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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Genealogical Research - Where Do I Begin

Most people have someone in their family who has collected "the family records".  Somehow everyone begins to believe that that particular person is doing all of the family research.  Well, I have seen enough and talked to enough people that thought all of their family genealogy was done only to find out that it wasn't and by the time they discovered this, the main "family research" person had passed on.

I watched this video years ago about a prison in Utah.  After interviewing inmates, it was discovered that most of them had no idea about their family linage.  Many didn't even know their parents.  I am not sure if it was the Genealogical Society or exactly who it was, but they went into the prison and began to teach the prisoners how to research their family.  It was amazing to hear as they interviewed these hardened criminals, that they believed they had nothing in their family worth while to be proud of.  As they began tracing their families, they discovered something.  They discovered that they had family - that they belonged.  Now to most of us that know our family well, we may not even begin to understand what it is to NOT have family - to NOT feel any belonging in this world - to NOT know that people in a family can love, work together, build bonds, have pride, be courageous, be leaders, be good examples, or live through trials and tribulation. 

As these prisoners discovered their families, they realized that they belonged to something bigger than just them.  It was amazing to see the softness come out in these men.  I don't remember any of the words from the talk but I remember the feeling I had while watching it.  It testified to me that every man and woman should not allow someone else to do their family research. There is much more to finding our ancestors than just finding a name here and there and putting it on a pedigree chart or a family group sheet.  There are bonds to be built - from the ancestor nearest to you to those who lived hundreds of years ago.  It is YOUR family, each and every one of you should get to know them.

So I am asked by those that are beginning (first ones in their family to do family history) to those who think all of their family history has been done and there is nothing left for them to do, but they ask "how do I do this research stuff?"  Research takes time but it does not have to be done in a day.  It helps to just find a few minutes a day, week, or month to do it.  Here is what I do every time I sit down to do research.  I have been doing this for years yet each time I sit down to the computer, it is the same as the first day (meaning I do the same process now for each name in my family as I did for the very first name that I researched).  The awesome thing is, now you can do most of the research right from the convenience of your home.  Honestly, I take my laptop and sit in my recliner chair and while others are watching TV or settling down for the evening, I check out a few names in  I can work as little as 10 minutes or a whole day if I desire.

Always begin with yourself and go back from there.  Now for those of you who say that all of your genealogy is done, I have a wonderful assignment for you.  It is called, "gather the facts"!  I will get to that in just a minute.  Right now I want to talk with those that have never done any kind of genealogy in their life and have no one in the family gathering info for them. 

There are dozens of places on the Internet (type in "basic genealogy classes" in Google) where you can go for basic beginning instructions such as Cyndi's List or Family Search.  I do suggest that you take some of these simple courses and work through them.  They will suggest that you get a box and go through your house gathering information and put it into the box.  You will gather things like birth, death, and marriage certificates, funeral notices, and such.  Then you will be taught how to put this information into order using Pedigree Charts and Family Group Sheets.  I strongly suggest that you invest in a genealogy program.  There is a free program to download on Family Search called PAF and other programs such as Roots Magic (the one I use) to Family Tree Maker, and many more.  Some are almost no cost and others can get a little pricey.  I always go for free or cheap first then when you know what you would like to do with your genealogy, you can decide on a better program (remember pricey does not always mean better).  So get started on those easy step by step lessons.  Just remember to document your information as you go.

Now back to those of you that think someone else has done all of your work but you are feeling this nagging that you should be doing something.  As I said, I love doing genealogy but some of you might not think that you will and are only doing it because you feel obligated.  Well, here is what I do even now. 

The first thing you need to do is get a good program.  Again, I love Roots Magic but any good program will do.  Then find out who in your family has your information and get a copy of it for yourself.  So let's say you now have a program and you have a copy of your genealogy from Aunt Betty.  Using your program, transfer the information into your program.  (Email me at if you need help with this.)  Now you are ready to begin.

