Monday, June 16, 2014

Not Prone To Wandering

We’re not much on exploring too far outside our general location.  Occasionally, we’ll get in the van and drive to explore a bit outside our realm but it really isn’t in our nature.


When settled somewhere, we typically explore only as far as our feet can take us. 


We had originally thought that the pavement ran out only seven miles from us at a town consisting of a combination small store / post office.


It turns out however that the pavement runs closer to twenty miles before turning to gravel and that was enough to get us within range of the Thoroughfare and allow a peek.


The Thoroughfare is a body of water about the size of a small river that joins Lower Priest Lake with Upper Priest Lake.  The relatively untouched and very remote aspects of this area make it a favorite amongst paddlers seeking to commune with nature and wildlife.


We hiked a portage trail that was laden with Dwarf Dogwood (aka Bunchberry and pictured above) and other delicate flowers (below).


Upon reaching the water it was obvious this could be a beautiful place to paddle. 


We’ve heard tale that moose love to bathe in the waters here.


Although we saw a lot of ‘evidence’ (read: poop) there were no moose spotted on this day. 

We did spy a new (to us) fungi…

    This coral-like mushroom was a little larger than our outstretched hand.

Here’s a few more shots from our walk on the portage trail.




                Not all of the flowers were white!



                                Black lichen was making quite a design on this rock.

A few posts back we mentioned the weather in this location.  As summer temperatures go, we certainly cannot complain.  The “thunderstorms” we’ve had so far can only be called such in that they do produce a clap or two of thunder and perhaps a flash of lightning.  The brunt of everything seems to only tease us with its bark on most days however.

One recent day though we were finally bitten.  It came in the form of a Microburst.  The easiest explanation of a Microburst storm would be the collapsing of a storm system which then falls to earth in a bit of a mini tornado at hurricane force speeds.  It lasted all of two minutes, followed by sunny skies and a spell of the most intense humidity we’ve ever felt.

Do you see the freshly snapped trees near the center?  We were in the van when we heard a very loud crack.  Darlene looked out just in time to witness them falling.

                              This one blocked the exit to our upper parking lot.

                    These two just missed the personal vehicles of our Deputy Sheriffs.

                                Now, back to the first one we showed you…

                            There used to be trailers behind all of those cars.

The good news was that no people were injured and after the cut out and clean up we found mostly minor damage.  The not so good news was that the trailer in the next photo took the brunt of the weight and was totaled.


And this next trailer, although not a total loss, was rendered unusable.


The heartwarming end to our first Microburst Storm experience is that the guy with the totaled trailer (a local) used what was left of his trailer to repair the other thereby making it usable for the family to get their boat back to their home in Spokane.

And, with that… we are off to see what the lake has to offer us today.

                               Our road ‘home’.