1978 Cherokee

I don’t know why but I wanted a 1978 Cherokee. “FSJ” in Jeep parlance. (Aaand I know way more of this language than I ever thought I would).

Forrest sort of laughed at me and said, “Someday.” I don’t think he expected that “someday” would be this soon. Turns out Blaze bought one and wanted to sell it. And it has ended up in my possession.

And thus my lovely, ridiculous, fun, but completely impractical vehicle:

The Importance of Blue Highways

F and I (and Sprocket) have done our share of road tripping. We’ve had boring days on the road, stressful ones, action packed ones, and the elusive blissful travel days. I’m starting to come to the conclusion that the blissful travel days really aren’t all that elusive, it’s the ability to put all the necessary ingredients together that’s a bit tricky but not elusive.

I alluded to this yesterday but this weekend we stuck to Forest Service Roads, county routes, and minor state highways a lot of the time and it was awesome. It’s just a wayyy better way to actually experience a place rather than passing through it. Have a good travel partner, only a general destination, avoid interstates (and major highways), explore, don’t be afraid to talk to locals, and take a walk or hike…you’ll have an awesome trip

Anyway, we left Thursday after work heading for Pendleton, Oregon. We took the interstate and Highway 395 because, well, sometimes you just need to get out of town, fast. We arrived in Pendleton ready to have dinner and sample some beer at The Prodigal Son Brewery. Unfortunately, they were over at the Oregon Brewers Festival and were closed. Instead we went to The Great Pacific and ordered a pizza and pints of Beer Valley Brewing Co. (Ontario, OR) Leafer Madness Imperial Pale Ale and Terminal Gravity (Enterprise, OR) IPAWe enjoyed them at an outdoor table with Sprocket curled up on our feet; what a perfect start to the weekend. (By the way, the pizza and the beers are all recommended.)

Cruisin’ in the Blues

Continue reading “The Importance of Blue Highways”


We saw a bear today! It was only the first one we’ve seen since moving here (and the first one I haven’t seen from inside a car).

Again, not my picture as I was not fast enough with the camera. I barely squeeked out “Bear!” and then immediately moved to make Sprocket get on the quad. By that time, it was gone.

Good size though!

Continue reading “Bear!”


The plan Monday was that I would come home and do a second coat of paint in the bedrooms. After I worked an hour and a half of overtime that didn’t sound very good to me so I talked Forrest into taking a quad ride to investigate how high we could get.

The answer to how high, was higher than last week but not high enough (our cabin is JUST over the ridge…). BUT we did spot a doe and her two tiny, tiny fawns. They must have only been a day or two old!

Not my picture but they realy were this tiny!

P.S. Sprocket was awesome! We’ve been trying to teach him to sit when he sees a deer/elk/animal so he won’t scare them away or get hurt. He stopped when the quad stopped, sat when we told him to, and loaded up on the quad so we could pass by without disturbing them too much. Momma Doe was angry enough to see us without Sprocket getting close!

Nerdy Snowmelt Goodness

I’m pretty much a nerd.

A chemist by education (and now trade!), I’m a well rounded nerd. My nerdiness is not constrained by any given field. There’s a structural geology textbook on my desk (which I really want to get back to reading), someday I’ll have amassed a seriously awesome local history library, and I do thinks like make spreadsheets of our cabin expenses (we bought the place in partnership with Forrest’s brother and need to keep track of who spent what). It goes way deeper than that and I’m sure those who know me could continue to make lists of how absurdly nerdy I am (baseball stats!, geography!, NPR!) but you get the idea.

This morning, geeking out met melt-damn-snow-melt. And this is what I found:

I love the National Weather Service. Melt rate in inches per hour? Sweeetttt!

(Less sweet: snow water equivalent at Lookout is 329% of normal for June 2nd. Melt snow, melt!)



75.567 Acres

I am officially the (part) owner of 76 acres of beautiful Northern Idaho. Putting aside the little bit of panic instilled in me by watching my debt total jump a little bit, it is just too too wonderful. (And the debt thing? I know lots of people that have more student debt…and I have a house, a cabin, and LAND.)

I was grabbed by the obsessive research fairy yesterday night and spent hours feverishly researching “the Cooney group.” I’m beginning to believe that we have a very interesting and unique piece of land. As late as 1969, it’s ownership was labeled as “Cooney” in a sea of Day Mining, Inc. holdings. It is clearly recognizable as our property. (Our map obsession has lead to us being able to pick out groups of claims by their shape…this shape is ours.) As late as 2006, it is shown as a hole in Hecla’s subsurface rights empire (Hecla completed their purchase of the mineral rights approximately one month before our purchase so there will be no more picking out Fourth of July, Arlington, Nevada, and Mississippi on mining maps).

That somehow, among all the mining and the takeovers and the sale of claims somehow our four would remain the “Cooney group” is simply amazing to me. I became more than a little immersed in the history of the whole mining district last night. I feel there will be a kick ass coffee table book at the cabin someday.

Originally posted on the blog: Evergreen Rambles.