So we now have our new beginners entering information into their program for the first time and we have the new researchers who have taken information from a family member and now have it on their program.  Now you start at the beginning (The beginning is always with you!).  Using programs such as,, and, or others, you begin finding out whatever you can to VERIFY that the information you have is correct.  From Now back to 1850 the best records are birth, death, and marriage certificates, social security, war, deeds, and a huge help are the census records.  I am going to use the example of but these other programs can help you also.

Using Ancestry, let's begin.  By the way, you can sign up for a free week or two of Ancestry just be sure to cancel the day before the week is up or you will be charged automatically.  When I first started using Ancestry, I got a two week trial period.  My family didn't see me the whole two weeks.  I made every minute count.  Then I realized I could sign up for a month at a time.  So I would check my calendar and find a month that looked like I could dedicate a significant amount of time to researching.  I would always cancel before they charged me for the next month.  Now I keep it full time.  It is my biggest helper when helping others get started.  Okay, back to business.

So type your first name into Ancestry and see what comes up.  It used to be that the only information you could find was for the deceased and only for those 80 years ago but not anymore.  I have found my parents and even myself listed in there.  That was a bit shocking but it is what it is.  Have you ever typed your name into Google to see if your name would come up?  My name came up with three pages of stuff...ugh! 

Let's say I am working on my ancestor - Lewis Smith (not my real ancestor!).  I would type in his name and his birth date if I knew it.  Generally I select to find an exact match as that might eliminate a lot of research time but eventually, I will do a variety of searches for this one person.  My goal is to find out everything I can about this person.  I want to verify his life and in the process, get to know him.  As I find information, I will enter it into my genealogy program under his name.  I want everything documented.  So what I am doing (for those of you who say all of your work is done and there is nothing left for you to do), I am verifying the information that I already had.  You will be surprised at how many errors you will find while doing this.  My goal is to have every name with some kind of documentation so that future generations will know that the people in our line are 1.  truly our family and 2.  their information is correct.

Here is what I do if I find a mistake or a difference from what I originally had.  I make note of the original entry (say it was a birth date or even a name) in the "notes" section - then I change it to what my documentation found.  So my note might say, "had the name as Levi but found his name on a birth record as Lewis - changed it to Lewis,"  Then I usually sign my name and the year so I know who made this comment (many years from now you may ask yourself who changed this and why - this note explains it all).

Going on - So I find out everything I can about Lewis Smith.  Maybe when I typed his name, nothing came up in Ancestry.  I then use my favorite term to myself "think out of the box".  I would then begin a variety of ways of researching his name.  I might type just his first name - Lewis - along with a birth date or a birth place.  I might look for him by finding a sibling or a child and see if his name will come up.  I can not even begin to tell you how many times I have typed in a name and searched and searched and found nothing then typed in a child's name and up pops the family with the dad's name exactly like I had spelled it.  I do not know why it happens, but it does.  So don't give up.  Think of any way that you might find that person - think "out of the box".

Also know and understand that most of these genealogy Internet programs like Ancestry and FamilySearch are being updated almost daily with new information.  If you do not find something one day, you may another so even though it seems tiring to have to search and then re-search a name, it may be well worth your while.  I found an ancestor's grave marker today when I was searching.  It was put online a few days ago by a very distant family member that I do not know.  I was very excited.  I copied the picture to my program so now this ancestor has more history.

If nothing is coming up for this person, go to another person and come back to them another time.  Often I will look at my pedigree chart and try to get some inspiration as to who I should work on.  Sometimes it comes right to me but other times, like today, I start on one person only to find that I get side tracked and begin finding things on someone else.  I often find these "side track" names as I am searching the neighborhood.  Remember the goal - to verify each person's information.  So if you are the first person to enter this information or correcting information gathered by others, don't give up, keep looking and verify and document.

