Greetings once again from the road!
It feels like it has been forever since I have been on an adventure when in reality it has been about a month since I got off of the road and settled down in my new home. I knew coming “home” was going to be difficult after living on the road for nearly seven months of being somewhere new nearly every night. Though I was fairly used to being away from home with a few deployments under my belt but that was a different beast all together, because we still had a home on board the ship. I slept in the same rack every night, there was a stability to it even though it was difficult being away. Living on the road though it was a new sight nearly every night and settling back down to the same house and same bed every night took some adjusting.
This entire experience of settling down has been a unique experience for me, not only was I in a new place I had never really been before but this was the first time I didn’t have a job waiting for me when I arrived.
But that was a month ago…I wanted to share my most recent adventure with you.
Memorial day weekend…a weekend filled with BBQs, baseball games, cook outs, camp outs, fishing, hanging out on the lake the list goes on and on. Well this weekend we partook in such adventurous activities.
Though I am still rather new to adapting to a new place to live one thing I did learn quickly was you have to explore. If you only do the same everyday things then you will never really see or experience where you are living. So with that my husband and I decided that with a four day weekend a head of us we were going to go camping!
Now there was a little creativity that was put into this camping trip, we were a little strapped for cash and had yet to invest in camping gear before this weekend trip. What did we do? Get creative! Since I had experience sleeping in the back of my car I figured that would be the cheapest and easiest solution to our problem. So I bedded down the back of the car, laying down the back seats and piling every blanket and pillow in the house in the back. With the few necessities of food, wilderness weapons and hiking gear we hit the road to Stanley, ID.
It was a bit of a drive to get there but it was one of the prettiest drives I have taken in a very long time, first we drove through fields of green pastures filled with cows or horses, bales of hay stacked as far as the eye could see and your eye is drawn to a green horizon against a blue sky. After about an hour you start to see the green fields disappear in what looks like desert terrain, huge rocks that looks like they were from a volcano splitting the ground with brushes struggling to grow between the rocks. Soon the rocks became hills then we began ascending the hills that quickly turned to mountains. Little did I know we were driving through part of the Rocky Mountains! I don’t know if I remember with all my traveling across the country as a kid if we drove through the Rockies but the sight was one that takes your breath away.
White capped peaks, it is a sight that reminds me of home in Alaska. I felt more alive in those mountains than I had felt in what seemed like years. With a drastic temperature drop from a comfortable 56 degrees to a chilled 30 at the peak of the road. As we descended the mountain the temperature increased again to a cool but wonderful 50! The road lead ever on and on till we came to our destination of Stanley, this town you can tell is only here because of the outdoor travels that come to hike, paddle and explore the Sawtooth National Forest. With the log cabins for businesses and homes alike I leaned over to my husband and said “If you ever wanted a visual of what a more modern or larger village looks like in Alaska it looks a lot like this.”
Finally after hours and hours in the car we were ready to hike a few trails! We picked the Sawtooth Lake Trail and set off on our way. Being surrounded by nature, no sound but the sound of what was around us, little to no people and best of all no cell service…this is the kind of life I enjoy! Hills, trees, creeks, birds, deer, mountains, cool clear mountain air how could anyone ask for more than this?
Our trails lead us over fallen trees, across creeks and as we got higher and higher we noticed that three was more and more snow on the side of the trail. Soon we had to work to find the trail because the snow had covered the path, just when we though we had reached the end of the trail we saw a wide open space covered in snow. An avalanche had not only taken out trail but it had taken out any chance of getting to Sawtooth Lake. After attempting to continuing our climb through the snow we finally had to call it quits when we had exhausted every direction option we had shortly after we decided to go back down the mountain we found out that even if we had made it to the lake it was still frozen!
Finally after a decent 10-mile hike we made it back to the camp site and it was time for dinner. With a warm camp fire built and the setting sun’s light peaking through the last bit of the trees we enjoyed campfire chicken and s’mores. We laid in “bed” with the doors open to the car so we could listen to the night air of the creek behind our campsite bubbling and crickets chirping. We settled in for the night as the light slipped away.
When we woke we had a very chilly surprise, not really thinking about the altitude factor (and the fact we had gone up another 4,000 feet in altitude from what we were used to) we awoke to frozen windows, froze on the ground and below freezing temperatures of 28 degrees! It didn’t take us long before another campfire was made and breakfast we being cooked.
Without anything to do and no where to be we sat and enjoyed the morning as the sun rose the air got warmed by the rising sun and the crackling fire. But before long we had run out of food to eat and it was time to pack up and hit the road.
It was refreshing to be out on an adventure again, it doesn’t take long for this gypsy soul to get restless.
Traveling Photographer Out!