacular mountain ranges in the country, but I happen to have a fondness for the Wallowas in northeastern Oregon. Perhaps its because they're the closest mountains of their kind, or because they truely are a spectacular gem.…

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Return to Freezeout

Any time someone visits us, their stay would not be complete without a trip to Elk River and Freezeout Saddle. We were limited in our acitivites because one of our guests were not fit for any major hiking, but luckily, we have options for that. So Sunday, we took an easy morning and headed out mid-afternoon for some local adventure.…

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Freezeout

The heatwave has hit the northwest. Today's temperatures on the Palouse rose into the high 90's, and tomorrow it may break 100. I wanted to hike so I can get in shape for backpacking next month, so I thought I'd take the dogs up to Freezeout Saddle and hike to Grandmother Mountain. But when I got up there, it was…

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Elk Butte

Ever since I first visited Elk River during my interview trip in February 2010, I had a desire to get to the top of Elk Butte. After all, who could resist a lookout tower boasting 3000 foot views? The only problem was finding a suitable way to get up there. While the maps show a road to the summit, descriptions…

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Perkins (Morris) Cedar Grove

  I think I've mentioned before that there are a number of cedar groves, stands of old-growth Western Red Cedar, nearby. I've already posted about the Hobo Cedar Grove out near Clarkia and Grandfather Mountains. Several times I've been to the Giant Cedar out near Elk River. On our way into Idaho when I moved out here, Erin and I…

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Oregon Butte: The Successful Failure

View Oregon Butte - 5/26-27/2012 in a larger map Things don't always go according to plan. Along the journey, you discover new interests or find obstacles that end up providing you with a totally different experience than originally expected. This lesson was hard hit this weekend as we attempted a backpacking trip in the Blue Mountains of southeastern Washington. The…

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A Tale of Two Hikes

I was left home alone this weekend. Erin had gone down to Boise and Ontario, OR for a regional meeting of one of the support groups she attends. She was also taking Lana down to Boise to be transported to her new home with a trainer in Wyoming. So while she was gone for three days, I was in charge…

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Asotin Creek… sort of.

The photo above was taken in February of 2010, my first visit to Asotin Creek. I've been back a couple of times as it is usually a reliable winter hike that is free of snow. I had never gone down in the spring when everything is green, and certainly not in the summer when temperatures can reach the 100 degree…

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Attempting to Snowshoe

This past weekend, we had a nice day on my day off for once. So I took advantage of the sunshine and warm weather to get out and hike. Or so I thought. I've been waiting to take my snowshoes out for a real winter trek, and the timing has been bad. I set my sights on the Gold Center…

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Grandfather Mountain: A pre-winter hike

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Looking back (south) on Grandfather Mountain"][/caption]   I've been very busy with graduate school, and that has put hiking and exploring on hold, but that also has me itching to get out, especially as my days of decent hiking weather grow shorter and shorter. I've been trying to get up to Sandpoint to get in one…

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Eagle Cap Wilderness, Labor Day Weekend

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="The West Fork Wallowa River Valley from the Lakes Basin Trail"][/caption] A year ago this weekend, I set foot in Oregon for the first time and explored one of its most beautiful and least advertised mountain ranges. Last year, we only got a preview of the Eagle Cap Wilderness in the Wallowa Mountains, only able to…

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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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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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