As you work on each member of your family you will grow to love these people.  You will learn that most of them were very normal people with problems just like us.  Hopefully you will discover, as the prisoners did, that you do have roots.  That your family has meaning and that you have meaning.  Please, even if you think Aunt Betty has done everything and there is nothing left for you to do, get going and start verifying what she has and get to know your kin.  You may be surprised and find that there is a lot of work to do after all.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Senior Hiking #357- Mickinnick Trail

66° Sunny

June 14, 2010…Mickinnick Tr #13 …
hike # 357
by Betsy

It was predicted to be a very nice day, not as hot as it was over the weekend…omigosh, we went from really cold to really hot. Since we got the two’ new kids’ (2 Yorkies), things were a little bit hectic in the morning so we just picked a hike near home. Mickinick is always a good workout, with its relentless steepness right to the top. The native Plant Society and the local Master Gardeners were at the trailhead, cleaning up weeds and brush…they do such a nice job of keeping it pretty. One of them told us that there have been reports of several baby bear cubs so to be careful. Jim was moving a little slower than usual today…so I had to stop several times and let him catch up to me. He said he had no energy. As we were climbing we met a gal coming down, wearing flip flops! She said her friend had told her it was an easy hike…she had no clue did not get even close to the top. Her comment was…it is so NOT easy!

This hike is usually a hot one in summer but it was fine today…and as pretty as it could be with the great abundance of wildflowers. I think we saw every one we know except the rare little orchid, Lady Slipper. So much lupine and buttercups, shooting stars, wild roses, sego lilies, pestamon and more…it was a colorful show. Then I spotted a bear print in one of the wet areas but it was the only one. We saw no bear scat. It got cloudier and there was more haze in the air as we got close to the top. No sooner had we hit the top when guy came up right behind us…wow, he got up in half our time. He said he was training to climb Mt Whitney in California in July.

Coming down we must have met 7-8 people coming up. This is a sign of summer, I guess…Sandpoint Magazine is in every motel room and the locals also begin to get out more now as well. When we got down we saw one rig with Arizona plates and another rental car with Washington plates…the rest were locals. For some odd reason, there were no dogs today! And for another odd reason, my knees behaved fairly well today...I did put the elastic wrap things on for the trek down.

Left home 100
Started up 10:10
Got to top 12:40 2 hours, 30 minutes
Started down 1:15
Got to truck 2:50 1 hour, 35 minutes
Total miles hiked 8 miles
Total hiking time 4 hours, 35 minutes

Free Library of Books Online!

I have a hard time getting to the library to check out books so I did a Google Search for free books online and came up with this fun website called BookRix.  You can read the books right from the site or down load them to your computer (or I guess other devices) and read them offline.  Many are from unknown authors wanting a review (which you can give) and others are very well known.  There are over 7133 books available and all are FREE.  There are all kinds of subjects.  I have barely begun reading from this selection.  Some of the works are not so good and others are pretty impressive. 

I know the Kindle rage is upon us but here is a cheaper way to enjoy reading on the go with only your laptop.  I think I am going to enjoy this site!

A Matter of Time

When I was a young girl, I thought time moved so slowly.  I remember playing Monopoly one summer.  We had an on-going game.  It was a way to help time go by.  My best friend and I would play for hours.  We loaned and borrowed money back and forth to keep the game alive.  The days seemed to drag by - one day slowly after another.

Now that I am a "Senior Citizen", oh the sound of that!  Anyway, now that the kids are grown and gone, I thought the days would return to the slowness of my youth...not so!  I am one of these people that has more projects going than time to do them.  I don't move as fast as I used to nor do I think as quickly, but I have way too much to do for the time to do it.  My problem lately is that I am looking at the overall time that I have left.  I have never thought about trying to get everything done in "my available time" as I have lately. 

When I look at the whole of a person's life, there are four life changing phases.  First, childhood.  I think most kids don't even think of this as a time of life.  They just go through it with all of the delight of a child.  Before you know it, you are smack dab into phase two - "the family person" with children or profession or whatever goes along with those mid years.  This is a big phase and when living it, seems to take forever but when over, seems like it was a blink and gone.  I am currently in phase three, the years that are the biggest life change for me.  Phase four is coming way too fast.  I have too much to do before it catches me.

