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This story is a continuation of my previous post called Snipe Hunt, regarding our weeklong vacation to central Idaho to celebrate our anniversary, 14 years! Our camping visitors all left leaving Karyn and I to spend the final 4 days by ourselves.
First up on the agenda was a rest day, at least from the bike. We decided instead to go search for wildlife and maybe take in some swimming in the afternoon. We lathered up with sunscreen and bug repellent and set out into some marshy meadows to explore. The mosquitos were particularly thick after our cool wet spring. Near a series of ponds in an old mining area we scared a Sandhill Crane off of his/her nest. We moved back a little hoping that he/she would come back, but it was still unsettled by our presence.
The ponds had quite a few of what we believe to be Northern Leopard Frogs.
We wanted to spend more time, but the Sandhill Crane was intent on getting us out of there. We moved out of the area to leave him/her in peace. We visited some other meadows before heading out for our swim.
The swim plans changed as we approached Redfish Lake, the best swimming lake in the area, although usually overrun with people. There had been a sudden storm the night before in the area, one that folded up our bug tent breaking one of the poles, but didn't seem too bad overall. Apparently the Redfish Lake area was much harder hit. The Forest Service was turning people away at the entrance road. We would visit a few days later to see thousands of trees broken off on the East end of the lake near the lodge. Apparently a wind shear hit that particular area and created a horrible mess. Winds in excess of 60 mph. We returned to our camp and played in the river instead.
We finally gave up the mountain tandem for a day and took out our single mountain bikes. We have had great luck finding great trails by just choosing a random forest trail on the map and trying it out. Of course, we have also found some unridable trails as well. Our adventure today took us up Peach Creek. A beautiful 4x4 road which I was hoping would allow us to connect to some great downhill trails. We reached the trailhead at about 8 miles in. Straight up. We pushed our bikes for a while, but there was no sign the steepness would relent. We turned back and took another spur of the road which later deteriorated into a path and then to nothing but brush. We decided to give up exploring for the day. On our way back down we met a local on a four wheeler. He said that if we had bushwhacked for a quarter mile further we would have gotten onto a good trail. He advised us where to begin on the better trail, which we plan to do at a later date.
The last two days we returned to the mountain tandem riding the Elk Meadows trail and a repeat on the Fisher Creek trail, which is our favorite. We were married on the Fisher Creek trail 14 years ago this month. Elk Meadows was beautiful, filled with wildflowers, winnowing snipes, and lots and lots of mosquitos.
On our final night we chose to have dinner and spend the evening overlooking a beaver marsh in the Valley Creek area. Lots of birds, muskrat, and two frolicking beavers. It was a great night and a great end to the trip.