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Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Website for Family History

I have been creating a new website for the Family History Center in Idaho.  It is directed for the beginner but hopefully has something for everyone to learn how to search for their ancestors.  Classes are given at the Sandpoint, Idaho Family History Center until the 20th of October.  They cover the basics of doing genealogy and some basics of learning how to do things on your computer, the Roots Magic genealogy program, and searching the Internet for information about your ancestors.

Questions are encouraged - if you have a question about something, someone else most likely will have the same question.  The email address is  To make things easier, the website is called

There are a lot of links that you can click on to that will take you to a variety of websites to assist you in learning and finding the things you need.

Check out the site and please feel free to ask questions.  Thanks!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Senior Hiking #369 = Harrison Lake Trail 217

42° - 51° Foggy

Sept 6, 2010…Harrison Lake…tr # 217…
hike # 369
by Betsy

The weather was supposed to be around 61° with partly cloudy skies…NOT! Instead we had very overcast sky with fog all around us which only got worse the closer we got to the trailhead. It was a bit on the chilly side…we wore long pants today and I put on my jacket, pulled up my socks, put my hood up and we both wore our ragg wool mitts. A few raindrops hit the windshield. My voice recorder didn’t seem to be working but it was…guess I need to read Joe Blow’s instructions. In order to not get shot at…it is now hunting season…we wrapped our orange vests around our packs.
A short way up into the trail, we saw a blue jacket lying on the side of the trail…and met its owner a short time later as he came down. He had his ear buds in for tunes and his bear spray on his belt! He told us that the sun was out up at the lake...he lied! It was not. The fog only increased as we hiked and when we got to the spot to turn off trail, we decided against it due to the thick fog. The plan was to go to Harrison Lake and from there go over across the granite and up to the ridge to see the plane crash wreckage and the sign up above. But because we couldn’t see much in front of us much less the views, we nixed that idea and went straight to the lake, where we found ourselves completely fogged in. However, every thirty seconds, the fog would move around just enough for me to get a few nice shots.

As we were eating lunch, a young couple walked into the lake…ready to take on the ridge as we were. After chatting a bit, we convinced them to walk up the steep boulder side at the end of the lake…they went for it. We have come down that way in the past. It was now 42°…and my hands were freezing even with heavy Ragg mittens. Out came the HotHands which we both carry year round. We tried to think of something else to do…the hike to the lake is just too short to turn around there. Since the views were non existent, we just walked down the connecting trail, the other and longer way into the lake from Bonners Ferry, and all the while the temperature kept dropping. Don’t you just love global warming??? Summer lasted about ten days this year.
On the way down, I spotted a beautiful red mushroom...of course I had to photograph it. We got sprinkled on a bit just as we were getting to the end and came close to digging out the raingear but took a chance that we could make it out which we did. Driving home and back out in civilization, we saw a large bear crossing Upper Pack River Rd…but it was too fast for me and was gone before I even got the camera out. He was a big boy.
 (Bears dig at logs to find ants)

Left home 8:30Started up 9:30
Turned around 1:30?
Got to truck 2:30
Total miles hiked 9 miles
Total hiking time 5 hours

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Diving with Sharks?

This last weekend I got to go babysit my grandchildren in Utah while my son and daughter-in-law went for their scuba diving certification.  Well, I had a wonderful time with the grand kids but it was so interesting visiting the site where they go scuba diving.

First, the site didn't look anything like a place where anyone would go scuba diving.  I mean, what comes to my mind when someone says they are going scuba diving is a lake or ocean - right?  Not in this case.  This spot was in the middle of the desert area and the diving area was little more than three ponds.  There is absolutely no way I could describe it as more than that.  It was quite interesting though.  The first pond was enclosed by some plastic cover only about 4 feet tall.  I guess if you are under water, you don't need to have much height on top of the water.  It just looked strange.

The second and third ponds were connected by a tunnel.  One had a covering over it and was the main hub for preparing gear and such.  It was attached to a building which I can only assume was an office.  The outside pond was the biggest yet it was not all that big.  The interesting thing about these ponds was that they were all salt water spring fed.  Because of that, they had some interesting fish in them...a shark, some stingrays, and several other kinds of fish.