I remember when my youngest, my daughter, left for college.  It was the saddest day for me.  I felt so lost.  All of my kids were gone into their excitement of phase two and I was beginning my phase three.  I did nothing for a time.  I would sit and stare out the window and time did go by as slowly as those early Monopoly years.  I had some grandchildren by this time but they were busy in their stage one and their parents, in stage two, also were too busy to bother with me in stage three.  After brooding for a time, I began finding things to keep me busy.  I went to work, took care of my in-laws, jumped head first into family history work, and began enjoying the grandchildren and my new phase. 

Now I am into my 60's and my husband will be retiring soon.  I have my own business, run a Family History Center, try to stay involved with the grandchildren, stay in close contact with my mother as she is now in her stage four, and trying to get all of the many projects completed before I hit stage four.  It is this stage four that scares me. 

I have never thought about the "end" of time - at least earthly time until lately.  I do believe in a hereafter and do believe that it will be beautiful and that it should not be anything scary.  I don't think that I am afraid of death itself but I think I am scared of watching time get closer.  I look at how old I am and know that I probably won't live longer than - say 92.  That would give me 30 years and looking at it that way, it seems like a lot of years.  My youngest child turned 30 this year.  But looking back at THOSE 30 years, wow, they went way too fast. 

When I was in my 20's, I had cancer.  My kidney was removed and no other cancer was found in my body.  I had no chemo or radiation or anything.  I was very lucky because the doctors said the kind of cancer I had hits the vital organs and takes lives quickly.  I was young.  At that time I had three little boys.  I was barely into phase two.  Even then I didn't think about the "end".  I knew I could die but I didn't feel like I was going to die.  I wasn't scared of death or even of the future. 

I don't know why I am thinking about time so much these days.  With my husband retiring soon, we could have years ahead of us to travel, be with family, and to do all of the things we need to do (or so we think we need to do) before we get into phase four.  Maybe it is because my body aches and I just can't do what I used to do physically.  Everything takes longer.  I don't have a fast speed in me anymore and this is frustrating.  This probably makes no sense to anyone in phases one or two but I think those in phase three and especially those towards the end of phase three may just be seeing things as I am.  For the first time in my life, I am realizing that phase three may end in a very few years.  In reality, phase four could begin as early as ten years from now, or even tomorrow, depending on how my body and mind hold out.

Phase four!  I see phase four as the wind down stage.  Right now we live on 60 acres with a large house and huge yard.  I see living here as being very difficult in stage four so that means a life change by moving.  I have thought about this a lot.  I have no idea where we would want to move.  We live in North Idaho right now.  Three of our children live here.  Over half of our grandchildren are here yet the weather here may be too much for a stage four person (even though there are tons of stage four people living here).  I just wonder how my husband and I will do living here (maybe not in this house but in this town and this environment - hmmmm). 

Maybe this is why I am thinking of stage four so much right now.  I know that where we live is work...lots of work.  It was fine when we were in stage three raising our children.  In fact, it was heaven on earth - without a doubt the best place in the world to raise a family.  But with my husband's illness, it made me look at things very differently.  Even though our children are close by, it still comes down to my husband and myself to take care of this place (involving snow removal, road repair, yard maintenance, house maintenance, etc).  When he was in the hospital extremely ill from a horrible infection in his body, I began to realize that I may have to do all of this alone.  I not only can't do it by myself, I don't want to do it by myself thus making me realize that we may need to consider moving fairly soon.  I know that moving will be huge.  We have lived here for over 20 years.  That's a lot of stuff to gather and lots of stuff to deal with in a move.  I know that the older I get the less I want to deal with the emotional impact that moving presents.  It may just throw me into stage four before I am ready.

