Posts Tagged ‘Idaho’

Back to Reality

February 27, 2016

Saturday, January 16, 2016, our last day on vacation in Kauai. How about we do one last lunch at Kalypso in Hanalei? It’s jammed with folks watching the NFL play-off game between the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs. It’s hard to maintain conversation over the raucous Patriot fans as Tom Brady, paired with Ron Gronkowski on offense, combined with their defense, beat the Chiefs 27-20.


Yeah, Eric, but do you know what the kitty on your shirt is doing?

Innocent Kitty

Innocent Kitty

Alert kitty

Alert kitty

Sniper kitty

Sniper kitty

"Oh no!  Danger danger!"

“Oh no! Danger danger!”

Yeah, well, just trying to keep the mood light. Stave off melancholy on our last day in Paradise. Take a minute to be grateful that we no longer have Eric leading us over streams, darting ahead across the rocks on his cat paws

Hey, we didn't agree to this

Hey, we didn’t agree to this

We have to follow, of course…

Not funny, Eric

Not funny, Eric

You feel the melancholy of our last day too? Well, here’s one last image of Paradise that you could affix in your mind, as I have – a ‘happy place’ you can go to



It’s overlooking Sealodge beach, just before you hike down. And how about a video of the waves crashing on the rocks at the bottom of the hike at Sealodge:

I must post two more photos of Paradise I took at Secret Beach


Secret Beach

Secret Beach

With the Kilauea Lighthouse in the far distance.

Aloha, Maholo, Kauai!

Yeah … transition to … Sunday morning, January 17. We have landed at the LA International Airport at the end of our Red-Eye flight from Lihue. The plane lands, you force your body up out of the frozen seated position you’ve been in for the past six hours. Shake some blood into your lower extremities. Deplane in the emerging twilight en masse with the hoard of passengers in a zombie parade. Squish into a line to catch a bus that will transport you to your next terminal (hopefully the right one). We’re on the bus now. I snap a photo out the window.


Who takes off next, our bus or that plane? Guess my brain isn’t firing on all cylinders yet.

Well, we do make our next flight – to Salt Lake City. I capture photos of the frozen landscape:

Over the Sierra Nevada's?

Over the Sierra Nevada’s?

You know, to entertain me, because I can’t sleep:


Nearing our descent into Salt Lake City:


We’ve landed. Making the 4-hour drive from the airport north on I-15 to Idaho Falls now, with David at the wheel, Eric up front, me shivering in the back…


Yep! Northern Utah in mid-January.

It's called 'winter'

It’s called ‘winter’

Crossed the border into Idaho now…

The Abominable Snowman could be there somewhere

The Abominable Snowman could be there somewhere

We’re starving, of course. When did we last eat? We pull over at the Gas Station/Burger King/ pit stop in Malad.

Welcome to Malad, Idaho!

Welcome to Malad, Idaho!

“Shop Malad this Holiday Sea on.” “Sea On” – actually makes sense, as in … Sealodge Beach, Secret Beach, Larsen’s Beach… in that ancient parallel Universe.

So what kind of shopping do you do in Malad, Idaho?

We found out when we ordered Whoppers and grabbed one of the last available tables. All kinds of folks filled tables around us, couples, families, groups of men, groups of women, young and old, unrolling and scraping wads of … lottery scratch tickets, filling in long pink scraps of paper … Powerball tickets! The last Powerball drawing had occurred this past Wednesday, yielding 3 winners that split a 1.6 billion dollar jackpot. Folks in here today are filling out tickets for the next Powerball drawing. We’re witnessing lottery pandemonium in this little pit stop in Malad, Idaho. But why so many people in this little town in the middle of nowhere? Ah, perhaps because there’s no gambling in Utah? Malad happens to sit right on the Idaho/Utah border. Welcome to Malad, Idaho, your Utah lottery ticket headquarters. Buy your tickets here!

Your Utah Lottery ticket headquarters, complete with ATM!

Your Utah Lottery ticket headquarters, complete with ATM!

Fast forward 2 hours… we’re approaching our driveway now. There’s Eric’s van…

Oh goody, we're home

Oh goody, we’re home

Time to dig out…

Eric still in his shorts from the ancient parallel Universe

Eric still in his shorts from the ancient parallel Universe



David shovels out the driveway first thing.


Yes, we’re back home in our winter Paradise.

All shoveled out, Jan 17, 2016

All shoveled out, Jan 17, 2016

Contrast the two Paradises,


Paradises from two parallel Universes. It’s a stretch, but I’m going with it.

You know, anything to stave off melancholy.

Redfish Lake

September 3, 2015

Every summer we try to stay a couple of nights at Redfish Lake in the Sawtooth Mountains near Stanley, Idaho. This year we rented a cabin for two nights (August 23-25) while David’s sister, Pauline, was visiting.

