Friday when I got home from work, I suggested we head up to the cabin for the evening. We still can’t drive in (what happened to the first week of June?!) but we can get close. Before heading up to the top we took care of a huge mountain hemlock that had fallen across the road.
Up at the cabin, I took a piece of plywood outside and put Sprocket’s blanket on it. Voilà, yoga area! I did the P90X yoga video outside while Sprocket nosed around in the snow and checked out the fresh elk and moose tracks and F started putting together a burn pile for the evening. It felt so good to be outside in the sunshine!
After my workout, we opened the Elysian Idiot Sauvin IPA I’d found in Coeur D’Alene. It was pretty good but not stellar. For dinner I whipped up a cabin special: canned spaghetti sauce garnished with a can of sliced mushrooms and another can of olives. We lit the burn pile and took care of a bunch of limbs and branches that had been laying around as we watched the sunset over Sunset Peak.
Saturday morning we decided to head up Cooper Pass and see if we could go to Thompson Falls, Montana. Unfortunately, there is still a bunch of snow on the road up that way and we didn’t even make it as far as Glidden Lakes before being turned around by now. Instead, we hiked up Military Gulch until the road dipped over into Sonora Gulch which is just below our cabin.
We’re supposed to have people over to the cabin next Saturday. Hope for snow melt!!
F and I traveled to Reno last week for the Northwest Mining Association conference. My boss was kind enough to pay for airfare for F to tag along with me for the week (it was super helpful to have him around!). Most of the week was taken up with conference like happenings of talking about work and careers and products.
Tuesday, we had mostly to ourselves and decided to go on some adventures. (We had a rental car all to ourselves. Even though it was a Kia Rio, not a Soul, occasionally one of us would pop out with “Everyday I’m shufflin'” while driving.) First we headed to Virginia City. Virginia City was the location of the Comstock Lode, the first major silver strike in the United States. The town was founded in 1859 and peaked with a population of almost 30,000 in its 20-year heyday. I love historic towns so off we went.
My mom and I went wedding dress shopping a couple weeks ago and while we were driving down the road in semi-industrial Kent, Washington when mom said, “Oh look, brewery and tap room.”
I immediately piped up with, “Let’s go!” I don’t really think she was expecting this to be my answer. But why would we pass it up? I mean, really?!
Turns out it was Airways Brewing which I had heard quite lovely things about via the beer blogosphere.
I debated ordering a sampler briefly but just decided to order a pint of Sky Hag, their double IPA. Smelled amazing. Tasted amazing. Certified Honest Pint Purveyor (my mom actually bought Forrest one of their imperial pint glasses).
The owner and all the other customers sitting around the bar were really friendly. It was quite fun to chat with everyone (they were all quite astounded that a girl from Tacoma would choose to move to a town of less than 650 people). Definitely a recommended stop if you happen to be wondering around east of I-5 between Tacoma and Seattle.
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) IPA. We 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.)
Connecticut. The name just looks kinda funny. Especially once I had to look at it a few times to make sure I spelled it right. Anyway…
I’ve had quite a relaxing time on my vacation thus far. I spent the 4th of July being silly and ridiculous with Lucy, Franz, Brendan, and Evan in Providence (there might have been some fake tattoo application…in the takeout waiting area of the Chinese restaurant). Last night I enjoyed some yummy beers, Sea Hag IPA (New England Brewing Company, Woodbridge, CT) and Blue Point Pale (Blue Point Brewing Company, Patchogue, NY), while we hung out with one of Lucy’s childhood friends.
Sprocket and I spent last weekend in Wallace, Idaho for a weekend of fun. After getting off of work on Friday I rushed home to pick up Sprocket. We headed west and arrived in Wallace at 6PM (Pacific Time). After talking Sprocket for a little walk, I went to the Smokehouse (6th and Bank Street) for a beer. I tried Wallace Brewing‘s IPA again. After having not been impressed last time, it was much better this go around!
I headed over to the Elks to listen to Rocky Barker (author of Scorched Earth) talk about the date of August 20th in fire history. The talk wasn’t that great and could have used some more organization. The talk was followed by George Sibley’s documentary “Ordeal By Fire.” It was decidedly low budget but really recapped the story of the fire well. It used lots of great historic photographs.
Really tired after the lectures, I headed over to the Brooks Hotel and was delighted to find that their restaurant was open until 10 (we’re talking about Wallace here). It was such a classic cafe–only had one calendar but I think William Least Heat Moon would have been proud. After my chicken and huckleberry crisp, Sprocket and I headed up Placer Creek and went to bed.
