Friday, July 17, 2009

Anniversary Date

On July 14th, fifteen years ago, Karyn and I were married on a mountain bike trail in central Idaho. Each year we return to the area to play until we can't take any more. This is that week.
Our anniversary day began with breakfast at the Stanley Baking Company. Yes, roughing it in the wilds! Blackberry scones, oatmeal pancakes, a side of sausage, and great coffee. Mmmm! This being our fifth day of riding, we have to fuel up! From there we headed out to the Fisher Creek mountain bike trail. I featured this trail in a previous post. We had to let our breakfast settle, so we spent some time bird and flower watching at the trailhead.
Sawtooth Mountains.
Karyn took this great photo of me at the trailhead. Don't I look like a fertility statue?
Fertility Geek.
On to the ride. The trail climbs gently for a number of miles before hitting a very steep climb. We cleared the hill without dabbing. At the top of the climb we stopped to recover. I thought I had glimpsed a Black-backed Woodpecker here the last time we rode it. I decided to pick up a rock and tap out my best Black-backed drumming impression.
Black-backed Woodpecker Impression.
No luck on a Black-backed Woodpecker, but I did raise the ire of a Hairy Woodpecker. He scolded me from the hill above and then flew closer to defend his honor and his territory. Closer and closer he moved. I had not repeated the drumming, be he seemed to know the exact tree the sound had come from. He moved to within 15 feet, looking for the intruder. We left him in peace, still puzzled about our identity.
After the first tight and twisty downhill section we arrived at the meadow where we were married. Karyn and I stopped to look for frogs and salamanders. No, that's not slang, we really were looking for frogs and salamanders. Get your mind out of the gutter! None here. We have had a hard time finding frogs this year. Not sure why.
In the meadow where we were married.
I tried my woodpecker magic again at the meadow. A lone Northern Flicker responded from across the meadow, but did not come to investigate. At the top of the next hill, I tried again. A Flicker responded with calls from one direction and an unidentified woodpecker drummed from another. This really is a leisurely day. Last week we hammered out this trail in 1:45. This week it took 3 hours!
The big downhill was great fun, although a recent storm had blown down a number of trees. We managed to stop before hitting any of them. It was a fun and interesting ride as we explored along the way. It could have been called the tour of the woodpeckers. In addition to the Hairy Woodpecker and Northern Flicker, we also saw both Williamson's and Red-naped Sapsuckers.
The afternoon was spent enjoying more wildlife as we continued our search for birds, frogs, and salamanders. We have found a few frogs, but we really want to find a Blotched Tiger Salamander. We read about them a few months ago while in Yellowstone. Karyn remembers seeing one a few years ago. Have been searching since to try and find one. No luck so far.
We concluded the day with dinner at the Redfish Lake Lodge overlooking the Sawtooth Mountains.

2 comments:

April said...

sounds like you're having a great time!
"stopped to look for frogs and salamanders" made me laugh...

John said...

Happy anniversary to you and Karyn!