Wednesday, December 28, 2016

McCall Idaho, August 1st through 6th, 2016

Payette Lake. 
August 1-6, 2016. We spent a relaxing week in McCall Idaho, stand-up-paddle-boarding (SUPing) and cycling, and when we left we were wishing we could move there. It's like Jackson Hole without crowds, gazillionaires and surly ski-bum's. I love the Teton's but the town of Jackson is a damn joke, so we opted for something a little less commercial and touristy this year for our summer vacation. Yeah, don't roll your eyes, McCall is definitely a tourist town, but in comparison to J-town it is a quaint, bucolic back-water village.
Take road cycling for example. Try cycling anywhere in Jackson Hole and you're basically on a suicide mission. Motor homes, Escalades and Harley Davidson's buzzing you endlessly at 60+mph, just inches from your elbow. In comparison, while in McCall I cycled from main street up Warren Wagon Road to Upper Payette Lake and back, approximately 25 miles round trip, and I was passed by only five automobiles all day. And the riding was beautiful: a blur of deep green and blue, a thick Douglas Fir forest surrounding a deep mountain lake. It doesn't get much better. 
The SUPing was even better. Payette Lake is like Tahoe without the tourists and crowds. (Broken record here). Our rental had walk-to beach access, with none of the damn parking problems of Tahoe, of which if you don't arrive by 6AM you'll have to park a mile away then walk to the beach. Payette lake is big and deep and surrounded by a thick evergreen forest, and the boaters are friendly and give you a ample elbow room. We were never nervous of errant boaters running us down. Better yet was paddling the Payette River, which is the inlet to Payette Lake. It is a beautiful meandering mountain river with zero current for about the first four miles above the lake. Boring? Hell NO! It was perfect for paddling, and with the endless meanders it gave us a continual change of scenery. 
The bottom line it was a total kit-back, relaxing week.      

Payette Lake. Our rental is about 100 feet into the trees above the tip of  Kara's board. 

View S. The smoke from the fire near Sun Valley slowly spilled into the Payette Valley during our week and by week's end it was not nearly as blue-sky'ed as you see here.

Just leaving the Payette Lake and entering the meanders of the Payette River.

Beautiful meanders of the Payette River.......

Just north of the inlet to Payette Lake.

That's Kara about to re-enter the lake after paddling four miles up the river. 

Climbing wall, just above the river, for the nearby boy scout camp. 

As you can see the river is not deep and withou a current. 

Our rental. Quiet. No phone calls. No traffic. Couldn't hear or see our neighbors. 

Paddleboarding - Summer 2016

Pineview June 3, 2016

View SW towards Mt. Ogden, DeMoisy Peak and Strawberry Peak (Snowbasin). Flat water and HUGE carp. 

Zoomed view SW towards (r-l) Needles, DeMoisy Peak and Strawberry Peak (Snowbasin).

Dork in a hat, trying to avoid losing a leg to the massive carp just below the surface. 

East Canyon, July 2, 2016:

So relaxing to paddle around on melted Wasatch Powder! As you can see I can't keep up with Kara.

Deck view.

View west from the main arm of East Canyon Reservoir. 

Kara at ramming speed. 

Pyramid Peak, May 15, 2016

Views on a misty Sunday morning from Pyramid Peak (aka Cave Peak), May 15, 2016:

View east from the summit of Pyramid Peak (Cave Peak on USGS maps) toward the Burro Mine area of Bountiful Ridge. Winter died an early death in 2016. Some years I'm still skiing those slope in mid-May.

Arrowleaf Balsomroot and Bountiful Ridge hidden in mist.

View NE overlooking Millcreek Canyon and Mueller Park. Elephant Rock (aka Big Rock) is the white spike in mid-picture.

More Arrowleaf Balsamroot over Mueller Park, from Pyramid Peak.

Gunners, did your mothers teach you no manners? If not, she is the problem, so why not overcome your poor genetics and be responsible adults? If you're bad-ass enough to carry a big, bad gun 100 feet from your F-350, you're bad-ass enough to carry out your shit. You're making no friends by trashing our public lands.

Mt Van Cott, May 2016

May 3, 2016

Arrowleaf Balsomroot

Evening Primrose

Long Leaf Phlox

Long Leaf Phlox

May 11, 2016

Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond (L-R) from Mt. Van Cott.

Zoomed view, upper Bells Canyon and Lone Peak from Mt. Van Cott.

View from Mt. Van Cott: left-right: Red Butte, Mt. Wire, Gobblers Knob, Mt. Raymond, Wildcat Ridge, Mt. Olympus, Lone Peak. 

View SW while descending the SW ridge of Van Cott, overlooking the University of Utah and the Salt Lake Valley.

SW face of Mt. Van Cott from about 2/3 way down from the summit headed to Red Butte Gardens.