So life here on earth is a matter of time.  Not looking at the spiritual aspect of life and death, there is a lot going on emotionally with each phase of life.  Being in the middle (towards the end) of phase three, I am a little apprehensive at the quickly approaching stage four but have wonderful memories of the other two phases that so quickly have passed.  My biggest hurdle is to get as much done now as I possibly can because no one really knows when stage four will hit.  I know that I need to just get busy and get doing all of those things that I need to "finish up" and experience as much as I can in the next few years because stage for will be's all a matter of time.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Senior Hiking #356 - Harrison Lake

50° June 7, 2010…Harrison Lake tr #217…

hike #356
by Betsy

Today said 30% chance of thunderstorms…we took the chance and drove the nineteen miles of Upper Pack River Road to the end, and the very last trailhead, Harrison Lake. We were stopped by snow at 18 mile marker so had to walk the last mile in wet, deep and slushy snow…not that much fun. We debated whether or not to bring the snowshoes and decided not to. We have hiked this trail so many times that I’ve lost count, and in recent years have used it as a jumping off point to go off trail and climb to the tops of many of the surrounding peaks, including two, maybe three of the Seven Sisters range. On another historical note, this was our very first hike seven years ago!

There was so much serious snow runoff…and many full creeks to cross. The danger here was stepping into holes, which we did several times but luckily not over the snow bridges. Lots of post holing but mostly it was okay in boots.

We did see some older boot and snowshoe tracks. There was just one huge downed tree which we were able to navigate thru and some other bushwhacking to contend with and that neither of us picked up any ticks is good. We got lost again in the usual place…it is very difficult to see where the trail goes with the snow but just kept going up and eventually found the lake, and by now the sun was coming out.
The lake was beautiful with the shimmering blue color of the ice offering spectacular photo ops and I quickly took advantage of that before we lost the sun. We explored a bit, walking around to the end of the lake to eat lunch but first had to walk up the steep snow bank for better pics. Just as we finished lunch, the sky turned black, the sprinkles began and we figured we had better get out the raingear and ‘head out of Dodge’!

Of course, putting the rain gear on guaranteed that the rain would stop and we change in and out of our jackets several times before the clouds really let loose never to stop, continuing even after we got to the truck. It rain and hailed so hard but neither one of us got cold. Thunder and lightning added to the drama. The last mile walk back to the truck was relentless…the snow was really ’mashed potatoes’ by now and it was very hard to walk in. Again, it was not that much fun. I never did put the rain pants on so my legs were soaked. Just as we did last week, we quickly took off all the wet stuff, threw it in the back and turned the heater up as we drove out. And we saw an elk, and then a moose running on the road…I got a pic of the moose but the elk was too fast for me.

Left home 9:20
Walked up road 10:30
Started up trail 11:00
Got to lake 1:30
Headed down 2:10
Got to truck 4:30
Total miles hiked 9 miles
Total hiking time 6 hours
Note from Diane:  I am not a hiker but I have actually hiked to Harrison Lake.  It is a beautiful little lake and a very pretty hike.  These pictures take me back a few years.  Betsy always takes a lot of pictures and I have to choose which to show in this blog.  It is a very hard decision.  Since I can't publish them all, you may want to take some of these hikes yourself to see the beauty of North Idaho first hand!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Senior Hiking #355 - Lost Lake

55° Rainy
by Betsy

May 31, 2010…Memorial Day weekend…Lost Lake TR #81 and #82…hike # 355

We are having an extremely cool and rainy spring…so when we woke to pouring down rain, we were not surprised. We have three or so hikes we do in the rain…never much of a view so we don’t miss much and we still get to hike. Another rainy Memorial Day...of the almost 20 years we’ve lived here, I think there were 19 rainy Memorial Days!

Since my knee episode last week, we decided to do something somewhat easier today and although we chose the Mineral Point trail, when we got there decided to take the other trail, a mountain bike trail up at the top of the trail, to Lost Lake. The last time we did this hike, they had just completed it and the “moondust” was so thick that with each step, one was enveloped in a cloud of the fine powdery stuff. That was several years ago and today, and especially in the rain, it was nicely packed down and covered with pine needles. It is a pretty trail and there were no mountain bikers on it today!

