We came clattering into Jackson, Wyoming after banging down a washboard road that passes Lower and Upper Red Rock Lake, and then over Red Rock Pass, a Continental Divide. Coming in from the West gives you an incredible view of the Tetons. We were lucky to have Sam’s good family friends in Jackson and they had a great wood shop that let us give Flicker some TLC. After some days of trailer repair, our friend invited us for a sail on Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park. … Read the rest

Citizen Science

East Fork Blacktail Deer Creek panorama

After our miraculously quick clutch repair, we drove south to East Fork Blacktail Deer Creek. The Blacktail Deer Creek area is just outside of Dillion (which has a Patagonia outlet that has been there at least 25 years). The Patagonia Portland store is one of the best, but it was fun to see all the weird odds n’ends that get sent to the a Dillion outlet.

East Fork Blacktail Deer Creek is a 6,230-acre BLM-managed wilderness study area (WSA) and we were … Read the rest


Sam in cold bath

We were kindly invited to stay at a friend’s yurt in Helena, MT. It was serene, dry and bug-free. Most importantly it had a stocker tank with cold water for fresh dips. It was a lucky break that our clutch broke just as we arrived at the yurt and we were able to overnight there while a kind mechanic in Helena quickly fixed the Subaru. Many thanks to Bob for his hospitality, endless humor and kindness.

Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument

Upper Missouri River Breaks 1
Upper Missouri River Breaks

Our trip to the Upper Missouri Rivers Beaks National Monument coincided with a heat wave, and the day we arrived in Fort Benton the thermometer read 98 degrees. On the upside we were headed to a river!

The city of Fort Benton marks the western and upriver end of the Monument, and is a quiet historic town that seems to embrace both the Monument and River that call it home. Fort Benton has three museums, including a great interpretive center for the Monument.

The … Read the rest


Hwy 12 the proposed megaload route

We left the Wallowas well rested, clean and with a repaired trailer, and we were excited to drive up Highway 12 in Idaho on our way to the Upper Missouri River Breaks.

The Idaho portion of Highway 12 is 174 miles running along the Clearwater, Middle Fork Clearwater and the Lochsa River. Aside from being rumored to be spectacularly beautiful, my interest came from the proposal to truck megaloads of oil refinery equipment (300 tons & 29 feet wide) headed to the … Read the rest

Wallowas & Flicker repair 

Tree swallow

It was almost 10 pm when we left Hanford to drive 5 hrs to Sam’s family place in  Wallowa County. We had planned a layover to spend time with family, but by that time Flicker’s shakedown run was over and there were many repairs to be made. We spent much of the six days patching together and cleaning Flicker. It was a relief to have the tools and time to improve our setup.

It was also great to have some down time with friends and family. … Read the rest

Hanford Reach

Hanford Reach National Monument
Hanford Reach

On a near 100 degree day we pulled into Richland, WA, heading to Hanford Reach National Monument, our first Monument of the trip! Designated in 2000 by President Clinton, Hanford Reach is 195,000 acres along the Columbia River in eastern Washington.

Our first stop was Columbia Kayak Adventures to chat about floating the Monument. They do tours which fill quickly and sound amazing. The next Hanford Reach tour wasn’t until July, so we rented a tandem and they shuttled us to just below the Monument’s boundary. … Read the rest

Retreading North Idaho

Kootenai River valley
Kootenai River valley

After visiting Scotchman Peaks, we headed up to Bonners Ferry, Idaho, (the last stop before Canada) to do trail work with the US Forest  Service. The federal government doesn’t provide sufficient funding for basic maintenance, so the Bonners Ferry Ranger District relies on state grants and volunteers to maintain their 350 miles of trails. Our volunteer trip was a weeklong backpacking trip into the Selkirk Mountains to retread trail along Parker Ridge which is part of the newly designated Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail (an … Read the rest

Will work for wilderness

Scotchman Peak panorama
Scotchman Peak

From Boise we traveled 8 hrs by car to Sandpoint, Idaho, to explore the Scotchman Peaks area and to meet the great people at Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness.

We knew little about the area, so we were looking forward to meeting the Scotchman Peaks’ team. Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness were sponsoring an aid station for a 150-mile charity bike race offering chili dogs, snacks and lots of water, and we were volunteer support for the day. With a Scotchman Peaks banner displayed and wearing … Read the rest

Rock Creek Mine


When the creek jumps out of bed, everybody wakes
When the creek jumps out of bed, everybody wakes

In the months prior to leaving, I happened to watch a House Natural Resource’s Comittee Hearing on the Endangered Species Act. Amoung those testifying was a representative from Heckla Mining Company. He testified on the protracted delays the ESA has caused for the company. Two proposed mines were located in prime grizzly bear habitat, and grizzly bears are protected under the ESA.  The company  representative extolled the extensive mitigation measures the company had committed to, but despite best … Read the rest