Redfish is about a 4-hour drive from Idaho Falls. We usually stop in Sun Valley for lunch on the way. Then we head up Highway 75 – the Sawtooth Scenic byway – to Galena Summit, at 8701 feet. We always pull over to take in the view of the Sawtooths. I captured this photo from the summit – mid-afternoon, August 23.


It is smoky today so you don’t see the far right end of the range where Redfish Lake is nestled at the base of Mount Heyburn. Check out this wiki-link to Galena Summit for a better photo and information…

We’ve checked into our cabin and wander up to the lodge – pose for photos – David and Megan in front of the lodge,

Redfish Lake Lodge

Redfish Lake Lodge

and Megan and I in front of the lake. Mount Heyburn is the craggy granite peak poking up on the far right.


Another view of the lake and Mount Heyburn:

Mount Heyburn

Mount Heyburn

Eric, Pauline, and I hike up to the Bench Lakes. It’s about 8 miles round trip. (David stayed behind with Megan, who didn’t feel well.)

Here is the map at the trailhead that gives you that reassuring ‘you are here’ aerial view of the lake and hiking trials uh, trails.

“No death marches, Eric!”

The trail to the Bench Lakes runs along the left edge of the lake; jogs off, and climbs steeply up to the Lakes¬†when you get about 2/3 the way to the end of the lake. Hard core hikers and climbers can pack in and hike for several days – to Alpine Lake, Cramer Lakes, Hell Roaring Lake – Eric and David both have tales to tell (i.e. death marches) … You can actually hike for fifty miles from various trails leading off from the lake (and take a boat across the lake to save some hiking).

I only took one photo on the four-mile trek up to the Bench Lakes:

Mount Heyburn

Mount Heyburn

We’re at the Lower Bench Lake now. Pauline and I are snacking on nuts, brownies, cheese, and chocolates, while Eric fishes:

Eric, the fish whisperer

Eric, the fish whisperer

He hooks one right away:


A beatiful lake trout. But it’s so fiesty, it’s about beaten itself to death fighting Eric yanking out the hook.

A lake trout and his no good very bad day

A lake trout and his no good very bad day

He catches 8 fish by the end of the day, throws them all back. (Yeah, with big mouth ow-ies, Eric, and occasional gouged eyeballs, and no lunch to boot!)

At the second Bench Lake (five minute walk from the first lake) there’s a nice view of Heyburn.


Pauline and I are pretty beat by the time we make it back to the cabin.

Pauline at the end of our hike

Pauline at the end of our hike

Except, she’s 79 years of age, and no more worn out than I (cashing in now on her years of dedication to yoga, stetching and exercise!)

For dinner we drive to Stanley, Idaho – just a ten minute drive. You might have heard of Stanley, as throughout the winter it consistently hails as the coldest spot in the mainland USA. But this late August night is warm and exquisite. I capture a view of the sun setting over the Sawtooths.

Uh, might be more impressive during the day?

Uh, might be more impressive during the day?

Then we looked in the opposite direction. What the? …

You're kidding, right? A fire?

You’re kidding, right? A fire?

Oh my goodness. A fire has erupted near Challis! Eric, is this caused by your voodoo or are you just photo bombing my photographic challenge?

You're scaring us, Eric

You’re scaring us, Eric

By the time dinner was over, the fire had grown much larger…


We found out when we got home that the fire had erupted in the Salmon-Challis National Forest – 17 miles west of Challis, Idaho. It has not been contained yet, 10 days later.

Okay, time to put a wrap on this. On our way home we hiked near the White Cloud mountains to the Fourth of July Lake. Here is a great link that describes this hike and several other nice day hikes around Stanley, Idaho.

The area had been charred by a forest fire about six years ago.


The trees are bouncing back though! Many young spruce standing 4 feet tall:

New growth!

New growth!

Walking back now though a burst of fall colors.


But, what I enjoyed most about our hike to Fourth of July Lake? The views as we drove back on the 10-mile dirt road to the main highway….

The Sawtooth Mountain Range coming into view!


I took a photo of the “Alps of Idaho”

'Just can't capture it!'

Just can’t capture it!

And a video, which I tried to post here several times, but it doesn’t work, but it should, and maybe it does on your computer, laptop, i- Pad or i-Phone … but if it doesn’t – oh well, I’ll keep working on it: (?????)

Because I never want to forget how magnificent the Sawtooths are.

Well, we’ve been back home over a week now. Pauline stayed with us 10 days but then she flew home. But not before I cajoled her into posing for a picture in our back yard with my hubby, David, her younger brother.

David, Pauline, and Rudy

David, Pauline, and Rudy

Two Caraher dynamos. Well, three, counting Rudy.

Pauline says she wants to do it all again next year. She’s in such great physical shape, she could probably even survive one of Eric’s hikes, you know, which inevitably turn into death marches.