Just as we were pulling out of the driveway, Jim looked at what I was wearing…just my hiking pants and long sleeved shirt. Thank goodness he convinced me to go back in the house and find my rain pants. They saved me. I pulled them on as we got out of the truck.

It was raining quite hard when we started out…but we had rain gear on, and warm mittens so it was pleasant. The sound of the rain on my hood reminded me of camping when I was a kid. Of course we could not see the lake most times we came to the view spots, but we did hear a boat out on the lake several times. This area normally would be full of campers and boaters, in the campground down on the lake.

Just as we approached the path to get into Lost Lake, we heard a vehicle and when we got to the open area, we saw a pickup. Almost at the lake we met the people…a couple, their son and two lively dogs. They said they lived in the area and were giving the dogs play time and exercise. Talked for a while and then said our goodbyes. Before we met them, we spotted the very rare wild orchid Fairy Slipper Orchid…. (Calypso Bulbosa). Excited, and in spite of the heavy rain, I got my camera out of the plastic bag, got down in the wet on my knees and began to shoot, with Jim holding the rare gem up with his pole. Many of you know I grow orchids, and have about 63 of them, so this wild little orchid was a treat to see.

We headed back on the trail, or so we thought, and it didn’t seem right but kept going…we ended up in a very different place than we thought we would. I think they changed the trail and added a new one or two. Oh, well…it just meant that instead of following the longer trail back to the truck, we walked up the road. That was okay with us, because by now, I was soaked right thru all the breathable rain gear and getting really cold. That stuff can only take so much rain before it seeps thru. The only other alternative would be rubberized stuff and then you would get so wet with sweat…so which is worse???

By the time we reached the truck, the rain was coming down very hard. We got out of the wet stuff, threw it all in the back, got into the warm truck and ate our lunch before heading home. It was a short but very enjoyable hike in spite of the rain.

Left home 10:20
Started 11:30
Got to lake 1:10

Got to truck 2:30
Total miles hiked 6½ miles
Total hiking time 3 hours

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Generations Working Together

I think one of the most precious things to watch is a father and son working together - but the absolute topper is to see Grandson and Grandfather working side by side.  It definitely warms the heart.

My husband had some very serious illnesses earlier this year and it has left him somewhat weakened and unable to do things as he used to.  Our grandson was wanting to go to football camp this summer so together, we accomplish both tasks.  Our grandson comes over and helps take care of our huge lawn and he earns the money for camp.  We live out in the country and over the years, our yard has grown to be quite large.  We do have a riding lawnmower and weed eater but we jumped at the chance to help our grandson and help ourselves in the process. 

I was in the office paying bills (a very distasteful experience) when I looked out the window to watch the two, my husband and our grandson, working on the weed eater.  It just brought tears to my eyes to see the two of them.  I think we as grandmothers often do things with our grandchildren but how many grandfathers take that opportunity?  It is one that all should enjoy.

We are very lucky in that we live very close to two of our children and two others are able to visit often.  That means that we are blessed to be around most of our grandchildren.  Living out in the country, we have many opportunities for work.  It cheers my heart to see my husband out working on wood or something and have some of the grand kids stop and jump in to help. 

I remember as a young girl, my dad's parents lived about an hour away.  We saw them often.  Some of my choicest memories are with them.  My grandfather would pick me up and have me go with him to deliver saws that he sharpened in his saw filing shop.  He had a stroke when I was about 10 and it left him paralyzed on his right side.  He could no longer speak nor use his right arm very well.  I drew even closer to him as I was able to serve him by helping him with some simple every day events that he was no longer able to do by himself. 

