Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Week 2...RV projects, day trips, local color

Let's start with the RV projects....  The dining/all purpose table, like most of the motorhome, with the exception of the newish flatscreen TV, is 11+ years old.  Time to remove, sand and re-varnish.

Slow process, but getting there!

The process is...1) strip with paint/varnish remover, scrap, sand, repeat; 2) stain; 3) apply varnish, let dry; 4) rub with steel wool...and repeat steps 3 and 4 at least 5 times. Then hopefully step 5), rub with very fine steel wool to take off the shiny effect, wax and be done!  It is looking good.

In between all this manual labor we manage some great day trips, and I do mean all day with many miles on the odometer.  First trip this week was with Beth and Chris to Silver City, an old mining community Beth remembered visiting 35 years ago.  Beth drove, much to Howard's delight.  There's something to be said for owning a small, uncomfortable Jeep Wrangler!

The map gives a sense of our route and topography encountered.  The drive south on Highway 78 took us through the lush farmland of the Snake River plain.  There was a quick stop at Givens Hot Springs to read the historical exhibits and have a look at the hot pools, which looked inviting but bathing suits were required, of which we had none.  There were lots of noodles in attendance.

We continued on for several miles to the turn-off onto a gravel road which, for 25 miles, took us through  desert-like sage brush and open range, then climbed steeply to an altitude of 6200' with pine trees and panoramic views.  We had arrived at the old mining town of Silver City.
The fun begins...
Along the road

Panoramic views

Around Silver City..Note solar panels as the town has no electricity
What you get when you say "don't pose" the Idaho Hotel & Bar
The Idaho Hotel was open for business and much to our delight, pies were the specialty of the house, fresh and warm right out of the oven.  Howard and I had peach and huckleberry with just a little scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Right out of the oven..and delicious
Next on our to-do list was Saturday's Caldwell Days celebration, which actually took place all weekend.  We could not miss the world famous (made the CNN news) kayak races on Indian Creek, which flows through downtown complete with rapids and foot-bridges.  The kayaks are made of cardboard and duct tape.  The contestants were amazing and the boats ingenious.  This was followed by the rubber duck races.  See for yourselves...

The yellow spots are rubber ducks!  The bird is a statue...I think!

The day was full of fun, food, music, arts and crafts, the Caldwell Cougars marching band, and a great vintage car show. 
My 1st car, though not this cute!

Cougar marching band
And there is more....  The all day, 400 mile, 810 hour drive along 4 of Idaho's beautiful scenic byways.  The Payette River Scenic Byway took us north from Boise to Banks along Highway 55, where we turned east onto the Wildlife Canyon Scenic Byway, now following the south fork of the Payette with lots of fast water rapids and deep canyons.  At Lowman we connected with the Ponderosa Pines Scenic Byway, which takes us to Stanley.  Now we're all the way over on Highway 75 and turn south along the Sawtooth Scenic Byway to Sun Valley and Ketchum.  

Whew...seriously, this was some beautiful scenery but by now I am really tired of pine trees and driving.  Even the Aspen along the Wood River in Sun Valley were green as grass, not a sign of fall color.  The drive back to Caldwell was extremely UN-scenic, dead into setting sun with gale force head-on winds.  Well, maybe not that bad.  A few more photos...Until the next trip!

Fast water rapids on the Payette River

Ponderosa Pines and Sawtooth Mountains

A recent wildfire provides colorful undergrowth

The Salmon River Plain

Scenic Sun Valley

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