Saturday, May 18, 2019

I can't believe it's already our 4th week in Lucile! Wow, when did that happen?
After last weeks Rodeo the town has gone back to it's usual, sleepy, pre-summer-season existence although we've been told that somewhere in the next two weeks or so the tourists will start to arrive!
We'll see ..

Here at the 'homestead' James is finally making some progress with the barn, thanks to the arrival of two helpers, Joe and Mike.

Oh, and a few hours of assistance by me, myself and I. 
First time on a tractor: 'I'm not going to do it ... right .. oh my gawd, I'm doing it!'


Fortunately UPS and FedEx have been able to find us to deliver some of the materials.
For one because James put up an address sign, but more so because of the descriptive instruction of  '2 miles north of Lucile, at mile marker 207'. This is rural America, folks. 
The UPS guy, Cody, claimed it was only the 2nd time in 10 years that he had to come up here.
Well, I guess that's gonna change with us, I already started to order groceries from Walmart and some 'stuff' from E-bay!

Talking about ordering .. yes, we can order .. we've got Internet! Yahoo!

The guy showed up last Saturday and it turned out we had to cut down a tree (but it was dying anyway), and he did find a signal, placed the dish and lo-and-behold ... it works!

It's a beautiful thing!
And, even better, 2 days ago the phone arrived to go with it, and ... it also works!
So, we are baaaack, back in the real world, and in the digital one!
I have to say I'm very happy about it. Not having a phone really sucks, and when being without Internet, my world becomes very small indeed!
It also means I now have to start working on our back-logged travel adventures all the way from Melbourne to here. 
It's gonna take me a while because god knows a lot has happened, but I guess I have time, so I'll just do a little bit every day ...

In the meantime, we had some visitors for a couple of days! Mary-Ann, one of Sam's caretakers for the ranch in Joseph, brought down some of his cows and calves ..

They spend two nights in the corrals behind our RV to recuperate from their ordeal of being wrangled up and hauled down the mountain.

It gave us something different to look at from the back window. (And smell!)

Since than they've been given free roam of the hills around us. We rarely see them but every now and than you here some mooing in the distance.
We see cows grazing on impossible steep slopes and we've heard that yes, they do (sometimes) fall down ...

Up until now we didn't have much time to explore the property we're at, so Sunday evening we took out the side-by-side 4-wheeler, and drove to the end of the property in the hills above the house. 

We followed 'Wet gulch', the little stream that runs through it, past the pond (that is apparently stocked with Trout and Bass), and than up a steep hill that gives you a great view of the RV and the house below.

See the RV down there?

We haven't seen much wildlife here as of yet, although we've been smelling a Skunk who must be close to us for days now, but this evening we saw our first Whitetail doe!

At the top of the hill you'll come upon a gate through which you leave the property, after which you end up on a county road that winds it way further through the hills.

When you look down over the edge of the steep hill from here you can see the Salmon River at the bottom of the canyon.

 To the left you look towards Lucile .. 

... and towards the right, in the middle of the picture, is the entrance road to 'our' property.

We'd brought some sandwiches, and enjoyed a little picnic, while watching the sun going down over the mountains around us.

I guess there are worse places to be. We must be pretty lucky after all!

I snapped some pictures of the wildflowers that are starting to bloom. I'd never seen that yellow Paintbrush before and most of the others are new-to-me too.


This next one is a Shooting Star, one that I have seen before, but that was 5 years ago in Montana. Five years! Unbelievable ..

As for wildlife, look what we found in the shop/barn next the RV:

A pair of Screech Owls and their two young! Apparently they come back every year. Sometimes they have as many as 5 or 6 babies!

 Aren't they the cutest? Especially the two chicks!

And, last but not least, our sweet boy turned 16 this Wednesday!
According to Google that makes him around 80 years in Cat-years. Wow!


This is an old picture but he still looks just as handsome!
Happy Birthday Baby ... and many more!

Friday, May 17, 2019


So here we are! Safe and sound in Lucile, ID!
It was a rather eventful drive, with several ups and downs, but we persisted (well, James mostly) and we eventually made it (4/25)!
Phew, I'm so happy!
The drive up from Ontario turned out to be much less harrowing than I thought, there were some inclines and some winding roads but nothing too bad, and the road itself was actually in excellent shape.

The driveway. See the house?
The steepest part of the drive was Sam's driveway, with some bad ruts and bumps, but James put the pedal down and we got it up there.
We're parked in between the shop/barn and the corrals, pretty level and with access to water and electricity. Sewer is a different story but we'll work on that later. 

This is the view looking back from a little up the gravel road behind our RV.
And for this next picture I started climbing up the hill on the left side of us:

A little further up that hill the view gets quite spectacular!

On the other side of the RV is another hill, we're kind of squashed in between them, and when you climb to the top, you can see the mighty Salmon river and Hwy 95, towards Lucile and Riggins in the South.

Looking back towards the RV
Sam and Pat's house is right next to us, in between the road and the RV, with a roomy yard separating us.

