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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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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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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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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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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Skiing

I went skiing for the first time in over five years, and it felt like I never took a break. Erin and I went to Silver Mountain with Tyler, and Travis. Silver is the nearest ski area to Moscow and it's not that bad. When the entire area is open, it's got a vertical of 2200 feet, but we haven't…

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Old Rag

Spring!, originally uploaded by Matthew Singer. In April, I briefly lost my camera due to a bent pin in the card slot. I sent it to Canon for repair and got the camera back in a week's time. Unfortunately, during that time, I had scheduled a hike up Old Rag with Jon, my supervisor at the time. So, after a…

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Oregon

Sunrise, originally uploaded by Matthew Singer. I made my very first appearance in the state of Oregon over the weekend. I'm impressed and hooked. Oregon is a very pretty state, and I didn't even get to see very much of it. My Oregon experience took me to a little known section in the northeastern corner, the Eagle Cap Wilderness Area…

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Grandmother Mountain

Looking West on Grandmother Mountain, originally uploaded by Matthew Singer. This weekend, Erin and I set out for our first hike together in Idaho and we made our first summit together on Grandmother Mountain. The hike to Grandmother Mountain begins high up in the St. Joe National Forest 12 miles out of Clarkia. The entire hike is above 5500 feet,…

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Hiking Deary

View from Potato Hill, originally uploaded by Matthew Singer. I've now been in Idaho for almost three weeks and I'm starting to get settled into my new home. Later I will post about the property and the abundant wildlife that make our place so special. But today, I write about a local hiking opportunity just over a mile down the…

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The Road Trip

Well, we are finally off and on our way to a new life in the middle of nowhere, Idaho. Of course, this trip is not without its share of stories. To begin with, we were supposed to leave Maryland as soon as Erin was done with camp. I gave her until 2:00 and we were pretty much packed and ready…

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Dolly Sods, Revisited

Dolly Sods Meadow, originally uploaded by Matthew Singer. In the fall, I visited West Virginia's Dolly Sods with my parents. The foliage on the blueberry bushes was amazing, but the trees had not yet turned. I was planning to return a week later to backpack through the wilderness area during its peak foliage, but my car broke down and I…

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Mother’s Day

Hazeltop, originally uploaded by Matthew Singer. This past weekend, my mom came to Luray to visit me. We spent Saturday in town at the annual Festival of Spring. Main Street is shut down to traffic and the stores and other vendors set up shop on the street. We spent a good deal of time at the wine tasting area, where…

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Swimming Holes

The Lower Falls on Overall Run, originally uploaded by Matthew Singer. When the weather turns hot and humid, there's no better way to stay cool than at your local swimming hole. Swimming holes offer something that your pool does not: privacy, seclusion, crisp cold water, and no chemicals. That icy mountain stream gets the old heart moving at first, but…

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Big Falls on Overall Run

Big Falls on Overall Run, originally uploaded by Matthew Singer. It's great to have my camera back. Two weeks ago, I bent a pin in the card slot which rendered the camera useless. After speaking with Canon support, I packed up the body and shipped it off to the nearest repair facility. It left FedEx that Monday and arrived at…

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Duncan Knob

View on Duncan Knob, originally uploaded by Matthew Singer. I got up early this morning to hike before the heat of the day. I would have liked to have gotten up earlier to be at the summit for that early light, but I enjoyed what I got. I arrived at my trailhead by 8:00 and reached the summit of Duncan…

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Asotin Creek

The Deep Gorge Originally uploaded by Matthew Singer While we were out in Idaho, we had the pleasure of taking a day and hiking. While the Moscow area was devoid of any snow this year, the surrounding mountains still had a bit of the white stuff, and forget about trying to get to the big mountains. It was winter, after…

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