Monday, June 22, 2009

Rain, rain go away...

It's still early, early spring up in the tall mountains... at the lake we were just at, the snow hadn't quite finished melting and the pussy willows were just starting to bloom:

...But in the sagebrush foothills, flowers are blooming like crazy:

Scenes from a short hot-springs hike/backroad near Stanley, ID, with the still-snowy, 10,000+ foot Sawtooth Mountains in the backdrop:

Mary is finally en route to Challis, so I've gotta make this short and sweet. I wish she could've come earlier, because as it is she'll only get to be here for a day and we won't have time to do anything beyond hang out here at Moyer base and drink and play cards. Which is what we usually do, I guess, but I was hoping to get her out to the hot springs or on a hike or something that we couldn't do in Massachusetts... Ah well... coordinating a visit with a cross-country trip in a land of limited cell phone service is a challenge. One of many...

It has been raining here for, oh, the past two weeks straight, it seems. Morale has reflected the weather. People are bummed and complaining about various things, but I guess it just means that the honeymoon phase is over and we're now getting down and dirty and into the work--which can sometimes be tedious. But since the forest service funds us, we're here to do the work that they tell us needs to be done, and overall, I think, they're on our side. They seem to want us to do worthwhile projects and get a lot out of it even though we might sometimes think otherwise--which, I think, comes down to the fact that they're a government agency and therefore have to deal with a lot of red tape and buearocracy in order to get anything accomplished.

Last weekend, I went camping up at this sub-alpine lake at about 8,000 feet that was absolutely stunning despite the rain. There were loons and wolves and beavers and the fish were leaping out of the water left and right, but I forgot my tackle. I managed to snag a couple hooks and split shots from some local guys who were in the area and thought I could dig up some bait, but the snow had barely melted up there and the ground was still partially frozen so the only worms I could find were too small to even stay on a hook. So I got a few casts out, but no trout yet :(
Gotta run--tomorrow I'm leaving to do Visitor Use Surveys at an abandoned mine/ghost town site, a rafting put-in site on the Salmon, and a mountain summit. Then I'm doing natural resources work with timber for a couple days, then more surveys. Write more later.
Happy belated father's day!

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