‘Aloha’ Idaho’a

March 8, 2014

“Aloha …WHAT?” – “Are you kidding? I thought you were done with these endless Kauai blogs!”

Well, actually, not. As you might recall, I left off with Steph searching for her sandals as we were leaving Larsen Beach.

Which, that’s a problem with a nude beach. You wear clothes getting there, shed them on the beach – and preferably not in a trail, because you have to gather them all up again when you leave the beach. (And hopefully, you also put them back on to avoid getting arrested.)

In any case, another 24 hours passed between the time we left Larsen Beach to when we pulled into our driveway in Idaho Falls. (Does this frighten you?) My main focus on our last leg of this trip was to ’embrace the journey’ if you will. How to carry the ‘Aloha’ home to Idaho?

‘Aloha’ is the most Hawaiian word. It can mean ‘Hello’ or ‘Goodbye’. It also means ‘love’ and ‘affection’. The literal meaning of ‘Aloha’ is the ‘presence of breath.’

‘Aloha’ is sending and receiving positive energy, living in harmony –


for example, the harmony you see in nature.

‘Aloha’ was the working philosophy of Native Hawaiians and was presented as a gift to the people of Hawaii.

“Aloha means to hear what is not said, see what cannot be seen, and to know the unknowable.” Easy-peasy.

Well, all I know now is, the sun is setting on Kauai…


“Steph – take one last photo of us!”


Awwwwww. Too late for photos now. It’s time to head to the airport anyway…

Aloha Kauai! For real this time.

Fourteen hours later we are nearing the descent into Salt Lake City where David’s truck is parked.


The landscape seems surreal.

We land safely and have just climbed into David’s truck – Now we have to make the 3-hour drive home to Idaho Falls.

Eric’s riding shot-gun.


Out of no-where that fur-lined, Mad Bomber hat or whatever that thing is called, appears on his head. He travels prepared.

“BRRRRRR!!!” Is all I care to contribute to the conversation from the back seat, wincing from the sting of the frozen lining of my down jacket against my arms …

The whole Salt Lake Valley is blanketed in a thick smog. I had taken a few photos of the smog, but inadvertently deleted them, maybe a Freudian thing, especially in the spirit of carrying the ‘Aloha’ home to Idaho. The smog around Salt Lake and further north into Ogden was thick, ugly and toxic. A stark contrast to Paradise.

We were glad to drive out of the smog into Idaho.


We’re starving now, and I think it’s Malad where we decide to pull off the freeway into Burger King for a quick gut-bomb to hold us over. I capture a photo of this sign as we exit the parking lot:


Yep, we’re in Idaho, all right. Not your most ‘progressive’ state.

There sure is a dearth of snow for this time of year.


We’re not complaining. It’s just an observation. Not going to let fear or worry worm their way into our minds about potential drought or anything, either. In the spirit of ‘Aloha’ – we’re all about sending and receiving positive energy.

Within 40 miles of home we notice an abundance of frost.



‘Whore-frost.’ David explains. At least that’s what I heard from where I was in the back seat.

“WHORE-Frost? Are you serious?” (in the spirit of Aloha, you know, being conscious of the ‘presence of breath’ and all, I’m seeing the presence of whore’s breath all over the trees.)


“Yes. Whore-frost. You know, (now he spells it) “H-O-A-R-frost”

“You mean there are two spellings in the English Language of the word, “whore?” (That’s the English language for you. Unnecessarily complicated and redundant.) Looking at the landscape “whore-frost” makes complete sense to me. Why is it necessary to invent a different word for this frost, a word that sounds just like ‘whore’ but is spelled differently? Wow! Bravo!! – Look at me using the spirit of Aloha within me – hearing what is not said, seeing what cannot be seen, and knowing the unknowable. (that it’s really whorefrost.)

But, okay, in the spirit of Aloha, and maybe, too, in the spirit of American patriotism


I’ll go with ‘hoarfrost.’ (We are blowing past Blackfoot now)

I capture a video next, I guess because I knew all those trees sailing toward us at 82 mph were not going to fit in a photo:

The hoarfrost leads us all the way into Idaho Falls.


It was nice to be home. Eric is so prepared he had even left his boxed wine in David’s truck so it was chilled and ready to imbibe as soon as he got home with it.


The next week turned colder than a witch’s tit. And we were pounded by snow. We must have shoveled at least six times.



Good thing we were in such good physical shape with all those hikes we took in Kauai.

How to keep the spirit of Aloha alive? Well, I’ve just been telling myself that this:


is just the Idaho version of this:


I’m incorporating that positive energy thing, and … how does that go again? “Hearing what is not said, seeing what cannot be seen and knowing the unknowable.” Yeah. Something akin to that.

Is it spring yet?