The divers begin their training in a swimming pool then move to the plastic covered pond and finally get to swim with the sharks.  I got to take the kids on the final day of their parent's dive. 
We watched them feed the shark and stingray right from the side of the pond.  Some actually reached out and petted the shark.  They fed the shark and other fish before anyone went in swimming.  The hope was that the fish would be content and stay at the bottom of the pond while the divers did their diving.  Sounds really scary to me but I wasn't in the water thank goodness.

The pictures are of the stingray being fed fish and the shark right near the edge close enough to touch.

What a fun experience I had this last weekend (other than the fact that I also ended up with the flu).  I got to enjoy my wonderful grandchildren and visit this fun scuba diving place.  Very interesting!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Senior Hiking #368 - Fault Lake Trail

58° - 63° Sunny

Aug 30, 2010…Fault Lake Tr # 59…(15th time)
…hike # 368 by Betsy

All week the weatherman kept saying it was going to rain today but when we woke to partly cloudy skies, we decided to chance it to Fault Lake, normally a very hot, very exposed and always long hike. I love this hike in late August just because of the abundance of huckleberries, with their brilliantly red fall colors. I packed my new little digital voice recorder in my shorts pocket for taking notes.

There was no one at the trailhead nor did we meet anyone all day. Since it was quite chilly when we started out, I put my jacket on, with hood up and gloves on. We crossed the river over the rocks and logs without incident...real easy at this time of year…and began up. The sun was out and what started out as welcome warmth soon became a blast furnace, even at 58°. Not only due to the heat and starting out too fast up the steep slope, I soon succumbed to fatigue and overheating. My energy level dropped to the ground…now it was my turn to bonk. We traveled slowly with lots of rests in the shade…then we both ate a Gu-Gel for energy and this seemed to help. I had been running on low all week so I thought that had a lot to do with it. After 1½ hours at Gunsight Creek, Jim said that we could turn around and as inviting as this sounded, I pursued, thinking that I might turn around soon enough and that there was no way I was ever going to make it to the lake. The second part of this hike is well out and exposed in the hot open sun.
I began to feel somewhat revived…and mercifully the sun went behind the clouds. This helped so much. My rhythm came back some what and while not at full speed, I now knew I could make it to the lake.

There were absolutely no huckleberries till we reached a high elevation and even those, while small, were not plentiful. These bushes were sheltered by hovering pines, offering protection from that early spring freeze. Higher up still, we found a handful of bushes that were quite laden and we feasted while thinking about the poor bears. Always watchful for bears up in the rocks, as per our record…we saw none! What was lacking in huckleberries was made up for in wildflowers…so much white Pearly Everlasting, pink Fireweed and red Indian Paintbrush, with a lot of yellow Tansy thrown in for good measure. After almost a long 3½ hours we reached the lake. Without sunshine, the water lacked the gorgeous blue green color. We moved to the end of the lake for lunch to get out of the wind which was picking up…and yes, it was jacket time again.

Jim decided not to dive in today as he did last year! Skies were turning black and we didn’t linger too long…plus we knew it was going to be a long hard hike down. We made it almost to the end before we got rained on, but not enough to dig out the raingear. Thunder could be heard toward the east over the Cabinet Mountains, and I thought I saw one bolt of lightning. Just as we were driving out, the rain came down quite a bit harder…made it out just in time.

Left home 8:15Started up 9:15
Got to lake 12:55 (3 hours, 25 minutes)
Started down 1:20
Got to truck 4:10 (2 hours, 50 minutes)
Total miles hiked 15 miles
Total hiking time 6 hours, 40 minutes

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Parmesan Ranch Chicken

I love this recipe but hadn't made it in a long time.  Last night I made it for a family gathering in celebration of the life of our dear friend that passed away a week ago.  It is so easy and extremely tasty.  It makes your house smell so yummy while it's cooking too!

Parmesan Ranch Chicken

1 cup crushed Corn Flakes
1 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 package Ranch Dressing Mix (NOT the liquid)
18-20 Chicken Tenders (the strips)
1/2 cup Butter or Margarine melted

Mix all of the dry ingredients together into a low bowl or plate.  Dip chicken into the butter then roll in dry mix.  Spray cookie sheet with oil spray.  Place coated chicken onto the cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes (uncovered) or until done.