Saturday, November 3, 2018

August 2018- Forest fires and road trips.

And we end another summer defined by forest fires and their attendant dangers and restrictions.  Most of these areas are in dire need of serious thinning and logging. The lack of maintenance leaves them overfilled with fuel that makes the fires burn hotter and longer, spewing tons of ash into the air and sterilizing the soil. To complicate things, access is severely restricted due to closed roads, many of which are now overgrown and almost inaccessible.

This shows the location and size of the Ten Mile Fire soon after it began.
Note the blue square with the circle around it.

This map is larger showing fires on the west side of the Lake Koocanusa as well as the fire in the photo above.  Note the location of the blue square and compare the extent of the fire zone around the original fire and now several smaller fires.  We live near the blue square.

This is the inset to the map above showing more detail of the Sterling Complex and Ten Mile fires.  The blue square is circled.

We had some business to do in Libby and while there took some time for Scott to play at their water park.  It was a nice break for him during the hot day.

I don't remember what was so interesting for the dogs but they sure are in agreement that it's worth watching!

The smoke along Lake Koocanusa.

I was asked to check out a hot zone spotted by satellite the night before.  It's located in the blue square on the map above. The dog and I hiked in to look for evidence of fire. (None found.)

Lots of bears in the area this year.  I should have put something down for a size reference. I was armed with my 357 Magnum just in case.  A lot of wildlife has been displaced by the fires.

A small lake in the blue square (State land) near the hot spot.

Oregon (wild) grapes.

This is what I was hiking through.  There was no trail over the boggy ground. I tend to avoid this area because you can hear water running underground in many sections of it.

On the way back out Rose tangled with a skunk with predictable results.  She rolled in the grass and dust trying to get the smell off.  She also rode in the back of the truck on the way home!

We headed south to Nevada to do some hunting.  I drew an out-of-state license for the archery mule deer season. (Didn't get one but it was still a good hunt.)  I believe this is at Twin Falls, ID.

Scott relaxing on one of our stops.

One of our favorite rest stops.  There's a creek flowing through behind the camper.  If it's late enough we spend the night there (we did this time).

We went through multiple construction zones and in one of them someone threw a rock up that broke the side window on the pickup.

It's kind of a shock when the window basically shatters at 50 MPH.  It took a week to get the parts and a 300 plus mile trip to pick it up.  I put it on myself so it cost us less than $60.00 plus gas to fix it.  Gotta appreciate EBAY and the USPS.

One of our camp sites in Nevada. 

Poor Scott!  His school work follows him wherever we roam!

One of the peaks I was on while hunting. 

Looking down!

More scenery.

Another stopping point!

I hiked back in here.  The four-wheeler is down the canyon a ways. The top of the mountain to the left is where a fire went through.  The orange color is fire retardant dropped from a plane.

Looking the other direction up the canyon.  There are springs everywhere (that's why some of the trees and brush are bright green).

More scenery.

That's an old mine in the center.  I was on the ridge in the distance where the first photo of the four-wheeler was taken.

It was a long ride to the top on the four-wheelers.  Buttercup loves taking trips on them.  It was getting late and we had about 15 or so miles to go down a winding road to get back to camp. It was definitely dark when we got there!

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