As I watch our grandchildren helping us, I hope that they are building some good memories too.  There is nothing that draws the generations closer than to work together.  I hope our grandchildren will remember these days as fondly as we do.  What a true blessing.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Senior Hiking #354

61° Sunny
by Betsy

May 24, 2010…Chimney Rock…tr # 256 …hike # 354

For those of you who are waiting with bated breath to hear about the pier mystery outcome, I have good news. I contacted several people who I thought would know but just one came thru. I knew he would know. Here is what he sent me:

“Smile, Betsy and Jim…you were on Candid – or rather US Navy Camera! The webcam that monitors the dock that you visited is between Evans Landing and Maiden Rock. I finally had a chance to visit with Jim Brady, Navigable Waters Specialist, with the Dept. of Lands. The installation you guys came across is part of the US Navy Acoustic Research facility headquartered in Bayview. It may be part of the anchoring system for one of the Navy barges that is usually off shore near this spot.

It’s truly a mystery about why the site is so unprotected and not even identified with signs, fencing, etc. I can only guess that the Dept. of Defense figures that we don’t represent a terrorist threat to national security. However, they probably have your picture! Mystery solved…thanks for sharing it with me”.

So back to current business. Hike day dawned quite nicely with sunshine albeit with predictions of thunder storms in the afternoon…we took the chance and headed up country for the first hike in our much loved Selkirk Mountains. With snowfall this year being half of what it normally is, we were able get to the top of the road which leads to the trailhead before hitting impassable snow. Normally snow would stop us at Zuni Creek, about a 1 mile long walk to the trailhead. Today it would be just about ¼ mile. Nice. The Fault Lake and Chimney Rock trails are always the first ones to get to in the spring.

Jim carried the snowshoes, and I wore my snow boots just in case but we never needed the snowshoes. We were able to walk on top of the snow all the way with minimal sinking of only an inch or so. The creeks and all the runoff were easily crossed without incident with only one troublesome one. But we did it without falling in and now, having the most difficult crossing behind us, we plodded on till we were again stopped in our tracks by the wild and roaring Chimney Creek. There was just no way across that one. Plan B.

There were plenty of moose tracks and the poop that goes along with them…I spotted one of those huge grey winter ticks laying in the trail…it most likely fell off a moose. Gosh, they are ugly. I thought about poking it but knowing it was full of blood, I changed my mind. Took pics of it instead. Speaking of ticks, that we ventured thru tick infested brush at the height of tick season, I was pleasantly surprised that we found nary a tick on either one of us.

Chimney Creek may have stopped us but, going off trail tempted us upward…and at about half way Jim stopped short and motioned to me that he had just seen ‘something furry with a long tail’ up ahead, as in a bobcat! Omigosh, I wanted out of there NOW! We went on a bit further till we were finally blocked by overgrown alder, no longer covered with heavy snow. Thank you, Lord.

Descending was tough on my bad left knee today, so much so that when we stopped for lunch, I dug out my brace and put it on…I wish I had brought the second one to put on over it. It hurt all the way down, and I remembered some advice given to me by my cousin, Coree…also a hike report follower, who said that ice would do the trick. I had no ice but there was plenty of snow and when we got to the truck, I filled my plastic sandwich baggie with it and kept it on my knee the whole way home. Did it help? I don’t know…maybe. There are over 3100 miles of hiking on these knees! Temperatures cooled down considerably, so much so, that for the trek down I dug out my jacket.

Just as we were leaving, a truck pulled up to the trailhead…hmmm, we've never seen a soul, especially on a Monday and at this time of year. The two said they were on their way up the mountain to pack out a bear one of them had shot within the last few days. Of course they would have to gut it and cut it up to get the 250 pound bear out. It sounds like a lot of work to me. Who eats bear anyway??? We saw a moose running on the road on the way out but by the time I got the camera out, the small cow was up the hill.

It is still so hard to drive in the driveway and not see Rosie sitting in her window waiting for us to come home from our hike. I miss her so much.

Left home 9:30
Started up 10:40
Off trail 1:00-1:25
Turned around 1:25
Started down 1:35
Got to truck 3:10
Total miles hiked 8 miles
Total hiking time 4 hours, 30 minutes