I woke up bright and early to a licking dog, brushed my teeth and dressed for the Huckleberry 5K. I drove back down into town and registered for the run. Sprocket and I walked all over town to warm up. I decided not to run with him because he starts to slow down around the mile and a quarter mark and I didn’t really want to drag him along. He went into the Jeep and pouted. I didn’t exactly burn up the course but I did run the 3.2 miles in something like 28:15. I took 3rd in my age group (although there probably weren’t that many people in the group) and got a medal.
I was STARVING after the run and was so so happy to cash in my ticket for huckleberry pancakes. They were so yummy. It was a great way to finish off my run. I headed to the car and gave myself a baby wipe bath and changed. Sprocket and I walked around some more before returning to the car to get my chair. I was super impressed with how well behaved Mr. Sprocket was during the parade. It wasn’t quite the 100 pieces of apparatus they were hoping for but the wild land firefighters, Coeur D’Alene Fire Department Pipe & Drum corps, and the USFS Northern Region pack train were great additions.
Sprocket and I followed the parade over to the visitors center for the dedication. There was a little beagle who really wanted to play with Sprocket (his owner kept forgetting her dog as she was talking to people) which kind of made things difficult, but he put up with the heat and the wait pretty well. The dedication hit all the right notes. Everyone kept their remarks pretty short. The governor’s speech was so politician but I found it pretty inspiring–let’s get to work on biomass in Shoshone County!!! My particularly favorite moment was when Tim Egan told the governor that he needed to stay for his talk. The water drop demonstration was pretty sweet too.
I felt really bad for Sprocket and ran him up 9 Mile Creek Road and let him play in the creek. He was a very happy boy. We explored the area a bit but decided to wait for Forrest–there’s lot to see. We went back to town where Sprocket was kind enough to hang out in the car while I checked out the shops in town (it’s not very often they’re all open at the same time). I was delighted to find that there’s a store that sells wine (with free tastings!), enjoyed poking around the antique stores, looked into the mining museum, and walked all over town.
Starving, I treated myself to a steak at the Jameson Saloon. They have immaculately restored the building to 1890s status, it’s beautiful! My steak was pretty good too. Over at the Elks I was so excited for Tim Egan’s talk. He was such a good speaker. He references all sorts of books and events that have captured his imagination (I have a whole list of things to read more about now) and he’s funny! I had brought my copy of The Big Burn but I left it in the car…and decided to go get it. I waited did wait in line to have him sign it before heading up 9 Mile Creek Road to camp for the night.
Sunday morning, Sprocket and I played our way home over Mullan Pass and checking out Taft Summit. It was a busy, busy weekend in Wallace!
Our morning began with some pretty darn good French toast in the Davis-Flagg household. Post-coffee and breakfast, Katie, F, Sprocket, and I headed for the Middlebury farmers market. It was good to see Middlebury again, I have such great memories of visiting Katie there (and am excited to have started making some with her in Shoreham!). The market was really nice and Sprocket loved seeing little kids who were happy to pet him.
Our next stop was Otter Creek Brewing Company where Forrest and I partook in some beer tasting. The brewer overheard us talking to the bartender and stepped in to pour us our tasters so he could more fully answer our questions. He also opened a couple bottles of their Imperial Series so we could taste them. Once we heard that we might find some of the Imperial Double IPA at the Co-op, we quickly hatched a plan to get some pizza stuff and beer for dinner.
Back at the house, Katie and I rambled the property a bit while Forrest helped Colin’s friend Andy with the T.F.S. (“Towable Field Shelter”). We hung out a bit more and then walked a nice gravel road loop with Sprocket. He loved all the smells everywhere and couldn’t keep himself out of any puddles of water he found. The pizza Katie whipped up (prosciutto, ricotta, and caramelized onions) and she and I enjoyed our bottle of Poet’s Leap riesling from Washington while Forrest tested a Rock Art Extreme IPA. Our evening ended much as it had the night before
We spent a leisurely morning eating blueberry pancakes with maple syrup and talking with Lee and Jim. After breakfast, Jim, Forrest, and I took the dogs down to a beach and let them run and swim. Jim was quite impressed with Sprocket’s swimming abilities. Back at the house, Forrest and Jim took a ride in his 1930 Model A–Forrest was grinning like a little kid. We made lunch and headed for Burlington.
In Burlington we stopped to sample beer at Magic Hat Brewing Co. We went into the brewery and noticed there were several dogs at the tasting bar so I ran back out to retrieve Mr. Wiggles. He was quite happy to be included in the outing even if his people weren’t horribly impressed with the brew. Hitting the highway again, we made our way to Vergennes where we took a look at the falls before continuing to Shoreham.
It was so wonderful to finally see Katie and Colin’s little cottage. We relaxed on lawn chairs in the fields before devouring some yummy hamburgers. Katie even had some Middlebury brewed Wolaver’s Brown Ale to drink. After dinner, the four of us hung out in the house catching up with Sprocket at our feet.