Going back down the driveway, past the house, you have Wet Gulch, a small stream after which this Canyon is named, on your left hand.
The apple trees were flowering, and we've been told the apples are delicious (but you might have to fight the bears to get any).


Continuing down the driveway you'll often come across a pair of Quail:


Or you might confuse them with another pair of birds that look much alike, but are actually Chukkars :               


When you keep going down you'll reach the Highway and the river.

That river is the big Salmon River which flows down from    to where it connects with the Snake river, which eventually ends up in the Pacific ocean.

Isn't it beautiful?
Sam and Pat had arrived already a couple of days before us in their RV, and Ronnie and Anita had flown up from Louisiana also, so we got quite a warm welcome when we joined them all.

It didn't take long for the men, joined by Don a local handyman, to get to talking and planning and walking around. James making notes about what to do and where and when ...

Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of the time and dinner we spent together, but it was a fun couple of days in which we got all settled in, and tried to learn as much as we could about the job and our new surroundings.

Talking about those surroundings, this is the road towards Lucile, the closest 'town' to us, about 2 miles to the south on Hwy 95.

There's a one-lane bridge to the other site:Related image

Which we took. Just because we could ..


We drove up the windy, narrow gravel road for a while, but turned back after a few miles since we had no clue where we'd end up. We'll be back when we know more!

We'd learned that UPS and FedEx will deliver at the house, but USPS doesn't, so we actually opened a PO Box in Lucile at this cutest, smallest Post Office that I've ever seen!

Following the river further south you come across the Fiddle Creek Hardware Store. Talking about cute!
To me it more resembles a Trading Post of sorts. 

They sell everything you need and than some. Mostly fresh, seasonal produce, preserves, jellies, pickled veggies, fresh nuts, honey and pies (huckleberry pies!), but also animal feed and plants and potting soil!

The hardware/lumber part is a new section, added only so many years ago, while the produce part has been here forever.
Most of the produce are locally, as in 'on the property', grown and fresh as can be.
James is going to be here often for materials, so I see myself coming back here soon!

Still further south you drive over this bridge, called the Time-zone Bridge. Now here's a funny story!
The time zone boundary in Idaho doesn’t follow a straight path, it snakes along natural features, primarily the Salmon River and right here it creates a weird little pocket of land of Mountain Time protruding into Pacific Time. 
Normally one has to turn the clock forward when crossing a time zone boundary heading east, but here you turn the clock back!

It makes things rather complicated but you'll learn you're way around it. You'll just have to make it a habit to always inquire!
Most people around here go by Mountain time since the main town in the area, Riggins, goes by that. And so does it's Post Office, library, shops, etc.
So even though we're in Pacific Time where we are in Lucile, we'll keep Mountain Time. Clear as mud ..

And than finally, after 11 miles, you reach Riggins, Idaho’s Whitewater Capital!
The 95 goes straight through it, functioning as main street, as does the river. And that is it. Not much more to it.

It is actually a fairly cute town. It has some little bar/ restaurants, 2 coffee shops (yahoo1) that grind and brew their own, a couple of outdoor/rafting stores (rafting is a thing here), a library, a post office, a bank, a decent supermarket and a gas station.
Not too bad. It has a little outdoorsy feel to it, as I said, rather quaint.

And since it was my birthday the day after we'd arrived, we had coffee and pastries on the patio of one of the coffee shops.


Since we don't have any phone service or Internet at our RV (gasp!), we used the coffee shop's WiFi and later the Library's, to check up on e-mail and make some phone calls.

After all that we moved to the Seven Devils Saloon & Steakhouse for lunch. The hamburger we split was exceptionally good :

And the surprise Lava Cake brought to me by waitress Peggy, accompanied by a birthday song, was just heavenly!

That next weekend we were back in Riggins for the Riggins Rodeo.


We attended the Cowboy Breakfast (pancakes with ham and scrambled eggs):

Afterward we went for coffee at our favorite coffee place and than watched the parade go by:

Guess who had the best seat in the house?

This parade was about the smallest and shortest we have ever seen (and the quietest, no marching band or any music!) but everybody had fun!

Of course there was a regally waving Queen. Several actually, from surrounding counties.

And how about this one? They handed out hamburgers! Now that's our kind of float!

Is that a pig?
After lunch we headed to the rodeo grounds:

The place was buzzing!

We watched the calf-roping:

And the barrel-racing:

This girl was only 8 years old!

But the most exciting part of any rodeo is the bull-riding:

Just look at them cowboys go!

We had opted to sit on the hill-side overlooking the grounds, rather than sitting at the bleachers, because that way the sun was at our backs and also not in our eyes.
That was a good call because the sun came down blazing hot all afternoon, we even ended up with a little suntan by the end of the day!

I think that was about everything that happened these first 2 weeks in Idaho, at least, as far as I can remember. We're already 2 weeks in June when I write this!
It helps a lot that I have so many pictures to guide me along.

I'm still working on recording our travels from Florida to here, which is even further back, but I'm sure I'll get it done eventually!